It’s tough to think about downsizing your home. You’ve been happy and comfortable in your home, it’s filled with happy memories. But you long for a different lifestyle. Maybe you want more financial freedom or less maintenance.
We think about those issues a lot, at DIGGS. We know how hard it is to figure out where to go or what to do with your stuff. Above all, we know how scary it is to make a huge change at this point in your life.
So…. instead of saying “Let’s Do It!!”, how about you say let’s prepare to do it and see where that takes us!
Experts to help you Downsize Your Home
DIGGS recently hosted a panel discussion on our latest DIGGS workshop. We covered a lot of topics related to downsizing from the financial considerations you will have to make when selling your home (taxes, capital gains, buying something new) to ways to deal with all of your stuff. So. Much. Stuff.
We know contemplating the whole process seems overwhelming. You might be thinking that you would rather just deal with the hassle of the house that you are in now, rather than take on the work of making a change. We get it. Change is hard and scary and you might be worried that you will regret your choices. That’s why we have assembled our team of experts to help you with the whole process. You might not need everyone’s help, but check out this video and see what they have to offer. We hope they inspire you to think about your options.
Armine Bazikyan – Trust and Estates
Mishele Viera – Professional Organizer
Away With Chaos
Kathy Biggs – Estate Sales
Robyn Navarro – End to End Moving
Kendyl Young – DIGGS
Information transferring your property tax to a replacement property:
Clutterbusting To Help Downsize Your Home
Most of you know I am a reforming Clutterbug. I wanted to downsize my home and got rid of a lot of my stuff. I know that your Glendale CA homes will sell for more money if it is neat, tidy and free of clutter. People assume that if you take care of your stuff, you take care of your house.
Here are some great tips on how to clutter bust and prepare to downsize YOUR home!
- Place junk mail immediately into the recycling bin. In an ideal world, your recycling bin is right where the mail comes into your home. Our house isn’t big enough for that luxury, but we do toss the “junk” the moment we scoop it from the mail box.
- Store Kitchen appliances out of sight. Toasters, can openers, coffee makers… they all take up space. And while it may not seem like much space by looking at them, the first time you prepare dinner on a counter without them present, you’ll quickly notice the difference. If you think it’s going to be a hassle putting them away every morning, don’t. It takes less than 6 seconds to put each appliance away… once you’ve found a home for it that is. PRO TIP – throw away any gadget that only has one purpose. Chances are really high that you used that thing only once… and it’s been mocking you ever since. When you downsize your home storage is at a premium!!
- Remove 10 articles of clothing from your closet today. Go ahead. If you are typical, it’ll take you roughly 5 minutes to grab 10 articles of clothing that you no longer wear and throw them in a box. Your remaining clothes will fit better in your current closet, and you’ll be able to start accepting less closet space when you downsize your home. And if you write “donate” on the box when you are done, you’ll feel better about yourself as soon as you drop it off. Most likely, you’ll find yourself inspired to do it again. Downsizing really can be done in small steps repeated over and over.
- Fold clean clothes / Remove dirty clothes immediately. This is a game changer for many Clutterbugs. The moment you take off your clothes handle them. Dirty clothes in the hamper. Clean clothes back on the hanger or in the drawer. Do not drape them on the unused exercise machine in the corner.
- Kids’ bedroom toys live in the closet. Not on the floor. Not on the dresser. But in the closet. And when the closet gets too full of toys, it’s time to make some room. Hint, it’s usually safe to remove the toys at the bottom of the pile and donate!
- Fill your containers for the garbage man. Use every trash pickup day as an excuse to fill your recycling containers and/or garbage cans. No one needs to move junk when they downsize from their home! Grab a box of old junk from the attic… old toys from the toy room… old food from the pantry… old paperwork from the office. If once a week is too often, do this exercise every other week. You’ll get the hang of it. And may even begin to enjoy trash morning… okay, I won’t go that far.
- Halve decorations. No seriously, I mean it. Grab a box and walk through your living room. Remove decorations from shelves, tables, and walls that aren’t absolutely beautiful or meaningful. You may like it better than you think. If not, you can always put them back. Bonus Points- when you haul out the next set of seasonal decorations set aside half of them. Donate the other half to a local non-profit.
- Wash dishes right away. Hand washing some dishes takes less time than putting them in the dishwasher. This applies to cups, breakfast bowls, dinner plates, and silverware. If hand washed right after eating, it takes hardly any time at all. If however, hand washing is just not an option for you, be sure to put used dishes in the dishwasher right away. Nobody likes walking into a kitchen with dishes piled up in the sink or on the counter… and it’s even less fun eating in there. The same thing applies to cooking! Wash your prep stuff as the dish simmers or bakes or… you get the idea.
- Unmix and match cups, bowls, plates, and silverware. This is probably the single easiest way to prepare for downsizing your home! Just like patterns, mix and match kitchenware only looks good when the pros do it. When we do it it looks like a flea market gone bad. Uniformity makes for better stacking, storing, and accessing. Ditch all the mismatched storage containers as well! I’ll bet half of them don’t even have a lid…
- Keep your desk clear and clean. Purge that awful pen collection! Drawers can adequately house most of the things needed to keep your desk functional. And a simple filing system should keep it clear of paper clutter and paper clutter is a huge obstacle for downsizing your home. Pro Tip– receipts and business cards are my most persistent clutter problem. I scan each of them with my phone and save them to my note keeping app. I use Scannable to scan and Evernote to store. This routine has been a huge game changer for me!
- Store your media out of sight. Make a home for dvd’s, cd’s, video games, and remote controls. They don’t need to be in eyesight, you use them less than you think. And if you remove them from your eyesight… maybe you’ll use them even less. I find this is the perfect excuse to visit IKEA and The Container Store. Their baskets, containers and general storage options are the best. Pro Tip– if you have a decent eye for design HomeGoods and TJ Maxx often carry great storage options for a fraction of the price!
- Always leave room in your coat closet. This the reason why coats, shoes, and outerwear keep ending up scattered throughout your home rather than in your closet. When your coat closet is so full, it’s a hassle to put things away and retrieve them quickly. Leave room on the floor, on the hangers, and on the shelves for used items to be quickly put away and retrieved. If you don’t have a coat closet, like me, install a set of hooks by the front door.
- Keep flat surfaces clear. Kitchen counters, bathroom counters, bedroom dressers, tabletops… After you clear them the first time, keeping them clean takes daily effort. Receipts, coins, and paper clutter just keep coming and coming… it’s just easier the second time around.
- Finish a magazine or newspaper. Process or recycle immediately. If you’ve finished the paper product, process it and rid yourself of its clutter immediately. You can clip important articles and file them away, but an even better idea is to scan what you want (See #10) and toss the paper. Coupon too good to pass up? Cut it out and recycle. Stacks of magazines and newspapers serve little purpose in life but to clutter a room.
This article was modified from this original post
Want more info? Check out these great articles from our archives on some of the topics covered in our downsizing workshop.
Clutter busting and where to start when you have lived in and loved a home for decades.
The ins and outs of living trusts, and why you need one.
How to make moving a little easier and less hectic.
How to live in a space that might be smaller (okay, a lot smaller) than what you are used to.