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Downsizing Tips: Simplify for Living in a Townhouse

You’ve decided to downsize your living space. Maybe you’re retiring and moving into an age-restricted community. Or you’ve decided to sacrifice sprawling space for a more central location. Or you no longer want the hassle of keeping up a huge yard, so you want to make a change. Whatever your reason, if you’re going to be living in a townhouse, these tips for downsizing can help smooth your transition.

For apartment dwellers, moving into a townhome may be a chance to gain more space. Others, may see the transition to a townhouse as a welcome opportunity to declutter and start fresh. Either way, the new townhome resident can expect to enjoy several benefits:

  • Central location
  • Access to community amenities
  • Low maintenance requirements
  • Cost savings
  • Security gains
  • Sustainability benefits

Those sustainability benefits often come from being in a prime location and a more compact footprint. But, in moving to a smaller, more manageable space, you may need to downsize your belongings. These strategies can help you through the process.

#1 Evaluate your priorities

Making a plan before you even begin packing can help you to make smart choices as you downsize. Consider your priorities for your new space. Ask yourself what lifestyle you imagine for your new home. For example, if your kids have grown, you probably don’t need to bring all their belongings with you to your new home.

#2 Take stock

By reviewing what you have before you start packing, you may find things you didn’t even remember you had. If that’s the case, you may want to put those forgotten possessions on the top of your declutter list. You’ve lived without out them how long already? If you want to hold on to that item, at least you’ll have avoided buying it again for the new space.

Making a list of all your furniture, and its sizes, can help you be more objective in determining what should go. If you can’t picture where something you own will go in your new home, it may be time to leave that piece behind.

#3 Assess your furniture and appliances

Your new home may offer you a fresh start with new appliances. If not, you will want to measure what you have to determine if it will fit in your new home. You may prefer to sell your old appliances and use the profits to buy a more space-efficient appliance.

The same is true of your furniture. That bulky reclining chair you inherited from Dad may still be comfy, but you might want to consider donating it. Then, you can select multi-purpose, smaller furniture that better suits your new home.

#4 Purge

For some people this is a big relief. It feels so good to streamline. Others view the idea of purging with great unease. It can be useful to do this part in stages. You might set aside an area of your garage or a room of your house where you put the things you are thinking of purging. Then, see how well you survive without those items. If you don’t even miss those things over the next few weeks, that may help you feel better about letting them go.

Start small. You might go through your linen closets and evaluate the condition of your sheets and towels. Do the same in your clothing closets. If your lifestyle has changed, your size has changed, or you don’t wear something for any other reason, there’s no reason to take it with you. You can also probably clear out a few drawers of junk and bins full of obsolete tech and cords and cables you don’t use.

You can feel better about your purging if you try to sell items and make a profit. You might host a garage sale or use online marketplaces. Otherwise, you can usually find local community organizations that will happily accept your donations.

#5 Tackle one room at a time

Focusing your efforts on one area can help you reduce the risk of getting overwhelmed.  You might try the three-box method where you decide on whether something goes in a “Keep” box, “Get Rid Of” box, or a “Storage” box.

Before you put something in that storage box, though, consider whether you can digitize it instead to really save on space. If it is something with sentimental value, you might want to take a picture instead and write a description of why it matters to you. You could also turn it into something useful in another way (like a quilt made of fabric from old kid clothes).

#6 Start early

If you leave your downsizing and decluttering to the last minute, you’ll likely take more with you than you need. When you’re feeling time pressure, you’re much less likely to be discriminating about what you really want in your new home.

Think about what you most look forward to about living in a townhouse. If it’s navigating cluttered rooms and feeling like you have more stuff than shelves or storage, ignore what we’ve written. Otherwise, taking a strategic approach to downsizing for you move can cut your stress levels and help you embrace a new lifestyle.

Saussy Burbank offers quality townhome living in several desirable neighborhoods in the Carolinas. Contact us to find out more today!

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