Whether you’ve been planning it for years or the economy has forced your hand, losing square footage can be both invigorating and a challenge. For the sake of your emotional health – and your packing efforts – remain focused on the positive aspects of the change. Living in a smaller home is an excellent step to simplifying both your budget and your life overall.
Be Ruthless in Your Packing
This is your chance for a fresh start in your new home, so take advantage of it. Be absolutely merciless in your packing and cleaning out of your old space. Start working well enough in advance that you can tackle each room and closet with brutal authority – you show that clutter who is boss! A good rule of thumb is to try to discard two items for every one that you take with you.
Choose the items that are truly useful or special to you, but remember that pictures of items may be just as special as the item itself. This is an excellent time to toss out all of the clothing that doesn’t fit, to rid your home of that rickety old breakfast set and to toss out the toaster oven that hasn’t worked for two years. Make a large pile of everything you’re not going to need or not going to have room for in your new place. It’s not all trash – you’re able to put those discards to great use.
Make Money from Discards
Moving is expensive, but you can profit handsomely from all of that clutter you just collected and cleaned. Dust it all off, arrange it nicely on the lawn and have a large yard sale over the course of a weekend. If you’re retiring, you can label this your estate sale and have a professional handle the arrangements (You can even skip some of the cleaning out and sell directly from your home), but regardless of how you handle the sale, you should generate some nice cash in hand.
Your trash becomes someone else’s treasure, and be sure to price your items to move. This is a cleansing exercise that just happens to pay off handsomely, so price things low, put out lots of signs and be sure to advertise your sale in advance in a local paper or through an online site like Craigslist. There’s an added benefit of selling your items – you may find the motivation to sell even more stuff you’ve put aside when you see how quickly the earnings pile up. Now you can put that money to good use.
Makeover One Room Immediately
As you prepare to move into your new home, of course you’ll have tons of boxes and plenty to unpack, but focus first on one room in your home so that you can make that one truly special. You may choose to focus on the kitchen or perhaps the living room. Perhaps you’ll be most comfortable if you know that your bedroom is perfectly arranged to your taste.
In the first days of your move-in, wield a paint brush and get some color on the walls. Scrub down the baseboards and lay down your favorite rug. Move your furniture into position and buy some new window treatments with that cash you earned a few weeks previously. Open all of your boxes and arrange your knick-knacks and special items on the shelves carefully. Burn a candle or spray a bit of air freshener and in no time at all, you will feel home again. Now you’ll have an excellent point of inspiration as you move into other rooms of your new home.
Enjoy Your Savings
If you’re moving into a smaller home, your financial and time budgets are likely shrinking as well. Perhaps you’re downsizing to better afford retirement or just accommodating the new economy. Whatever the reason, arrange your budget now so that you can continue to enjoy low costs of living as the economy eventually improves. Spending less on your rent or mortgage as well as your utilities means you’re able to spend more on making your home into the sort of welcoming environment you love to come home to. Or at the very least you can relax at home knowing you’re able to finally afford things you need like life insurance and retirement savings.
That smaller home also means you’re likely spending less time cleaning and maintaining square footage. If you’re used to maintaining a four-bedroom, three bathroom house, suddenly going to a two bedroom cottage means you have ample time to enjoy life’s better pursuits – none of which include scrubbing toilets and vacuuming.
About the Author
Rebecca Garland is working hard to populate the internet with relevant, engaging materials. She writes for many clients and enjoys a wide range of topics including home improvement and real estate. You can learn more about Rebecca and her website content services on her professional website.
The views expressed by Guest contributors to this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of 2M Realty Advisors, LLC, it's broker, agents, employees or affiliates.