Downsizing Guide

Financial Savings • Reduce Effort on Upkeep • Better Use of Space

Downsizing Guide from The Hofmann Home Group

When is the Right Time to Downsize?

Assuming your current home no longer fits the lifestyle you want or the income and energy you have, you should look for something more suitable, and your search for a new home should definitely reflect that.

Asking the right questions to figure out your needs and goals is the perfect first step to preparing for the huge life event downsizing can become.

3 Planning Strategies

Imagine the Long-Term

Think about what you could do with the extra financial savings moving would award you in the long run.

Do Some Work on your Psyche and Identity

Many people still buy into the “bigger-is-better” appeal of large homes, which can cause reservations about scaling back. To combat these beliefs, look at the freeing benefits a smaller space offers.

Examine Your Financial Situation

Determine a reasonable amount to spend on a purchase or rent and begin researching options within your budget. Moving in and of itself requires an organized process, but when the space you’re moving into is more confined than you’re used to, you will face additional challenges. To be as prepared as possible, I have provided the following tips to help you.

Moving boxes

Fun Fact: On average, an American house contains 300,000 items!

Woman on Garden Porch
Family playing soccer
Moving boxes
Seniors in Real Estate Office
Downsizing the living room

10 Downsizing Tips

Tip #1: Start Early

Give yourself plenty of time for this process, because it will inevitably take longer than you expect. Take your time, and don’t try to sort through your entire house in one day or weekend. A few weeks to a couple months is a more realistic timeline. Take it one room at a time, and take breaks throughout. If you aren’t rushed, you’ll find downsizing to be much less stressful.

Tip #2: Start Small

You probably already have a couple of things in mind to toss out in the kitchen or garage, but avoid diving into such a big room at the very beginning. You have years and years of things to sort through. Start in an area with little emotional attachment. The laundry room or linen closet are good options. Understand your needs. If you’re moving into a two-bedroom house, four sets of sheets should be plenty. The rest can go.

Tip #3: Eliminate Rooms You Won’t Have in Your New Home

If you’re moving to a condo, apartment, or retirement community, you might not have a den or additional bedrooms. Nearly everything in those spaces will need to be sold, donated, tossed, or relocated to other rooms. These areas might also have good items for consignment; nice office furniture and outdoor tools are more valuable than old sofas or mattresses.

Tip #4: Get Rid of Duplicates

You’ll find this is especially true in your kitchen. You have two or three spatulas and ladles; a couple of oversized stock pots; four different sized cookie sheets; a blender, a food processor, a coffee grinder, and a nut chopper. Now’s the time to reduce the clutter. If you’re feeling wary of handing off that second roasting pan because you use it every Christmas (but at no other time during the year), consider giving it to a child or grandchild who can bring it over for the holiday and take it home when they leave.

Downsize your kitchen
Moving boxes

Tip #5: Only Make Yes Or No Piles – No Maybes

When you’re going through years of belongings, some things are going to tug at your heartstrings, and you’ll be tempted to make a third pile of things to keep if you have space. Don’t fall for it. You’ll end up with a Maybe pile that’s bigger than either of the other two, and you haven’t really made any progress in sorting, just moved it across the room. Take a hard look at every item you pick up. If you use it regularly or expect to in your new home, keep it. If it’s been sitting in a closet or on a shelf for a year or more, it’s time to let it go.

Tip #6: Reduce Collections

Creatively It can be hard to let go of a lifetime collection of porcelain dolls or snow globes from all your vacations, but they will eat up a lot of space or else end up stored in a box where you’ll never see them. Instead, pick a couple to keep and take high-resolution photos of the rest, then have them made into a photo book that can sit on your coffee table or mantle. You and guests will be able to enjoy them without the clutter. There are also tech tools or websites that will convert those boxes of photo negatives to digital.

Tip #7: Don’t Be Afraid to Sell Things Yourself

Yard Sales, online auctions, and an abundance of consignment shops, selling your belongings has never been easier. You probably won’t make a ton of money on most items, so consider how much time you want to invest. Yard sales are usually faster, but items won’t sell for as much. Consignment is a good option for high-end furniture, handbags, and other accessories; prices are reasonable, and they’ll sometimes pick up heavy furniture for you. If you aren’t handy with a computer, your grandchildren can probably help. But if that all sounds like more than you care to deal with, hiring a firm to run an estate sale might be your best bet.

Tip #8: Allow Yourself Some Time to Reminisce

While you’re cleaning and sorting, there will be some days when you want to stop emptying the kids’ bedrooms and just look through the kindergarten drawings, soccer trophies, and once-prized stuffed animals. It’s OK to pause and let the nostalgia take over for a bit. Cry if you need to, or move on to another room and come back. This is why you started early – just don’t let it prevent you from eventually getting the job done. Ask yourself, how does the item make you feel? If it brings up any negative feelings, let it go. If it brings happiness of course it stays! The idea here is to only be surrounded by things you absolutely love!

Yard sale
Grandparent & Grandchildren

Tip #9: Use This As a Chance to Bond

Invite the kids and grandkids over for the weekend. Talk to the young ones about where you bought your favorite trinkets. Tell them about your family’s heirlooms. Let them help pack, ask questions, and spend time with you. Get help posting items for sale online. It can be one more moment your family shares together in the house you’ve loved – before you start making those memories together in your next home. Remember that it’s your family that’s important for the memories you cherish, not the stuff around you.

Tip #10: Streamline Moving Day

Create a timeline for when the moving company arrives and make sure everyone who needs keys to the different properties has them. Be sure any property or facility managers expect your arrival. Pack a bag or box of immediate essentials to unpack first. Move furniture and appliances before progressing to smaller boxes.

Nancy Hofmann, REALTOR®

Experience to get you home.

Sell Your Home

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Nancy Hofmann with Barbara & George
For Nancy Hofmann, an experienced agent on the Baltimore scene, it’s not enough to simply meet her clients’ expectations—she makes it her mission to exceed them.

As a top-producing Senior Real Estate Specialist® with more than three decades of experience and stellar credentials, Nancy believes that downsizing doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

The first step to unlocking that coveted stress-free downsizing experience? Choosing a well-established, trusted real estate agent like Nancy. As a Towson native, she specializes in helping clients navigate the fast-paced Baltimore County real estate market, pairing unrivaled local knowledge with the expertise your needs demand. She simplifies the downsizing process into bite-size pieces that take the unpredictability of your move into manageable, digestible steps. In getting your home ready for the market, Nancy designs a tailored strategy based on real-time data to help position every home in its best light.

The bottom line? When it comes time to make a move or just hoping to stay current on the latest industry trends, Nancy has the kind of knowledge you want by your side. Connect with her for a free, no-pressure consultation today!

Contact me if you are thinking of making a move.

Nancy Hofmann, REALTOR®

Nancy Hofmann, REALTOR®

Certified Residential Specialist
Senior Real Estate Specialist®

Agent License: #22727
410-459-4445 mobile
410-886-7342 office

Nancy Hofmann - The Hofmann Home Team
Equal Housing Opportunity | REALTOR®

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