Tips for downsizing your family home.
The cost and effort of maintaining a large family home can become a burden, especially when you’ve had children who have now grown up and moved out. Moving to a smaller space can offer both financial and mental peace of mind as well as accommodate healthy lifestyle changes. Downsizing itself, however, can be a daunting task.
In this blog, our experienced agents offer tips to make downsizing a family home as stress-free and efficient as possible.
Set your intention
Understanding your core reasoning can help you stick to your plan and make you more excited about the process. Ask yourself, “why” are you really doing this? Do you want to travel more? Do you want to help your children with a deposit for their homes? Do you want to spend less time cleaning and more time with your grandchildren? Are you hoping to embrace a new hobby or lifestyle? Knowing the ‘why’ will not only help you to choose the most appropriate new home but also help you during the downsizing process.
Take inventory of your belongings
Downsizing means that you won’t have as much space for all the items you have in your big family home. Go through each room, one by one, and sort through everything, taking stock of what you need versus any nice-to-have items. The purpose of downsizing is to reduce the amount of living space, so it’s likely that you won't need as much furniture in your new home.
Measure out the new space
Reducing the amount of living space can mean not just physical rooms but the size of rooms too, and chances are your furniture may be too large for your new living space. It’s therefore essential to measure your furniture to see if and how it will fit in your new space. It’s much easier to work this out ahead of time rather than trying to move a couch into a space where it does not fit.
Consider your new lifestyle
Are you moving into an apartment with a gym? Are you moving to the city with public transport nearby? Are you swapping the beach for the country? Where you move and the new lifestyle it provides will ultimately affect the items and space you need. Your treadmill, pushbike or kayak might be redundant in your new space.
The entire purpose of downsizing is to simplify your life, so only take what you need with you. Once you have worked out what items aren’t coming with you to your new home, get rid of them. Dispose, donate or sell. Decluttering gives you a head start on the moving process – prompting you to pack up excess personal belongings and toss away redundant items, as well as helping you to emotionally detach from the property ahead of moving day. For more tips on decluttering, read our blog.
Make it a family affair
Invite your kids or grandkids to help you sort through items. Tell your stories and encourage them to ask questions. They might want to keep some items you no longer have use for, or you may decide to pass down family heirlooms sooner than expected.
Shred or digitise
Paper items can build up over the years. Get your shredder and scanner out and get ready to thin out your files. Get rid of documents you have online access to and any old tax-related paperwork you no longer need to keep. Other documents can be scanned and organised in digital files.
Make the most of storage spaces
Moving from a large family home to a smaller property, chances are you will have more items than space. When downsizing to a smaller home, it’s important to maximize any storage space. Make use of wall storage such as hanging shelves, add built-in storage units to your garage, take advantage of hidden storage spaces like attics or basements, or hire an off-premise storage unit for your valuables, sentimental items and bulky items that you want to keep but use infrequently.
Wait to buy new things
Hold off on buying new furniture, artwork or decor until you are in the new space. It’s easy to get excited and go on a shopping spree for a whole new look; however, it’s best to wait and get a feel for your new home.
As you’ve just read, preparation is critical when it comes to downsizing your home. The best form of preparation is a qualified real estate agent. An experienced and knowledgeable agent can provide you with a detached unbiased eye and expert advice on what you need to do to optimise the selling potential or your family home and make the moving process as stress-free as possible.