There are plenty of reasons to downsize your home and your life. Maybe you’re tired of living in a cluttered house. Maybe your kids are grown up and moved out and it’s time to take care of a little less space. Perhaps you just love the idea of chucking all your belongings. Whatever your motivation, here are five things to do before you downsize your home.
Examine Your Priorities
Before you call your real estate agent to put your home on the market, take a look at your personal priorities and what made you think this was a good idea. Are you hoping to discourage your spending habits by moving to a smaller house? If that’s the case, you may want to take a closer look at your spending problem before you move because you may find yourself renting a storage unit for useless items instead of your prized belongings. Are you hoping to create more time for yourself by spending less time on home maintenance? Whatever your priorities are, let them guide you as you start to pack up your current house and look at smaller homes or rental properties.
Declutter Your Life
Now that you’ve committed to a smaller space, take the time to remove clutter from your life. Consider trying the KonMari method in your home, which asks you to imagine what you want in a new home and work to get there. You’ll go through each category of items in your home, from clothing to sentimental items, and get rid of anything that isn’t serving you. Take the time to really consider what you’ll need in your new home. You don’t have to throw out everything, but try to be really discerning as you go through this process. If you want to downsize your life, you have to downsize your stuff.
Save What You Need To
If there are some things you can’t imagine parting with, don’t. Just because you’re moving to a smaller space doesn’t mean you have to give up all your worldly possessions. Save whatever you feel you need to. If you have sentimental items that are taking up a lot of space, like your great-grandfather’s desk, consider taking a picture of it and framing it for your new home rather than bringing it with you. Not everything is going to fit in a smaller space, so try to consider what you can do practically to keep what you want.
Pack Everything Up
Now that you’ve decided what to keep and what to get rid of, it’s time to pack it all up like a pro. Separate your belongings into three categories: donation, keep, and storage. Chances are you’ll have some things you want to keep that you won’t have room for, so rent a storage unit for whatever you’d like to keep. Stock up on bubble wrap and make a list of what is going in the storage unit so you know what you’ve put in there and don’t have to pull apart boxes to check. Check out storage packaging tips and get everything ready to be stored safely. Wrap breakables in bubble wrap, and pack everything in smaller boxes that you can carry. Your self storage unit will be free of moisture and pests, so you won’t have to worry about your valuable possessions.
Sort Out Your Finances
You’ve cleaned, you’ve packed, and you’ve stored. It’s time to find the perfect home and sort out your finances. A smaller home should mean a small mortgage, depending on your mortgage rate, credit score, and loan application. Become an expert in mortgage 101 and learn what you’ll need to know to be a great borrower. With a low interest rate and short loan term, you could own your new home in no time. You should be able to start saving more money or paying off old debts after downsizing.
Downsizing can be a great thing for your financial and emotional health. Go through what you own and decide what you can live without. You’ll love your new, clutter-free home.