There are many reasons homeowners might decide to downsize. Perhaps the children have all grown up and moved out. Maybe retirement has brought on a certain wanderlust and a desire for a simpler home life. No matter what the reason is for moving into a smaller space, everyone runs the risk of falling victim to one of these mistakes when downsizing. Get ahead of the game by being aware of what to look out for and how to downsize the smart way.

Waiting too long

Instead of waiting until you can no longer care for your current home, make a move while you’re healthy and strong. Why not go ahead and downsize while you still have time to enjoy all the things you’ll be making room for in your life?

Getting rid of too many possessions

We all love a good purge, and while the point of downsizing is to make life simpler, sometimes people go too far. Maybe you think you won’t need all your kitchen tools since you’ll be traveling more or you won’t be cooking big family dinners much. But when Thanksgiving rolls around and you can’t find your favorite roasting pan or your electric mixer, you’ll be kicking yourself for purging your possessions willy-nilly. Be smart about what you’re getting rid of.

Forgetting to measure furniture

Before you plan your move, it’s important to make sure your current furniture will fit inside your new home. This might seem like an easy thing to remember, but some people focus so much on being free from clutter and “stuff” that they forget about the big things. Measure pieces like the couch and bed to make sure you’ll have plenty of room in the new space. It might be a good time to sell that overstuffed, family-sized furniture and buy some new streamlined pieces.

Focusing on what you’re losing

It’s natural to become invested in possessions when they remind you of certain people or events. Instead of getting hung up on losing these things, realize that you’ll still possess those memories, even when the things they’re attached to are gone. If you’re having a particularly hard time letting go, take pictures of the items and make a special album or scrapbook to look back on. Then focus on the positive aspects of downsizing, like how easy it will be to stay organized, creating more free time for making new memories.

Trying to do it all at once

Trying to tackle everything in one go is almost a guarantee that you’ll become overwhelmed and burn out. Instead of thinking about your entire house and property, focus on smaller tasks first. For example, if you’re moving to a condo that doesn’t require yard maintenance, go ahead and sell or donate your lawn mower, weed eater, and leaf blower. Be mindful of what you’re getting rid of; don’t toss your gardening tools if that’s a hobby you’ve always loved. Next, go through the kitchen and weed out all those tools that just seem to gather dust. Breaking your downsizing experience into smaller tasks like this will certainly make your to-do list look longer, but you’ll be able to cross things off more frequently as you complete them.

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