August means kids head off (or head back!) to school. For some of you, that means you’ll now be living the empty nester life. Your house is not only going to be a lot more quiet than you’re used to, but you’re going to have a lot more room as well. Whether you had multiple children and a 5-bedroom home or just one child and a few less bedrooms, now is the time to consider downsizing.
Downsizing a home can often be a stressful time as you go through every item you own and decide if you’ll keep it, donate it, or toss it. Some of you may even choose to leave your home for something smaller or even pick out an apartment in the city as you adjust to your new lifestyle without children. Oftentimes, your first move as an empty nester means less space than you’re used to.
To help you make a smoother transition from big suburban home to a smaller dwelling, check out our five tips for downsizing:
1. Plan ahead: It’s never too early to start planning for your move. You can work off spreadsheets if that’s your thing, make a giant to-do list so you know all that needs to be accomplished before, during, and after your move, or whatever other planning ideas help you stay on top of it all.
2. Know your needs: Downsizing your home to something smaller is going to change your list of needs. You may need to rid yourself of a few beds, couches, and appliances. This is also a time to think about the kind of lifestyle that you want to live in your new home. Does this include oversized furniture or the same furniture you have in your current home? You’ll also want to think about some of your sentimental and more expensive belongings. Determine what you can part with and what you can’t let go of.
3. Stay away from clutter: If you’ve lived in your current home for a while then it’s likely that you’ve accumulated more clutter than you realize. This means going through old file cabinets, clothes and decor tucked away in the closets of guest bedrooms, and even your own clothing that you’ve been telling yourself you’ll wear for years. Try to stay away from clutter as much as possible and start life in your new home on as clean a slate as possible.
4. Make keep/toss/donate piles: There’s nothing more important when going through all of your belongings than starting keep/toss/donate piles. Unfortunately, some of the items you own need to be thrown away because they’re broken or old. If there are items you own that are in good shape but you simply have no use for them anymore, they would be perfect for a donate pile. Then, of course, there are the items in your home that are kept such as heirlooms. Not only will you help to remove clutter from your home, but you’ll also be doing a good deed by donating the items that you don’t need anymore.
5. Think multi-purpose: Downsizing to a smaller space means you need to look for quality rather than quantity. We suggest choosing a statement piece of furniture over packing the room full of sitting space. You may also want to choose a coffee table that has additional storage or even using storage cubes as seating for guests.
You can also learn more about what Agricola Redesign Owner Diane Agricola learned after a recent home move she made herself!
Agricola Redesign can help you redesign a new home using items you already own and even give you an objective opinion when it comes to figuring out what you need to keep during your downsize! Learn more at www.agricolaredesign.com or call us for a consultation at (513) 771-3927.