As an interior designer for over 35 years, I have helped clients upsize from their first and second homes. I have helped them design their beach houses, their mountain houses, and their lake homes. And now, I am helping baby boomers downsize or right-size to a smaller home, homes that are more manageable and more affordable. It is also less stressful for them because they discovered that when they have less space and less stuff, they have more time, money, freedom, and energy to experience their lives more.
Check out my best-selling book: Downsize Your Life Upgrade Your Lifestyle: Secrets to More Time, Money, and Freedom.
They often realize they stayed in their big homes because of great memories of raising their families, but when they discovered that they are only using four to five rooms in their big homes, they realized that not only are they wasting space, they are also wasting money on heating, cooling, and maintain it. So many baby boomers are finally waking up to the fact that they no longer need or even want all of that space.
Does this sound like you?
For sure it is a challenge to downsize from a larger home to a smaller one, but there’s no need to panic or to be overwhelmed.
In this blog, I am going to walk you through a process that I have used myself and with hundreds of clients who chose to downsize. The process I am going to share with you today is a big picture that will help you determine what to take and what not to take when you downsize to a smaller home.
Guidelines to Know What to Take and Not Take to Your New Smaller Home
1) Get clear on your priorities.
- The kind of lifestyle that you want.
- The location you are interested in living in.
- The size of the home that you want and need.
2) Know the approximate size of the home or condo that you are going to move into.
Ideally, you will know the exact size of the home, but this is not always the case, so you can approximate what your needs will be.
- Your current home is 2,800 to 3,000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, living room, dining room, family room, attic, garage, and basement.
- Your new home (apartment or condo) is 1,200 to 1,400 square feet, 2 bedrooms,1 ½ bath, great room, no attic, no garage, and no basement.
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3) First determine the big items that you will need and use.
You will need a place to sleep, eat, prepare food, relax, work, entertain, and have storage.
As an example, your new space will need:
- Bedroom furniture: bed, nightstands, dresser.
- Family room: sofa, chairs, table.
- Eating/dining: table and chairs.
- Office: Desk chair, bookcase, files.
Once you have determined the bare essentials of what you actually need… move on to what you would like to take with you if it fits, looks good, and serves a purpose.
4) Measure your new space if possible. (if not, guesstimate and then create a space plan)
- Measure the existing furniture: the essentials and what you would like to take with you. Then plot it into your space plan.
5) Know what you need and have room for and what you don’t need and don’t have room for…
- When you know what you can and can’t take with you, it makes the process of decluttering and purging your belongings much easier.
- Refer to my recent blog post: Downsize by Decluttering, click here.
6) Keep the end in mind…
- ·Your vision for a smaller home, with less of your belongings, less stress is possible.
- Having more time, money, and freedom is also possible.
- When you live with less, you have made room for more life experiences.
If you want to know what to take with you when you downsize to a smaller home, the 6-step process is well worth the time and effort!
If you want to learn more, check out my new online course: How to Downsize and Declutter for Boomers: Find Freedom in Living with Less.