If you are like a lot of baby boomers and Gen-Xers, you like to invite friends and relatives over for the holidays and host the occasional guest. So, how do you downsize your home without sacrificing that much-desired space for entertaining? Do you give up the guest bedroom and invest in a murphy bed? Downsizing isn’t just about moving from a sprawling suburban home to a tiny little cottage. Although reducing square footage is part of the downsizing plan for many empty-nesters, another part is losing the excess clutter, collectibles and possessions. Fortunately, de-cluttering is part of the home selling process when you list your house. Do a good job of reducing before buying another home. When house hunting, remember to place as much emphasis on the outdoor living space especially if it’s conducive to entertaining. Consider a few downsizing tips to get started on the path to a simple and stress-free life.
3 Tips on How to Downsize Your Home
No. 1: Before you downsize your home, sift through the trinkets
According to an article by cbc.com, a great way to prepare to move into a smaller space is to ask questions based on the acronym, “Reduce.” Is the object relevant? “E” is for “edit.” If you did not use it this past year, donate or give away the item. “D” is for de-clutter. Ask yourself if you have room for the item in the next house. “U” is for useful so decide if there is a purpose for the furniture piece or other item. “C” is for change. If you can refinish the necessary item, keep it. The second “E” in “reduce” is for eliminate. Make a trip to the GoodWill if you know you have no use for a particular object.
No. 2: Buy a home with outdoor space
Look for homes that have a design that takes advantage of the outdoor views. Windows bring in natural light and make you feel as though you are part of the outdoor yard. When downsizing, look for homes with balconies, patios, decks and outdoor entertainment areas. If you are on a tight budget, map out a plan for how you could turn the yard into an oasis. Some inexpensive options include adding a pergola, landscaping, outdoor furniture or a stone pathways. If you are handy, consider constructing a gazebo as a handyman project. Because the scenery is gorgeous in Colorado and Washington, it’s a waste to buy a home that doesn’t have either an existing outdoor space or a large enough yard to create your own space.
If you have bulky items such as an elliptical or exercise equipment, consider using the garage or a covered patio. Exercise equipment needs shelter from the rain and elements but often take up an entire room within a home. Consider the floor plan when house hunting to maximize your privacy when you do have guests who spend the night. Place a pull-out sofa bed in a living room furthest away from your bedroom. Invest in decorative privacy screens that you can put up when a guest is visiting but later fold up.
No. 3: Get ingenious about space savers in your new home
After moving into your new home, take time to try out various space savers. According to an article by the Bismarck Tribune, there are clever ideas that really help homeowners in smaller houses. One idea is to place a shelf just above an outlet. The shelf could hold a speaker or an Alexa device. In your closet, use S shaped hangers that hold more so it frees up space. Borrow ideas from the tiny home movement such as beds that pull down from the wall and then collapse when you aren’t using the bed. Once you get the hang of it, downsizing is easy. Most people who live in smaller homes change the purpose of rooms. During the holidays, they use the dining room as a dining room. But after guests gobble up the last of the turkey and head home, they convert the dining room back into their home office. In such cases, it’s simple to use useful furniture carts on wheels.
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