Moving to a Smaller Home

EdwardThirlwallJanuary 16, 2014

Downsizing to a smaller house presents the unique problem of having too many belongings to bring with you. While many of your household items can be easily parted with you will have some that you will want to keep.

Begin the downsizing process by creating three lists:

â What you need
â What you would like to keep
â What can be thrown or given away.

Set aside the items you need in the new house, ready for packing and moving. Make sure you know the dimensions of large furniture pieces to ensure that those items you want to keep will fit in your new house.

For items you want to take but may not fit in your new home, consider finding a storage unit at least in the short term. You can then decide to sell or throw away items that you can no longer fit in your new home. Be ruthless with items you intend to part with because you will need to save space somewhere.

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Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 9:54AM
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I would never move to a smaller home, even if I was short of money. I would move to an older less expensive home with lots of space, if I had to move. I might move to a home without a basement, because I don't need that anymore. I am already getting rid of things I don't use or need. It makes cleaning easier.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:43AM
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I recently downsized from a spacious two-bedroom mobile home to a small one bedroom apartment. I wound up giving a lot of furniture and books to charity. Everything is unpacked now, but I'm not sure where to put stuff. All of my storage spaces are filled.

I moved to be closer to my daughter, and it was worth it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 4:58PM
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We moved from a much bigger 3br house to a 1br condo. It was so worth it. We save so much money on living expenses while living in a much nicer community than we were.

In my experience, these are important things to know about downsizing

1. You need far less of what you think you "must" keep than you think. Even now, seven years later we're still slowly paring down our belongings to be more comfortable in our space. Be honest about what you need. We ended up having to chose between the 'good' and the 'everyday' dishes. We probably have a quarter of the books we used to (it's still a lot) My back issues of Domino and Martha Stewart Living did not survive the culling. I had to sell a huge Le creueset casserole because it was too big for any of my cabinets (got a smaller one to replace it)

2. The furniture that worked in your bigger house might not work well in your new smaller space, but you won't know until you get there. Of the furniture I brought with from the old house, only three pieces survive in my house to this day. They're all heirloom pieces I won't get rid of.

3. Make sure you keep the things you truly do value that also can't be replaced by virtual means. Pinterest has turned out to be better than stacks of magazines. I like kindle reading better than paper books. But the sewing machine that used to belong to my grandmother can't be replaced so I keep it, even if I don't have an ideal sewing space.

4. One in, one out will become your golden rule.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 9:43PM
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It seems like you spend the first 45-years of your life accumulating, and the second 45 getting rid of it.... ;-)

We've downsized homes twice in the last 12-years after raising our family and living in a home for 23-years. When moving, I pack what we don't use on a daily basis first, and each and every item is scrutinized before making the cut, and again when it gets unpacked. If something doesn't fit, it finds a new "home".

-I have 12-place settings of a set of simple white porcelain dishes we use for everyday, holiday entertaining, and everything else. I eliminated the "good" china, the Christmas china, and other holiday related dishes long ago. Didn't need extra silverware and serving pieces either.

-Eliminated the antique furniture that takes special care, occasional repairs, and is heavy to move (donated it to an auction for a special cause) and replaced it with lightweight furniture, and not much of it. REDUCE, reduce, reduce....

-I read a blog recently where the author uses a 40-hanger system in her closet, and I thought it was a great idea for anyone needing a guideline. I usually have less than 40 (never been a clothes hound) and keep off-season clothing in a closet in the basement. I use decorative storage boxes to limit things in the closet (purses, hats/visors, etc.). I also use the one in, one out rule.

-I sold most of my gold/silver jewelry that didn't have any sentimental significance. Had some of the diamonds removed and put into a piece of jewelry for my daughter's 40th birthday - something more to her taste. Put together a picture collage of my grandmother and her wedding picture, and gave it and my grandmother's engagement ring to my granddaughter for her 18th birthday. So use those family pieces to your advantage for gift-giving occasions. It will have a little more significance if it is given for another "special" occasion.

-We have a rule, if we don't know what is in a storage box, we probably don't really need what's in it. If we have to store it in the basement, we probably won't use it, so another reason to find it a new home.

-It's always a work in progress.....


    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:56PM
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