If you are downsizing to a smaller space, don’t fret. Moving house is always stressful, whether you are upgrading or downgrading. But for many, downsizing can come with some added stress. However, this stress can be reduced with thorough forethought. The tips below can help you avoid common moving mistakes and make moving into a smaller home a better experience.
Be Realistic About Downsizing
First, before you do anything, it’s important to understand why you are downsizing so you can be realistic about it. Most people downsize to save money, so when you are preparing to move, it’s important to continue being mindful of your spending. Moving to a smaller space might mean your rent or mortgage is cheaper, but there are other ways you can end up spending more money.
You might end up having to buy new furniture to fit the space or pay for a storage unit if everything doesn’t fit, which may result in more money spent than if you invested in the larger space in the first place. Your new home might also need repairs, or you could be paying more in travel expenses if you have to commute farther to work from your new place.
So just make sure you keep all of these things in mind so you can be realistic about spending and know exactly what to expect.
Create an Inventory and a Budget
To avoid unnecessary spending, it can be incredibly helpful when downsizing to create an inventory of everything you have and a budget. This gives you an overall picture of what you have, what you can get rid of, and what you’ll need to buy.
Your budget can then help you make decisions as you move forward. If you need to buy new things, for example, but it’s not in the budget, you may need to sell some items for money rather than holding onto them or putting them in storage.
Or, if you realize you have a bit more room in your budget than expected, you might be able to hang onto some things or afford a storage space. Either way, these are important things to do ahead of time to make things less stressful once you do make the move.
Don’t Save Packing Until the Last Minute
Waiting until the last minute to pack is a common mistake, but it can even more stressful when you are downsizing. The last thing you want is to be scrambling to pack only to realize you don’t have enough room for everything, and you have to make quick, last-minute decisions about what to get rid of and what to keep.
Packing ahead of time also allows you more time to decide what is going where when you do move, which can make the actual moving day go much faster. It can also save you money because everything is organized, and the movers know exactly where to put things, which cuts down on the time you have to pay for their services.
Don’t Skimp on Movers
Speaking of movers, an essential tip when moving to a new house is to hire a trustworthy moving company. Just because you are moving into a smaller space does not mean you should skimp on movers.
If you are downsizing, it’s understandable that you might want to continue to find ways to cut costs, but handling the moving yourself should not be one of them. Although hiring movers does involve an expense, it’s more than worth it, especially if you don’t have extra hands to help. You can also cut down a lot of the costs by being prepared with your own materials and packing everything beforehand.
If you rely on yourselves or friends and family to do the work, it will likely take twice as long, more effort, and you might even end up breaking things because they weren’t moved properly.
Cut the Clutter
Before you move, give yourself plenty of time to cut down on the clutter from your current home. This means sorting through everything and making piles for what to keep, what to toss (if broken), what to donate, and what to sell.
This is perhaps one of the most important tips for downsizing to a smaller home. If you don’t do this ahead of time, you will likely find that you don’t have enough room in your new place to keep everything.
And we do mean sort through everything — clothes, tools, decor, furniture, appliances, toys, accessories, sentimental items, etc. Go through everything and channel your inner minimalist to cut out the unnecessary clutter.
Be Smart About Storage and Organization
To maximize space, be smart about how you store and organize items in your new home. This includes everyday items you will need to access in your home as well as seasonal items and sports equipment.
You can install wall-mounted storage or floating shelves, and build storage into areas that typically aren’t used, like hallways or spaces under the stairs. You can also opt for buying multifunctional furniture that serves as both a furniture piece and a storage space, such as couches, benches, or beds with built-in storage.
Rent a Storage Space if Necessary
Of course, if it fits within your budget, you can always choose to rent a storage space if everything doesn’t fit in your new home. Just make sure whatever you store, there aren’t things you will need access to often.
It can waste time, effort, and even gas money if you constantly have to take things in and out of storage. So only opt for this option if it’s truly necessary, and only store things you will need occasionally or seasonally.
Final Thoughts: Take Your Time
The best advice when downsizing and moving to a smaller space is to take your time. Knowing that you need to downsize might be stressful enough as is, so don’t make it worse by leaving decisions to the last minute.
Take your time sorting through everything, making, a budget, and packing. This will make moving day go much smoother and give you less to deal with and worry about as you start unpacking and settling into your new home.