Is it time to Downsize?

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on June 15, 2011

Spring means graduation for both high school and college students. Many parents will soon have fewer bodies in their family home. Is it time to downsize? For many homeowners whose children have grown up and moved away, it may be a good idea to buy a smaller home with fewer maintenance needs. The downsizing process may sometimes prove stressful as homeowners are often attached to a house and the personal possessions that have made it a home. It can be a challenge to find space for prized possessions in a new, smaller home. There are, however, a number of strategies to aid in the consideration and planning of a new, smaller home.

 Start early in the process

One of the most important steps downsizing homeowners can take is to allow plenty of time for the move. It’s generally not necessary to wait until they have closed on a new home to start packing. Many people, according to the Wall Street Journal, become overwhelmed by waiting too long, and end up just throwing everything into boxes haphazardly. Allowing three to six weeks for packing before your current home goes on the market will aid in sorting through your treasured belongings.  Decide on large items first, such as furniture.  That way, as you move through the house, it will feel like you are making quicker progress. By making decisions on those items first, people can also determine whether they need to buy any furniture for their new residence.

Move in circles

The Wall Street Journal also says it can be helpful for homeowners to move in concentric circles as they work to cut down on their possessions. In general, many objects which have emotional value are found near the center of the home, such as in the family room or kitchen, so it might be best to pack these items first.  After that, starting in the farthest reaches of the house should reveal items which aren’t used as frequently, and may no longer be as emotionally important as they once were. By moving in smaller circles throughout the house, homeowners can see what they may not actually need.

Involve others

It’s also important for one member of the household not to attempt to take on the entire project themself, the Wall Street Journal says. Not only is it a very large task for one person to do, one family member may not know how each of them feels about each particular item. What appears to be junk to one person may actually hold a great deal of sentimental value to another person.

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