Smaller Is Better: How to Downsize Your Home

how to downsize your home smaller house save money

Are you thinking about downsizing your home, but aren’t quite sure how to do it? Downsizing your home offers many benefits. 

It allows you to save money, lower your utility bills, decrease your stress levels, and much more. But, you need to make sure you downsize your home the right way. 

While downsizing is very beneficial, it’s also a process. Check out this guide to learn how to downsize your home. 

1. Do a Walkthrough of Your Home  

Before you settle on a new home, you first need to figure out how much space you’ll need. Doing a walkthrough of your current home can help you assess how many of your things you’re willing to part with and what size of a home is actually realistic for you.

Take a walk through your home room by room and evaluate each item one by one. With each item you come across, figure out whether you’ve used it in the past year. If so, how often did you use this item?

Be honest with yourself and determine whether or not you can live without it. If you think it’s something you can live without, set it to the side. 

But, don’t just toss all of the items you’re going to get rid of into one big pile. Instead, create stations for each item. You should have a giveaway station, a throwaway station, a donate station, a sell station, and a recycling station. 

Choose distinct corners of the room for each station. When you come across an item that meets one of these descriptions, toss it into the appropriate pile. 

Thinking about doing this for each item in your home can feel very overwhelming, which is why we suggest taking it room by room and item by item. But, once you’ve gotten rid of all of your unnecessary items, you’ll have a better picture of how big you need your new home to be. 

2. Evaluate Your Larger Items 

It can be difficult trying to figure out what to do with your larger items such as washing machines, dryers, and furniture. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to figure out what to do with your larger items:

  • Do I need/want a washer and dryer hookup at my new place?
  • If there is a hookup, are my current washing and drying machines nice enough to transport, or should I buy new ones?
  • Should I get rid of my fridge or shop for a home with one already installed?
  • Is it worth the money to move large appliances, or should I invest in new ones?
  • If you have a hobby (ie, sewing, painting, or woodworking), will the new space allow for your equipment and supplies?
  • Do you have larger sentimental items or gifts that you can’t live without?
  • Do you have large furniture items you’re not willing to part with?

These are tough questions to answer, so make sure you give each one of them some serious thought. Keep in mind that transporting large items can be really expensive, especially if you’re moving out of state. 

Therefore, you should really only move a large item if it has deep sentimental value or it’s irreplaceable. 

3. Measure All of Your Large Items 

If you do decide to keep some large items, make sure you measure them before you move to your new home. 

The last thing you want is to spend a bunch of money transporting a large item, only to find out that it won’t fit in your new home. Chairs, sofas, area rugs, pianos, kitchen appliances, pool tables, coffee tables, dining room sets, and other large items should all be measured before you start shopping for your new home. 

4. Digitize as Much as Possible 

Before you move into your new home, you also want to digitize as many things as possible. If you’re like most people, you likely have a giant filing cabinet filled with tax documents, real estate papers, certificates, and other important paperwork. 

You also likely have old videos, DVDs, CDs, and other items lying around. While all of these things are important, there’s no reason that you can’t digitize them before you move. 

Not only will digitizing help you downsize, but it’ll also help you organize your important documents and ensure that everything is in one safe place. 

5. Opt for Multifunctional Furniture 

The idea of fitting all of your belongings into a smaller home may seem impossible even after you’ve decluttered. But, if you opt for multifunctional furniture, the prospect of downsizing becomes a lot easier. 

Multifunctional furniture refers to items that serve a dual purpose. For example, instead of purchasing a regular couch for your new home, you can purchase a foldout couch that turns into a bed.

Or, you can buy a couch or ottoman that comes with built-in storage where you can keep your board games, blankets, or other important items. The main goal is to never waste vertical space, so when shopping for new furniture items, always look for pieces that serve more than one purpose. 

6. Maximize Your Vertical Space 

After you sell your house and move into your smaller home, the first thing you want to think about is maximizing your vertical space. 

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your vertical space:

  • Hang plastic file organizers alongside your kitchen cabinets
  • Use hanging spice racks to save on counter space
  • Stack as many items as you can (even large items like washers and dryers)
  • Use freestanding shelving and modular solutions

With these tips, you’ll have a lot more open space left in your home. 

How to Downsize: Are You Ready to Downsize Your Home? 

Now that you know how to downsize your home, it’s time to get started. Pretty soon, you’ll be happily living in your smaller space. 

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more house downsizing tips and tricks. Visit the Real Estate section of the Everything Entrepreneur Blog to learn more about home ownership and property investment.