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Guest Post: Tips for Downsizing to a Smaller Home

Posted by Mani Bagga on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 at 1:45pm.

Tips for downsizing to a smaller home



Russian dolls, arranged in order of size, symbolizing downsizing to a smaller home

Image Credit: Pexels

Upgrade, increase, expand, grow - these are buzzwords that seem to follow us wherever we go. Bigger has become synonymous with better. Until, one day, you realize this might not be the case. Don't get me wrong, sleeping in a king-sized bed beats sleeping on a futon. Still, if your bed is taking up a lot of precious real estate in the bedroom, maybe a smaller one is the way to go? There are plenty of reasons to downsize. Perhaps the stairs mean this is not the perfect home for aging-in-place, or the kids moved out, and nobody needs a giant, empty nest. Whatever the case, here are a few tips for downsizing to a smaller home.  



Time is of the essence

Have you ever been in a situation where the alarm goes off, but you can hear the pitter-patter of the rain outside, and the temperature difference under and above your duvet is astronomical? So, you hit the snooze button a few dozen times. Suddenly, time seems to snap back into place, and no matter how much you want to stretch it out, you can't. Well, replace getting out of bed in that analogy with downsizing, and you get the gist of it. You should be starting at least three months before the move. The mindset should be, 'I want to finish 90 days before the move' instead of 'I will start 90 days before the move'. Give yourself plenty of time to sift through a lifetime of possessions. Otherwise, you may feel rushed and, ultimately, overwhelmed.


An hourglass with purple sand set against a white background

Image Credit: Pexels

On the one hand, there is no snooze button, but on the other, no alarm clock option either.


Limited options are not always bad

Once the time parameter has been taken care of, it's time to declutter and decide what goes and what stays. The aim of the game is to avoid sending anything into storage. Think about it; it would be self-defeating. You are moving into a smaller space but renting an additional small room for what couldn't fit in the original small space! Here are your options:

  • Keep - Of course, you are not going to get rid of everything, but you are not going to keep everything either. Think about your new, future lifestyle. What are the essentials? What will you really need? Honesty is key here.

  • Sell - You will get a financial reward, of sorts, for finally letting go of all those things you don't need. A yard sale is a good option here.

  • Donate - Here, the reward is more spiritual and less monetary. Charities will accept a lot of old possessions that can be put to good use. Now, one of the main factors that stop us from parting with our things is sentimentality. Offering a family heirloom to a family member could be a way around that. It stays in the family, without having to stay in your house.

  • Throw away - From all the tips for downsizing to a smaller home, this may seem like the most obvious one, but this is the main stumbling block. We get so attached to our things, we find it hard to get rid of them even when they have worn out their use.  

A box with the word donation written on it

Image Credit: Pexels

One of the best tips for downsizing to a smaller home is to decide what to keep and what to let go off.

Break out the trusty tape measure

Hopefully, you will have a floor plan for the new place. Measure and measure again to make sure you know what you have to work with, and then - it's time to play a little bit of furniture Tetris! You must know beforehand how you will arrange your belongings and if they can fit. There are plenty of ways to make the most of your space in a small house, so don't worry if, at first, you cannot make it work. However, if there is no winning combination, then it's time to play the keep/sell/donate/throw it out bingo again!


Go digital

Whatever your stance is about the pace of change nowadays and technology in general, you have to agree that it has made many things more manageable. Papers, files, pictures, etc., can all be stored on a laptop or computer where they will only take up memory. Certain documents you may already have access to online, and in this day and age, it really is not essential to keep a physical copy 'just in case'.

Oh, one more thing. That VHS tape, the one at the back of the drawer collecting all that dust - throw it out immediately! If you are still on the fence about it, ask a friend to introduce you to the wonderful world of streaming services and thank us later.


Green lines of text on a black background

Image Credit: Pexels

If you have entered the matrix accidentally, take a step back.


Still not sold on the whole Get Rid Of It idea?

What it essentially boils down to is that there are many items you should leave behind when moving. That old sweatshirt that has been with you through thick and thin is looking a little worse for wear. Do you need it at the back of the new, smaller closet where it will sit, again, doomed to never be worn again? At the end of the day, you don't need to take everything. The sooner you become one with that idea, the easier the downsizing process will be.


Downsizing done right

If you have decided to move to a smaller home, keep in mind there will be a lot of work to be done. Downsizing can seem arduous, but there is no need to feel overwhelmed. With careful planning, it can be accomplished relatively easily. Just follow the above tips for downsizing to a smaller home, and you'll be enjoying your new space in no time, all the while wondering why you had ever needed so many possessions in the first place!



We tend to instinctively cling to our things, even though we do not need a lot of them. Here are a few tips for downsizing to a smaller home.




Guest Author:

Beatrice White

Assistant Editor Marketing | Moving Offices San Diego

1 (619) 406-8157 | San Diego, CA

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