MOVING TO A SMALLER HOME
It is common for people to move to a smaller home for a variety of reasons. Most notably is the fact that the children have moved out and the aging parents do not have a need for so much space. But there are other reasons, and there are things to consider when going from a larger home to a smaller house.
Years of accumulated belongings that fill every nook and cranny of a 4 bedroom house with an attic and basement are never going to fit into a home with less square footage. The grandfather clock passed down for generations, years of sports equipment the kids have long since outgrown, the Thanksgiving dining table with seating for 12, the upright piano your youngest child begged for but quit after just two months of lessons; these are all mementos with personal value and memories that can never be replaced. The reality is, they also simply won’t fit. So, what do you do with all your stuff?
Four Approaches to Downsizing to Help You Through Your Next Move
1) Sell it. If you can bear to part with the attic full of childhood memories, clothes that no longer fit (and let’s face it, probably won’t fit again), the treadmill that hasn’t been touched in years or the shelves of unread books, list the items on auction or classified sites. The money you earn can be put towards moving costs or storage solutions for a smaller house.
If you have time, but you don’t have a lot of large or valuable items, yard sales, Craigslist, and Ebay are great places to sell your stuff. You will need to start several months in advance of your move to make sure you have time for the sales process.
If you choose to have a yard sale or garage sale, be sure to add your sale to Yardsales.net, an online listing site. And don’t forget a post on the local Facebook page, your local community shoppers will find it.
Consignment shops are also a great alternative to sell your unwanted items.
Estate Sales - You can hire professional companies that make it their business to help people get rid of their stuff. Estate sales are ideal if you have valuable items, because these companies have the marketing know-how to get the word out and can get more buyers than the average home owner ever could.
2) Donate it. What you may no longer need, it’s almost guaranteed that someone else does. Plus, the donations can be used as a tax write off. There are several non-profits that will come and pick up your items. Several local charities specialize in supporting the needy locally, whether it entails selling the donations and using the funds, or getting the items directly to the people in need.
Are You Downsizing? – Here Are Four Tips
Keep Your Stuff
3) Store it. For some, it’s just not going to happen. The idea of letting go of anything is just too much to bear. Some might want to store items for posterity. Your kids might not want it now, but someday the might. Storage units, commercial and private, are available in most areas. From climate controlled, secure units to vacant garages rented by property owners, there is a storage unit that is right for your situation.
4) Take it. Just because you’re losing your 3-car garage and all that room for your toys, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a home for your beloved stuff. Pod-like storage units can be placed on your property to store your valuables. This allows you to know exactly where your valuables are located and you can even “visit” with them if the mood strikes.
The old adage “home is where the heart is” has never been more true. For many, it doesn’t matter the square footage of the home, but just that the home is filled with love. Old memories can be brought along in the form of pictures and videos, but ultimately, new memories will be made.