One of the most common excuses I hear from downsizing homeowners about not getting rid of “stuff” is this: “I don’t know where I’m going so I’m not sure what I will need or not need.” Can I gently help you? With respect… and very few exceptions… I DO know where you are moving. You are moving to a much smaller space. For most of you your new “space” will be a kitchen, one main living area, one-to-three bedrooms, and one or two bathrooms. You might have a 1- or 2-car garage. If you are moving to a condo you probably will not have a basement. In total you will be living in 1700 or less square feet. If your plans are to move to a retirement community or an apartment, your living space will likely be on the smaller side: 900 – 1100 square feet with only one bedroom.
What does that look like? If you are living in a 2400 square foot two story, imagine living only on the main floor.
With that in mind, you no longer have an excuse. Now you can look at your belongings in your current home and ask yourself “which of my three or four living areas (living room, kitchen, or bedroom/s) will this item go in? If there is not a room for it, it can’t go with you. Sounds simple, but the decision making can be excruciating. The furniture, décor, and household items you own are in your home because at one point you brought them there for use or enjoyment. There is very little you don’t “like” and a lot you are attached to. (And, let’s be honest, most of us are not excited about making the move to begin with, much less pouring salt on that wound by having to rid ourselves of things we love!)
If you have trouble visualizing the new space, go walk through a condominium model home this weekend. Visit an apartment complex and walk through the model of a floor plan you would consider. Or, ask for a tour of the retirement community you are considering. “Feel” the space and visualize where your things will go. Many of these communities will give you a drawn floor plan with room measurements so that you can more accurately and realistically “place” your furniture items.
Storage is at a premium in these kinds of communities. You may have a garage if you’re fortunate, or more likely, a large closet or maybe a storage “bin” in a community area. The days of just “put it in the basement” are gone – every inch must be allotted to the items you use every day.
The Kathy Chiero Group of EXP Realty Greater Cleveland specializes in helping homeowners “downsize”. We would be happy to help you by showing condos or homes to you which fit your budget and downsize plans.
We are the creators and presenters of Central Ohio’s premier downsizing event, DownSize Cleveland. How can we help you? Click here for a complete list of “getting rid of stuff” tips and resources and a free in-home analysis of the value of your home www.GotStuff-GetHelp.com