MoveThere can be a lot of reasons why you may decide to move to a smaller home. Your decision could be economical, you may no longer want the responsibility of maintenance, you may no longer need that much space, or your health may dictate the need of assistance for daily activities. Whatever the reason, moving to a smaller home is a big event at any age. Wherever you live, you want your home to be a peaceful, comfortable living environment. When you have a lot of stuff surrounding you it can feel like the walls are closing in. You need your belongings to be proportionate to your living spaces. You need your spaces to be rightsized!

There are a lot of decisions to make, especially in terms of your belongings, what will stay and what will move. Making all those decisions can be overwhelming. Having a support team to help you make a plan and implement your strategy will help reduce the stress. Talk to family and friends and let them know you’re planning to move to a smaller home and that you would like their help. For the tasks that you or your support team can’t do, consider hiring a professional.

Give yourself plenty of time to make this transition.This is a big effort and the more time you have, the better off you will be. Moving to a new home can be stressful and the more time you have to adjust to the idea can reduce your stress level.

You may have a lot of things, perhaps over 50+ years of things, so start out slow, maybe 15 minutes at first.Start with 1 drawer or 1 bookcase. Work for 15 minutes on making the ‘keep’ or ‘toss’ decisions. At the end of 15 minutes, see how you feel, then do another 15 minutes. You will figure out how long it takes before you’re tired from making decisions, and then stop for the day. It really can be exhausting making all those decisions.

In-depth points to consider:

Planning – Put together a plan along with dates for the tasks required and who will perform each task. If you will hire a person or company to perform tasks that you and your support team won’t do, put this information in your move plan.

Floor plan – In order to fully understand what furniture will fit in your new home, you need to get a floor plan that has the dimensions of each room. You also need to know where electrical outlets, heating & cooling vents, phone jacks, cable connections and light switches are located for furniture placement.

Storage – Storage needs to be considered in each room, and if you will have additional storage elsewhere. There are many pieces of furniture that do double duty by having storage built in to the piece. These pieces will come in handy for smaller spaces.

Donating versus selling – Some things have a greater monetary value than others. Most of us believe that our things are more valuable than they are. A good way to find out is to check on ebay to see what your thing is selling for. If you have fine art, antiques, or jewelry, you will want to engage an appraiser to understand the value of your pieces. If you do consign a piece, put a due date on it. If it doesn’t sell by the due date, donate it. The end game is for your things to be in proportion to your new living spaces. In a lot of circumstances, donating to a favorite charity and taking the tax write off makes more sense than selling items on your own.

Gifting – If you have treasures that you would like to see go to a certain person, contact them and tell them you need them to pick it up by a specific date. If your treasure is not retrieved by the due date, it may be that the recipient doesn’t really want it. To reiterate, the end game is for your things to be in proportion to your new living spaces.