This buzzword has been on the tip of peoples’ tongues for years. From baby boomers to millennials, people of all abilities, geographic locations and financial brackets are considering it for their next real estate move. So if you have downsizing on your horizon, these key points from professional organizer Jemison Faust of Your Choice Organizing in Newport will set you on the appropriate path.
1. Since downsizing encourages you to live simply, it pushes you to purge the stuff you bought when you upsized. Perhaps your family was growing, or you enjoyed entertaining large crowds. Whatever the reason, your large home now just doesn’t suit your lifestyle. So if you decide to relocate to a smaller abode, not everything you currently own will fit there. From your large leather sectional to antique sleigh bed or dining room set, you need to reassess your furnishings, as well as all the accoutrements. “Think about your life, the people you’re living with and what makes you happy,” she says. “You don’t have to downsize, so be realistic about where you’re moving to and with what.”
Starting the decluttering process is the hardest part. It can be overwhelming looking at all your stuff and not knowing what you’ll need or want in your new home. So start with one room or item, Faust suggests, and focus – this is a good idea even if you’re not downsizing. Examine your bedroom, for example, or your collection of vases, and pare down to what you think you actually need and will use. Put everything else aside to sell or donate to charity. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State has a drop-off donation center in Middletown and offers convenient curb-side pick up.
KEEP WHAT YOU LOVE
2. Imagine the cost and time savings. Smaller homes are less expensive to purchase and maintain, inside and out, and they take less time to clean. If you can vacuum your whole home using only one wall outlet, think of the time you’ll salvage to do the things you enjoy! “Stop thinking about what you ‘should’ do and what you ‘want’ to do,” Faust says. “Set clear priorities. ‘What do I really want?’‘Do I really want to fix that?’”
IT’S OK. STAY.
3. Home buyers and sellers of a certain age are evaluating their living situations and making swift decisions about their lifestyles. They’re renovating, for example, adjusting their homes to fit their needs, like moving to the first floor for convenience. Or they’re downsizing to smaller properties with less maintenance. They’re also looking for a first-floor master suite in properties they buy. “If we could put a first-floor bedroom in all of our listings, they’d sell like hotcakes,” says broker/owner Leslie Hogan of Hogan Associates.
4. Consider that it might actually not be downsizing you need, but organizing. If you care about your collection of old books, but they’re scattered all over the house, then you don’t have to get rid of them. You just need to find a place for everything and put everything in its place, says Faust.
Photo courtesy of Cocobello Design; Daily Reckoning