Whether you’re a Boomer looking ahead to retirement or a 20- or 30- something who is refocusing your life, downsizing your possessions is part of the deal. Do the math. “Big house” equals lots of room to store everything you use now, used the past, and may use in the future. “Smaller house “means room for some of which are use now and not much else.
Making Downsizing Work For You
Resizing your living to a smaller space does not mean you are embracing a spartan lifestyle; it may mean you are willing to become more creative in using available space both in and out of your own personal space. Here are five things that will make downsizing easier.
- Do not use the “funnel” approach to furnishing your new house. The funnel approach means that you take everything you own now, dump it into the funnel, and only fill up your new house with what slowly comes through the smaller opening as the other end. Rather than leave things to chance, carefully consider your current stock of furniture and other possessions. Plan in advance what you want to take to your smaller space. Commit yourself to only take items that fit your space appropriately. Sell or give away what doesn’t fit and buy something designed to fit your new setting.
- Rethink your use of space. Modern homes have many single use rooms, a change from a century or two ago when most rooms were multi-functional. A smaller home may mean going back to having areas where entertainment, working at home, and socializing are merged. Whether this will work for you depends on your family and your situation. If your five kids and the main wage earner works at home, having an office in the family room where the kids play won’t work.
- Expand your definition of “your space.” If you are like many people, you might move to an urban area so that you can enjoy cafés, restaurants, and clubs on a regular basis. Or you move to a condo or apartment that features an exercise room, community room, or other group space. If you have the small personal space in your unit, plan larger gatherings of friends in the club or community room. Don’t litter up your space with exercise equipment when there’s a gym three floors down. There may even be room for you to spread out personal hobby supplies. Consider area resources as “your space.”
- Buy extra space as you need it. Wondering where to store your holiday decorations, sports equipment, hobby supplies, and even extra clothes and furniture? Many areas, even in downtown, have storage units available for rent. Many of these are climate controlled and accessible 24/7, so storing your camping equipment next to your winter coats and Christmas tree make more sense than jamming things you need less frequently into your new home. The closer the storage facility is to your home, the more you can consider it an extension of your personal storage space.
- Be creative with your in-home storage solutions. A trip through your local Target or a bit of scrolling through some websites can open your eyes to the vast amount of multi-function furniture, shelving systems, and other organizational aids available to help you maximize your space. While you don’t want your home to look like a warehouse, you can make it convenient and well-organized. Once the systems are in place, you must be disciplined about returning items to their place before clutter makes you claustrophobic.
Live Large In A Small Place
The key to enjoying a new smaller space is attitude. If you see less space as a permanent choice, rather than as something you settle for until you can do better and move to a bigger place, you will find something unrelated to space: contentment and peace of mind. If you’re satisfied with your life, you can live large even in a small place.
Are you thinking of downsizing? I can help. As an experienced Halifax Realtor®, who specializes in working with boomers and seniors, I can help you find a smaller, livable space you love. Just give me a call so we can discuss your exciting future in a workable new home.
The thinking about making a housing change? Click here for a copy of my free e-book How To Properly Prepare Your House For Sale.
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|Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991 Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. If you are contemplating a move and would like a complimentary copy of Roy’s guide to downsizing entitled “Preparing to Downsize” please click here.|