The Upside to Downsizing…Keeping Your Sanity!

Thinking of downsizing? Then stick around…I have a few tips!

Downsizing…it’s what happens after you’ve lived in that big beautiful home, raised a few kids, shared a lot of memories and along the way probably collected way too much stuff!!

Does the very thought of downsizing  scare the pants off of you! Where do you even start?

This has been my experience with clients…

  • Storage areas full of unused items that haven’t had eyes on them in years
  • Bulky/excess furniture that is either unneeded or too big for a smaller home
  • Clients that are totally overwhelmed by this daunting task
  • Emotional attachment to inanimate objects and sentimental items.

With every move into a smaller home there needs to be a clear plan. If you set out with an end in mind and the steps to accomplish your goal, it is much easier to see a project through to the end. It puts a new perspective to what was otherwise an insurmountable task.

I am here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Change is good…isn’t it?

I think so and that is why I am going to go through a few steps and provide a number of resources to help get you moving…I mean that literally!

Lets start by visiting the local grocery store, stationary store and hardware store. Here is a list of materials you will need to start boxing and separating your piles of stuff. For a lack of a better word.

Your Downsizing Resources

Boxes…lots of boxes! Grocery stores can provide you with free boxes to pack up all the items you know you will be passing on to the Salvation Army or the charity of your choice. You know once you purge you will feel better!!

Staples or your local stationary store for some bankers boxes, labels, markers, packing tape, etc. This is for all of the items you want to keep and move with you, but want to keep very organized, separated, and labeled to help in the move.

Your local hardware store. Here you will buy some totes for all of the items you want to keep clean and safe. Totes provide a more waterproof and safer storage solution. You may want to reserve these for items that will go into longer term storage in a basement or garage where there is a possibility of dampness.

Giant Zip Lock Bags. These you can find at Walmart or other similar places. These are cool for moving cloths, pillows, bedding, etc. You can pack a ton of stuff into one of these giant bags and they keep the contents dry (as long as you don’t tear the bag).

So what to do with that unwanted furniture, extra shovels, garden tools, dishes, etc.

kijijiHave you heard of Kijiji, the classifieds, the under $100 ads in the local paper. That’s right you can sell all this stuff. Make a few dollars and get rid of things you won’t have room for, don’t want, and frankly shouldn’t have bought in the first place. ( Ok…I’m guilty here too!)

Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Now that you have spent a few months purging and getting rid of all your unwanted stuff, it’s time to take on the bigger task of selling and buying real estate.

Downsizing requires not only purchasing a smaller home, but also preparing your current home for resale. This is where a savvy Realtor can save your sanity and help you…here is a short checklist of what you need to do.

Downsize Check List

  • Getting your finances in order and knowing your budget for your new home
  • Taking care of any minor repairs that may directly effect the value of your home
  • Staging your home for the best possible presentation (easier now that you’ve purged)
  • Working on curb appeal so your home is warm and inviting to potential buyers, gardens, etc.
  • Making up a list of features and recent repairs for your home to share with buyers
  • A list of things you love about your home and the area you live in. You want to write ad copy that evoke buyers emotions.
  • A list of “must haves” for your new home such as sq/ft, #of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc. to assist your Realtor in finding the perfect home.
  • Establish the right selling price to attract the best buyers using current sold prices and looking at market trends in the area to determine value.

As you can see there are many steps involved and this is just scratching the surface. Timing is a big part of this process and having a good Realtor to work with you every step of the way to ensure your move goes smoothly can be a big help for anyone going through this process.

My “7 Steps to Sold” are fashioned around my experience from years of flipping houses and preparing properties for market. I always encourage my clients to start with a “60 Days to Sold” strategy session to get a starting point and begin planning your mission. I give every one of my clients access to all my resources accumulated from my journey as a house flipper and a renovator to make the process easier.

My biggest word of advice…find a Realtor that can truly help you make this transition. It won’t be easy, but with the right help you will be on your way to the next stage in your life and a new place to call home.

If you know someone looking to downsize…please share this post with them or comment below. I always read every one!

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