Downsize: How To Navigate a Move Into a Smaller Space

There are many reasons to acquire a smaller home — or to move to a smaller space. But the concept of “less is more” sometimes motivates homeowners to do so.

Downsizing is a terrific way to reduce expenses and responsibilities. It gives you and your family more time and money to enjoy. 

There are numerous reasons to downsize, regardless of age; however, how do you downsize, and where should you begin? Read on for our guide to moving into a smaller space and finding downsizing success.

Smaller home for downsizing


Downsizing usually refers to relocating to a smaller or less valuable home. It is most typically associated with retirees or those whose children have left the family home. Although the phrase ‘downsizing’ refers to relocating to a smaller home, it also refers to persons who relocate to a lower-valued home or apartment. This frees up equity in their existing residence.

When asked why they might desire to buy a smaller home, 69 percent of homeowners who have downsized in the past stated the main reason was to save money. However, the causes behind this can differ. Downsizing your home has several advantages. 

To begin with, if you’ve been in your existing house for a long time, its value has likely improved. You’re close to, if not totally, paying off your mortgage.

Buying a smaller, less expensive home will leave you with a lot of extra cash to spend on whatever you like. It also means you can pay cash for your new house. This provides you with more options, a shorter chain, and the possibility to live without a mortgage.

Downsizing to a smaller house means less maintenance, reduced bills, and more time to pursue your passions. It’s a cost-cutting and time-saving exercise.

If you’re downsizing later in life, it means you’ll be able to choose a home that will better meet your needs as you age. You can choose a property that can work for you instead of dealing with your stairs, limited accessibility, or a large garden that requires maintenance.

Smaller home

Making the Move When Moving to a Smaller Space

People downsize for various reasons, most of which are influenced by their financial or personal situations. If you’re thinking of downsizing, here are some strategies for a successful transition:

Measure Furniture and Appliances

When downsizing for a move, visualize your new house and evaluate which of your old belongings will fit in the available space and interior design. Take precise measurements of your new home or apartment’s rooms, doorways, hallways, and other features, and draw a floor plan. 

Then, using cardboard templates, measure your furniture, appliances, and other major components (use the same scale you used when drawing the rooms). Alternatively, you can make an exact 3D model of your future home and larger household objects using an online tool or a mobile app.

This will assist you in visualizing your plan while on-site. This will help you prevent any unpleasant surprises on your move-in day.

Have a Place for Everything

When relocating to a tiny space, every item counts. You must leave behind any items that are useless (or partially useful), worthless (and somewhat worthy), or not much liked.

Only bring items with high practical and sentimental value with you. But how do you know what to keep and what to toss? How can you effectively declutter and downsize your home?

Take your time going through all of your belongings, determining the value of each one, and deciding what to do with it. Begin with storage areas and out-of-the-way areas that tend to collect clutter.

Then go through the entire house, including the basement and attic, shed and garage, spare rooms and closets, cabinets and drawers, shelves and racks, and so on. 

If the decluttering process seems too overwhelming for you, you may want to utilize the duties of a professional organizer. He or she can help you through the process in a less stressful and more organized way.

Decluttering a house

Insure Valuables 

Although no one wants to think of their belongings being damaged by professional movers, it does happen. That’s why valuation is so important. It determines how much your moving company will reimburse you if your belongings are lost or damaged.

Valuation is always a good idea. But it’s especially crucial for downsizing because they tend to keep the most valuable items.

A normal basic valuation is 60 cents per pound. But it’s always a good idea to compare home insurance quotes and look into additional coverage alternatives. As a result, if your damaged devices weigh a few pounds or less, you’ll only be compensated a few dollars, even if they’re worth considerably more.

Call your homeowner’s insurance agent to determine what is covered under your current policy. And how much it would cost to insure everything you plan to take with you fully; then determine whether upgrading the valuation is worth it.

Find Ways To Save Space  

When you downsize, you don’t have as much room for the furnishings that used to fit in your previous home. Functionality is critical in a smaller home. For example, if an ottoman has built-in storage, it will be more practical than having two pieces of furniture – one for sitting or as a footrest, and the other for storage. If you’re looking for new furniture, consider compact pieces that make a small space feel more spacious.

Your new house may be smaller. But there are methods to make the most of the space you have. For example, organizing your closets and adding shelves to your walls. You could also buy multipurpose items that will help create more storage, like a spice rack in the kitchen or wall shelves to create more counter space.

Great storage idea when moving to a smaller space

Bring In Help if Needed

It can be difficult to buy and sell at the same time. Bring in some help if you believe any steps of the downsizing and relocating processes are above your ability or you don’t have the time. You may start by reaching out to your more organized friends and relatives, but try not to make it feel like they’re obligated. If they agree to help, be sure to express your gratitude.

Know your talents and weaknesses; if you’re an excellent organizer, you may only require assistance moving boxes on moving day. A professional organizer could be well worth your money if you’re having trouble obtaining and staying organized or letting go of belongings. 

Making a Smooth Move When Moving to a Smaller Space

You may be downsizing your house for a variety of reasons, including retirement, a minimalist lifestyle, conserving money, relocating to a new place, or dealing with an empty nest after your children have left for college. 

Whatever the cause, letting go of belongings and moving into a smaller area will have its share of difficulties. However, having the reason for your move in mind at all times helps make this life adjustment go a little smoother.

With a smart and efficient downsizing plan, you can create a pleasant and elegant living environment in your smaller house. You’ll need to make sure you’re financially prepared for the move and that you’re aware of how downsizing may affect your lifestyle.

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