This is it. This is the year you decide to downsize. You’ve been living in your 4,000 square foot home for 30 years and the kids are gone. You’re tired of going up and down the stairs, you hardly ever use the dining room, and your home has simply become too big.
You’re done! It’s time to enjoy your weekends, maybe live where they have a clubhouse, pool, and tennis courts. It’s time to let someone else mow the lawn and shovel.
You decide that a home with around 2,000 square feet would work. You want an open floor plan, a 2-car garage, and a first-floor master with a double shower and bench. Since the kids only come over occasionally, a loft area offering 1 or 2 extra bedrooms would be perfect. A basement would be nice, but not a must-have. This is going to be easy peasy!
WRONG! The reality is that you have too much stuff! Since you’re going for an open floor plan that formal dining room set that seats 10 and has a sideboard and china cabinet isn’t going to work. No problem, you’ve had that set for over 30 years, it’s dated and you’re going with a shabby chic look now.
You decide to purge. Here is where I have personal experience and can help you. My husband and I found ourselves moving from our 2500 square foot townhouse, with an abundance of storage, into a 1000 square foot one-floor condo. We made 3 piles. One pile of items we couldn’t live without, another for donations, and the last for the curb. We made the move and settled in for several years.
After living there for 5 years we decided to move into a bigger unit and we started the same process again; 3 piles for must-have, donations, and curb. What I discovered was what I packed up as a “must-have” wasn’t looked at or touched for 5 years!
Scaling down is a process for sure. I decided to simplify my life. I purchased clear plastic containers and a package of labels. What I realized was that my son just isn’t going to appreciate all his grade school artwork, and do I need to save every birthday card I ever received? So, I finally did it! I tossed it all and it just snowballed from there! My china isn’t expensive or something that’s going to wind up as an heirloom and my friends would laugh at me if I served them such a small cup of coffee with a saucer. I tossed them. Most of the bedding for a small B&B? Gone! My philosophy was ‘if it didn’t fit in the box, it’s going someplace else then label box for organizing.
My suggestion for you is simple: 1. Go through your closets, if you’re like me, you are never going to be a size 4 again. 2. Go through your kitchen, if you’re not entertaining for the Queen or serving the masses, scale it down! (throw away all those containers without tops) 3. Make 3 piles, must-have, donations, and curb. Repeat the step 3 about 3 times.
Some useful links are: