We know it’s back to school time but what if you find yourself becoming an empty nester?
Perhaps your kids are off to college or out of the home completely. We have advice for getting yourself ready to move to a smaller space.
Shifting to a smaller space means scaling down your stuff. If you only have room for half or even a third of your belongings in your new space, some major downsizing is in order. Use these tips to make the process less intimidating and stressful:
- Start Early – Give yourself three to three to six months to gradually scale down your stuff to avoid the temptation to pack up everything during the last-minute rush as you count down to moving day.
- Avoid Overwhelm – Pace yourself! Set aside an hour or two every day to go through each drawer, closet and box to decide what to get rid of.
- One Space at a Time – Instead of whirling through the entire house pulling things out of closets and dumping boxes, be systematic. Always finish one area before moving onto the next.
- Sort Smart – Use the “three-bin system”: label three bins as “keep,” “sell” and “donate” to allow you to quickly organize items as you go through each room.
- Be Ruthless – Think hard about what you actually need, especially in rooms like the kitchen that tend to accumulate duplicates. Then, purge everything else.
- Plan Your Space – Get a copy of the new floor plan, and measure and place your furniture to see what you can realistically fit.
- Donate to Charities – Call and find out what your favorite local charities will take as donations. Many even list on their websites what they are currently in need of and what they absolutely do not want.
- Sell What You Can – Take valuables to an antiques dealer or auction, list desirable everyday items online (its amazing how much can be sold that way…just be sure to price it low so it will sell) and hold a garage sale for smaller household goods. You might even turn a profit from your move!
If you follow these steps your space will not only be cleared out; the process is really cathartic! And, if you’re selling your larger home, now you are ready to list it. It will be much easier to “stage” when you list with your local realtor.