This is a guest post by Michele O’Connor and Carol Preibis from Ahh The Simple Life.
Home sweet smaller home: the cozy living-dining room Michele O’Connor created for herself and her husband just five months ago, when they downsized from their four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath Colonial to a one-bedroom, one-bath condo with loft.
Downsizing is stressful. I’d love to help make it easier for you by sharing some ideas based on what I learned from downsizing myself recently.
1. Know where you’re going
Don’t downsize the way my husband and I did!
We sold our house, put most of our things into storage (read: expensive), lived in two different apartments, and finally found our new home after an exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) two-year search.
Since my passion is decorating, I really couldn’t get rid of many things until I knew where we’d be living next. Hopefully, you’ll know where you’re going before you have to pack!
2. Get rid of (sell, give away) everything you don’t really need/want
Doing this probably will be a huge project; but by doing so, you’ll have fewer things to pack and move and then more space in your new, smaller home.
You can get cash for your unused things at a local consignment store. The Salvation Army will pick up items you want to donate.
3. Choose a reputable moving company
Moving is stressful enough. The best moving companies are both caring and careful. Check online reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings and call references. The local moving company we hired, Expert Moving & Storage did everything they could to help make our move easier for us.
A portion of my husband’s closet. Before moving day, I planned exactly where everything was going to go in the entire condo.
4. Allow yourself enough time to plan ahead at your new home
The more you can plan ahead where you’re going to put your furniture, clothes, and everything else, the less frazzled you’ll be when you move to your new home. Before our moving day, I knew exactly where every piece of furniture would go and where everything else would be stored.
5. Schedule time to relax and recoup during your transition
Realize that moving is a huge challenge, so actually schedule downtime; you’ll need it to stay healthy and on top of things. This is something I should have done and surely wish I had!
6. Acclimate slowly
You’ll need to get used to a lot of new things: surroundings, neighbourhood, school, shopping, etc. Because of that, realize it will take some significant time before you are comfortable in your new home. We’ve been in our new condo for about five months; it’s finally feeling like home.
Having a smaller home allows me more time for creative activities, like designing this indoor “winter garden.”
7. Keep your eye on the prize
You had good reasons you wanted to downsize to a smaller home: less work, fewer responsibilities, improved finances, and/or more leisure time. Reminding yourself of the positive reasons you’re doing this will help you get through the days and weeks of effort required until – finally - you’re happy in your new home! I wish you every happiness there!
Have you downsized recently, or are you planning to downsize? What do you think are the biggest challenges downsizers face? Please share your thoughts with our readers.
About The Author:
Michele O’Connor and Carol Preibis are co-publishers of Ahh The Simple Life, dedicated to the art of simple living. Carol loves to write about food and voluntary simplicity. Michele loves to write about everything to do with the home. They both have a fervent desire to help others (and themselves) to find a simpler way to live in this complex world.
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