It seems these days everyone is getting on the “small living” bandwagon. Whether you are downsizing simply to cut down on clutter and have less maintenance, you have an empty nest and are ready for your next chapter, or you are planning on a complete lifestyle reconfiguration, envisioning what you want your next step to look like plus determining what you will need can be more than daunting. My 7-point checklist can help you get started and at any point, I am just a phone call away:
- Think about what this change means for the change in your lifestyle. If you aren’t going to be working anymore, do you really need your closet full of work clothes? If you aren’t as young and spry as you used to be, can you get rid of your rock-climbing equipment? Do you need to buy a Costco-sized pack of toilet paper if it is just you and your spouse? These things all take up space. Start by first taking inventory of the space you will no longer need.
- Consider what this change means for needing additionalspace or materials.If you are taking up painting, quilting, or woodworking, how will that affect your space needs?
- Think about your future floorplan.You need a master bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room/public area, but do you need one spare bedroom? Two? Do you really need an office?
- Think about what this change means in terms of furniture.Do you have a pool table or rec room furniture you won’t need? How about the full-sized dining room table? Once you have determined your floorplan needs, this will help you start to eliminate furniture. For example, if you have determined you will no longer need an office, then you can start downsizing the items in the filing cabinet and eventually, the file cabinet itself.
- Be brutal in assessing your kitchen accessories.This can be a tough one, but it is important that you really ascertain your needs in this area. How many sets of dishes do you need? How many coffee mugs? People usually have a lot more pots and pans than they need too. How about spices? Kitchen gadgets? Knives? Can you reconfigure the way you shop to not need as much pantry or freezer space?
- Can you make your furniture do double-duty?Instead of a bedroom with a dresser, how about a captain’s bed with drawers underneath? How about an ottoman with a lid that allows you to stash extra blankets and pillows? There are so many smart storage solutions available that could save you valuable square footage.
- Does it bring you happiness?Finally, everyone is talking about the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upby Marie Kondo which suggests that if a particular item no longer brings you joy, you can let it go! I have found this principle to be helpful as often we have the items we have out of guilt. Let go of the guilt and you may be surprised at the amount of space you suddenly find you have available!
Don’t let the thought of downsizing keep you from moving forward. It can actually be fun once you put your mind to it! I look forward to helping you with your next step.