There comes a point in our lives when we don’t need quite as much space in our homes as we once did. It often comes when the kids go off to college and leave rooms that you don’t know how to fill. While selling your current home and moving into something smaller can seem stressful, the simpler space, fresh start and extra cash can be beneficial in the long run. The move can also help you be closer to family, depending on where they’ve settled. Shea Homes® is here to help your downsize go as smoothly as possible with a few tips and friendly reminders. 

Take Inventory – When you move into a smaller space, you are going to have to give up some things, it’s the unfortunate reality of a downsize. For some though, it might be a welcomed task to get rid of some of the unnecessary stuff accumulated over the years. It can be difficult to decide all that you want and need to get rid of when you are doing it on the fly. Taking inventory of your items allows you to see a list of what you have and if you really still have a use for it. The best rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably don’t need it moving forward. Don’t be fooled by the blanket statement “I might need it someday” because odds are you won’t if you haven’t yet.

Go Digital – One of the great things that has come with the rapid rise of technology is the ability to store things digitally. If you have music, DVDs, photos around the house, many of those can be converted into digital files in order to clean up some of your storage space. The other main culprit of clutter that could be digitalized is paper. Make time to sort through old bills, receipts and other documents, and recycle anything you don’t need. Store older paper files, such as taxes from the last decade, in a plastic bin. Scan any other records and receipts you may need in the future so you have a digital copy, then shred and throw them away.

Measure Furniture and Wait on New Items – When you find your next dream Shea home, you may feel the temptation to immediately fill it with your dream pieces of furniture. While this impulse is understandable, it is better to take a breath and consider first what you really need, and then if it will really work. When you get the chance, measure around your new home to see what furniture can fit. Odds are you may end up getting rid of a lot of your previous homes’ furniture that is now too big for a smaller home.

Offer Sentimental Items to Others – There are those items that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away or donate because they have a special meaning. As you downsize, it can be difficult to keep all of these items, so consider offering them to others who are a part of the memories with the item. Another option if you know you’re going to miss the item, but it has no place in your new home, take a photo of it and add any relevant details (where it came from, what it signifies). Create your own “treasure” photobook or work the photos into an album.

Focus on One Room at a Time - The thought of decluttering or organizing your whole home might be daunting, so remember to take it one step at a time. You’re more likely to complete the whole process if you break it into multiple, more manageable projects. Plan out which rooms you are going to tackle, and start early so that you have adequate time to go through each space.

If this isn’t your first time downsizing, what other tips do you have to make it easier?

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