There are many reasons to downsize to a smaller home. Some people move to cities where the houses are smaller because the real estate market is more competitive. Other people don’t need a large house after their kids move out.
Whatever your reason, downsizing can be a fun experience. You have an opportunity to learn what you really need in life and start a new chapter in a different location. Follow these five tips to downsize effectively without giving up what you love.
1. Sort through your clothing and donate what you don’t need.
If you are downsizing, you might not have access to the amount of closet space you currently have. This means you will need to sort which clothes you really like and which ones you don’t need.
For this, try out Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of organization. Pull out everything you have from your closet and then pick up each item one at a time. Ask yourself if you still wear it and if you want the item. If you haven’t worn the item in a while, it is time to donate it. For example, keep the pair of slimming black pants you love to wear for a night out but donate the too-tight dress made from an uncomfortable fabric.
2. Consider placing some items in storage.
Just because an item doesn’t fit in your home doesn’t mean you want to get rid of it. If you are moving to a house or townhome that doesn’t have a large enough garage, you may want to put some items in storage. This includes large items like kayaks, fishing poles, tents, and bicycles that you want to use but can’t keep at your house all year.
Using the address of your new home, search “storage facilities near me,” to find a close enough storage facility that you can access these items frequently when you need them.
3. Evaluate whether you need a car.
If you are downsizing to move to an urban area or will only have space for one car at your new home, evaluate whether you and your partner each need a car or whether either of you needs a car at all. Many cities have become increasingly pedestrian-friendly and offer quality public transportation options. You may be able to sell your car and get by with a metro card and a monthly Uber budget.
Selling your car is also a great way to save money because you don’t have to pay for gas or insurance. Consider other fun ways to save money during this downsizing process.
4. Get creative with room layouts.
In a smaller home, you won’t be able to spread out as much as you previously did. With this in mind, you may want to invest in a few key furniture pieces and get creative with room layouts.
For example, a bedroom can have much more space if you add a murphy bed. This bed comes down from the wall at night so you can sleep but is stored upright during the day. You can use the extra room for a home office or location for gym equipment.
5. Have a moving sale.
Donating your old clothes and items can help others who are less fortunate. However, you can use your downsizing to sell some items so you don’t have to transport them to be donated. If your neighborhood permits, host a moving sale so people can buy some of the items that you no longer need. You can use the funds to cover other moving expenses.
Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean living in a tiny home. You can find a house that meets your needs and helps you save money. With a little creativity, you can live comfortably with less.