4 Tips for Downsizing to a Smaller Home

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tips for downsizing

Whether you have kids who are getting ready to move out, you want to save on bills, or you’re just looking to simplify your life, most people consider downsizing at some point. And it’s becoming more commonplace. In 2023, the National Association of Homebuilders noted a downward trend in the size of single-family homes—the average square footage is the lowest it’s been since 2010—and one survey even found that one in five Americans downsized in 2023 in order to reduce their utility costs. Whatever your reasons, downsizing can, ironically, be an overwhelming undertaking. To help you out, we’ve put together these tips for downsizing so you can approach the process with ease.

Our Top Tips for Downsizing and Simplifying

Tip #1: Mentally Prep for the Transition

For most people, downsizing can be a significant life change. Not only do you have memories and routines set in your current home, but you’re also probably used to the amount of space that you have. That’s why number one on our list of tips for downsizing is to do the mental prep work.

When you downsize, it’s important to remember that there will be an adjustment period. Knowing why you’re downsizing can help you stay focused on the end results you’re after, and help you visualize your new life in a smaller home. It’s also a good idea to reach out to a real estate agent at this time. An experienced professional can help you throughout the process and ensure you’re not overlooking something important. 

Tip #2: Start Early and Have a Plan

Our next tip for downsizing is to start early and have a plan. If you begin the downsizing process well before you actually need to move, you’ll have the time you need to sort through your belongings and make decisions without feeling rushed. 

Start by creating a list of the things you need to do, such as decluttering, organizing, packing, and finding new homes for items you no longer need. If you haven’t already, now is also the perfect time to decide exactly what you’re looking for in your new home. Details like square-footage, yard space, garage size (if you’ll have one), and the size of your individual rooms will allow you to be strategic so you’re not trying to take too much with you. 

Tip #3: Declutter and Depersonalize

When you’re closer to moving day, it’s time to move on to our next tip for downsizing: decluttering and depersonalizing. This is a good time to start your keep-it, trash-it, and donate-it piles. Start packing away personal items that you can live without for a while, remove family photos and other personal items, and sell or donate any excess furniture.

Not only will this step help you prepare for an easier and less stressful move, but depersonalizing your space will also make your current home more appealing to potential buyers. This is also an excellent opportunity to put a fresh coat of paint on your walls and ceilings (preferably in a neutral color palette) and make any other minor updates that will help increase the value of your home. Think simple things like caulking bathtubs, replacing worn weather stripping on windows and doors, and updating inexpensive fixtures.

Tip #4: Donate to Charity

Last up on our list of tips for downsizing is to donate most of the belongings you’re getting rid of to charity. This not only makes the process of downsizing easier logistically, but it might help you let go of more items if you know they’re going to a good cause. Research your area for drop-off locations and pick-up services. You can also ask your real estate agent if they’re aware of any specific charities or other organizations that might be in need of specific items.

How to Feel at Home in Your New Space

Most people see the physical move as the end of the downsizing process. But for many, there’s a whole other phase: settling into your new home. With the right mindset and approach, downsizing can be an incredibly rewarding experience. In order to feel more at home in your new, smaller house, we recommend taking steps to personalize your space and optimize creative storage solutions—like storage ottomans, coffee tables, and under-the-bed bins—and create multifunctional spaces throughout your home to optimize the square footage that you have.

It’s also important to re-establish daily routines in your new place. Exploring your new neighborhood and staying connected with friends from your old neighborhood can also help you feel more grounded.

Looking to Downsize? Our Team at CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate Can Help!

Whether you’re looking to downsize, or you’re in the market for a home that will let you grow your family, the team at CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate is here to help. We’ve been in the real estate business for more than 80 years and have had the privilege of serving hundreds of customers in North Central Ohio.

We are experienced in helping both buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals through personalized service and local expertise.

If you’re ready to buy or sell your home, reach out to us today. We’ll be happy to serve you.

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