Spring is going to arrive very quickly this year and all of a sudden we are going to have to think about all the things we are planning to do in the warmer weather.

I want to share some really good information about downsizing. You may be thinking about it for yourself, or you may be called upon to help a parent or friend move from a home that has been in the family for a long time. So please pass this information along or call me if you need any help or advice.

Downsizing The time is finally here—you’re packing up your house and “downsizing”.The only thing now standing between you and your new home is packing. Here’s how to make the process easy and efficient.

Start with a couple of questions “How often do I use it?” “When did I use it last?” “What purpose does it serve?” Your 16-setting bone china may come in handy at Christmas time, but will you still be hosting enormous family dinners? Think about passing on or selling things that won’t fit into your new lifestyle. And if you haven’t used something in a year, chances are you won’t need it in the future.

Purge your storeroom It’s easier to purge stuff that you don’t see (and don’t use) all the time. Plus, the stuff you’re storing probably won’t fit into your scaled-down life. Be brutally honest about whether or not you really need to keep your kids’ dance costumes from third grade.

Be particularly ruthless with unsentimental stuff Areas like the kitchen and garage are less likely to have objects that mean a great deal, so make these the focus of your biggest purges. You won’t need 10 mixing bowls, three cheese graters, two lawnmowers or that patio set you’ve been meaning to repair for seven years.

Measure your new space and keep a copy of the floor plan handy Be realistic about what furniture you’re going to be able to fit in a smaller space. You probably won’t have room for two sofas, and your existing formal dining room set might be better off replaced by something more versatile. If you really want to get detail-oriented, plot your furniture and room sizes on the computer or create a diagram on graph paper. (Doing this will also help with furniture placement once you move.)

Focus on your favourite pieces If you’re a collector, you might not have room in the future for your entire collection. Likewise, you may not have enough wall space for all those family photos. Winnow your treasures down to your favourite pieces and see if you can sell or give the rest to someone else.

Do something good with your stuff Don’t just throw your stuff away. Shelters sometimes need toys, sheets or blankets, and pet rescue organizations will often take clean towels. Donating your stuff can help make parting with it easier. (Make sure to call first to see whether what you have is actually needed, and if it isn’t, take it to a charity store that accepts everything.) Of course if it’s stained or broken, the trash is exactly where it should go.

Don’t sell stuff yourself unless you have time and energy (or help) It’s tempting to sell everything extra on Craigslist or eBay, but this can be time-consuming and, ultimately, not worth the hassle. Unless you’re getting rid of valuable collector’s items, chances are you’ll be better off donating your old furniture rather than trying to find buyers.

Don’t even think about tackling the whole house at once Downsizing is a long process, and can be emotionally overwhelming as well as physically demanding. Do a little bit at a time to avoid getting burned out.

I hope this is helpful. Call me or email with your feedback or if you have any real estate questions I can help you with.


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