Downsizing Your Home?
Here’s a Guide to Get You Through
There are many reasons you might be considering trading your big empty house for a smaller home, townhome, or condo. You might just be looking for something that requires less maintenance and cleaning, especially for rooms you’re not using. You might be looking for a community with better amenities, such as an active-adult lifestyle, fitness center, or social activities.
Or you might be considering making Western North Carolina your permanent home so you can enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the charm of small-town living all year round. Whatever your reasons, here is your guide to downsizing your home.
Consider Selling First
When transitioning from one home to another, it can be difficult to know whether you should sell first or buy first. Selling first tends to make financing a bit easier and can add leverage to the purchase offer of your new home. However, it could possibly leave you with a gap in housing. Consider renting if you need to, as this will give you more time to explore and find the right place, without the worry of trying to simultaneously sell your home. You might also be able to negotiate a “lease back” with your buyer, which would allow you to stay in your old home for 30 to 60 days after the close of the sale.
If you aren’t able to sell your old home before buying your new one or you’re unwilling to rent, plan to have alternate funds available, as it could be difficult to finance a second home.
Make three lists, your “Must-Have” list of essentials, your “Could replace” list of things you like but could potentially get rid of, and your “Live withouts” list of things that will be the first to go.
Start organizing and decluttering the stuff you don’t really need at least three months ahead of time. Tackle small projects, areas, or rooms one at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
Go through storage areas, like your attic or basement, first, as many of these areas contain your “Live Withouts” that you can sell, donate, or give away without missing.
Try to focus on necessity instead of sentimentality. Typical downsizers keep only about a third to a half of their original belongings.
Don’t keep duplicates. If two or more items are serving the same purpose, whittle them down to just one.
Figure out the size of your new home rooms and storage areas. It can be helpful to compare the sizes of rooms in your new home to existing rooms in your current home to determine what will fit, especially with larger furniture items.
Make note of the amount of storage in your new home. If you’re relocating from a large home to a townhome or condo, does it have an attic or basement?
Consider Storage-Friendly Stuff
Less space means less space for storage, so you might consider furniture that doubles as storage (like lift-top coffee table or a storage ottoman) or stackable storage containers that will take up less space. If you can pack belongings for moving into storage bins, that can help simplify the process. Just beware of overdoing it on storage bins.
Remember, store up not out, especially in areas of confined space.
Have a Plan
Create a floor plan to map out where all your belongings will go before you start moving. This way, you’ll know before you get there whether or not two couches will fit in the living room and won’t run into a moving-day problem of furniture without any place to go.
Use a color-coded system to label boxes. Each room gets a color, that way everything has a place.
Move larger items first, as the bed might only fit without all the boxes in the middle of the floor.
Organize as you unpack. Save yourself a future headache by taking it slowly and organizing your belongings while you unpack them.
Ready to Downsize & Relocate to a Permanent Vacation Home in Western North Carolina?
There are so many reasons to love living here, all year round! Whether you’re looking for outstanding events, endless attractions, or a world of outdoor recreation that doesn’t stop in any season, it’s time to come explore life in Western North Carolina. Contact Cielo Real Estate today to find your home here.