For the past several years, as the Baby Boomer population has begun to retire, downsizing from large, high maintenance homes, to smaller more manageable homes has become an increasingly popular trend among Waterloo Region homebuyers.
Lifestyle downsizing is also a trend that will most likely continue as smaller but smarter homes are in increasing demand. But when and if you do downsize there is one big challenge ahead that may not be something other new home buyers have to face; what to do with all of that stuff you have accumulated over the years that now simply won’t fit into your new, more compact, space.
Here are four tips for downsizing that should help.
1) Sell it.
If you can bear to part with the attic full of memories (and clutter), clothes that no longer fit (and let’s face it, probably won’t fit again), the treadmill that hasn’t been touched in years or the shelves of unread books, list the items on auction or classified sites. The money you earn can be put towards moving costs or storage solutions for a smaller house.
If you have time, but you don’t have a lot of large or valuable items, yard sales, Craigslist, and eBay are great places to sell your stuff. You will need to start several months in advance of your move to make sure you have time for the sales process.
You can hire professional companies that make it their business to help people get rid of their stuff. Estate sales are ideal if you have valuable items, because these companies have the marketing know-how to get the word out and can get more buyers than the average homeowner ever could.
2) Donate it.
What you may no longer need, it’s almost guaranteed that someone else does. Plus, the donations can be used as a tax write off. There are several non-profits that will come and pick up your items. Several local charities specialize in supporting the needy locally, whether it entails selling the donations and using the funds, or getting the items directly to the people in need.
3) Store it.
For some, it’s just not going to happen. The idea of letting go of anything is just too much to bear. Some might want to store items for posterity. Your kids might not want it now, but someday they might. Storage units, commercial and private, are available in most areas. From climate controlled, secure units to vacant garages rented by property owners, there is a storage unit that is right for your situation.
4) Take it.
Just because you’re losing your 3-car garage and all that room for your toys, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a home for your beloved stuff. Pod-like storage units can be placed on your property to store your valuables. This allows you to know exactly where your valuables are located and you can even “visit” with them if the mood strikes.
The old adage “home is where the heart is” has never been truer. For many, it doesn’t matter the square footage of the home, but just that the home is filled with love.