11 Tips for Adjusting to a Smaller Home

Downsizing Tips

You may be downsizing your home for any number of reasons. Maybe you fell in love with another neighborhood that’s pricier than your current one. Perhaps you’re tired of a long daily commute. Are you an empty nester and can’t properly maintain a large home? If you are combining households with someone, then you are probably downsizing your belongings. Read on for some tips to make the task easier.

  1. Think positive: Downsizing should not be depressing! As you sort through your belongings and decide what to keep, trash, or donate/sell, keep in mind all the advantages you’ll enjoy in your smaller home. This may include more free time because of lower maintenance needs (cleaning, repairs) or a shorter drive to work. There may be cost savings (e.g., property taxes/insurance, parking). A smaller home may lower your stress because it’s easier.
  2. Tackle the no-brainer tasks first: Get rid of the broken toaster sitting in your basement. Do the same with the rusty bicycle stored on the rafters of your garage. It’s time to throw out the mildewed class notes from your college days up in the attic.
  3. Purge duplicates and “just in case” items: If you are combining two households, you don’t want to end up with two ironing boards, two living room sofas, and multiple sets of dishes. Can you part with some of those “what if” items? If and when you have overflow house guests, why not buy or borrow an AeroBed instead of keeping the extra queen-sized mattress in the basement?
  4. Apply one-year rule to clothing: Donate or give away all clothes you haven’t worn in over a year. There must be a reason an entire season passed by without you wearing something even one time. If you lack time, consider getting decluttering help from a professional.
  5. Use electronic storage space Consider scanning old paper files or photos if you have a large quantity. Store them electronically and save the physical space for other items.
  6. Move kids’ memorabilia: If your children are in their 30s or beyond and have established homes of their own, arrange to have their belongings moved from your basement to their houses.
  7. Get rid of oversized furniture before you move: Give away, donate, or sell those pieces that physically will not fit into your smaller home (e.g., sectional sofa). The same goes for those items that don’t match the style of your new house. If you need help finding homes for donation items, call Potomac Concierge and we’ll set you up with an experienced personal organizer.
  8. Think double-duty: Moving into a smaller home necessitates multiple uses of some items. For example, do you really need both a kitchen and a dining room table? If your new kitchen lacks counter space, would a movable trolley help?
  9. Consider renting occasionally used items: If you only use the card table and chairs stored in your basement every other year for holiday gatherings, perhaps you could save the space and rent those things instead. There may also be some lawn equipment you seldom use.
  10. Maximize storage space: Use every bit of space possible in your smaller home (e.g., under beds, high space in closets) and use things like hanging shoe racks, the inside of ottomans, and built-in shelves. The professional organizers at Potomac Concierge are full of great ideas.
  11. Coordinate “last resort” options: Once you move into your new home, some fine-tuning may be required. If the guest room is needed for something else, could you install a Murphy bed in the rec room? As an absolute last resort, or just as a temporary solution, you can always rent storage space if you need additional time adjusting to your new home.

Contact Potomac Concierge, and we will help you downsize in any way you need us: decluttering, moving, home organizing, and more. We can lower your stress, save you time, and come up with great suggestions.

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