Most of us choose to downsize at some point in our lives, often after we’ve retired and our family situation and other factors change. If you’re planning to move to a smaller abode in the coming year, it’s helpful to understand some of the most common downsizing mistakes others make so you know what to avoid.
Not Allowing Enough Time
Firstly, many people make life harder for themselves by not allowing enough time to make the downsizing happen. It takes considerable time to find a new property to downsize to, pare back and potentially sell belongings, move to a new location if that’s part of the plan, and then unpack.
If you give yourself more time, though, this will make the whole process much less stressful. You’ll have the time you need to complete all the tasks thoroughly and strategically, and you’ll be better able to mentally prepare for the idea of downsizing.
Failing to Have a Clear Plan and Goals
Another error people often make when downsizing is not stopping to get a clear plan for their move and some goals. Before you begin the process, create a plan of action based on what you want the final outcome to be. What is your dream result when it comes to where you’ll live, the type of property you’ll live in, what your lifestyle will be like, and so on?
Make sure you and your partner, if you have one, have aligned goals, so you know what to look for when property searching. Plan out each task you have to complete over the coming months, too, to make your downsizing goals a reality. It pays to set yourself weekly deadlines to adhere to so you don’t leave everything until the last minute.
Forgetting to Take Careful Measurements
Once you’ve chosen a smaller property to move into, examine the proportions of each room in the new abode. You don’t want to do what some people do and forget to take careful measurements, leading to a case of trying to move in furniture that simply doesn’t fit in the home. Items may be too tall or wide to fit through doorways, for instance, or too bulky to be located comfortably in the planned spots.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you have a good understanding of all the dimensions from only an inspection or two. After some time, you likely won’t remember sizing well enough since memories can be deceptive. So too can room sizes when you simply look at them with the naked eye. As such, measure up each room in the home and note down the details so you can determine which furnishings and other pieces will suit the property and which ones you’ll need to part with.
Trying to Move with Too Much Stuff
A common downsizing mistake is attempting to move into a more compact property with too much stuff. The reality is that you won’t be able to fit the same number of possessions in a smaller home, so you’ll need to do enough culling before moving day. You’ll either have to sell, recycle, give away, or otherwise dispose of a fair portion of your belongings or pay to utilize handy facilities for storage in Los Angeles, New York, Florida, or wherever else you live.
When it comes to reducing your items, you might find it helps to inventory everything in your current home. This list can help give you a big-picture understanding of exactly how much stuff you have and how much you need to say goodbye to. If you haven’t used goods for a year or two, that’s a good indication you can part with them.
Many people also find it helps to consider what they’d commit to buying today if they were starting over. If there are pieces in your home you know you wouldn’t purchase right now if you went shopping, this is a clear indication that the possessions don’t need to move with you to your downsized abode.
Some other common downsizing mistakes to avoid include failing to accept help, such as from family members and friends, realtors, solicitors, and the like, and overvaluing the amount that the currently-owned property will fetch when being sold to buy something more compact.
Plus, it’s common for downsizers not to look forward enough and spend too much time focusing on what they’re leaving behind. Moving to a smaller property can be a significant change of life as well as home, but try to think of this time as giving you a path for seizing exciting new opportunities.