My shopping cart
Your cart is currently empty.Continue Shopping
Our last article included 11 Tips to help you get started with the Home Downsizing process. Whereas that article focused more upon how you can "Get Started", this article takes you to the next step and provides you with 16 tips and strategies designed to "Keep You Moving Forward" after you have started the Home Downsizing process.
• Know Values Before You Begin Dumping. "Do Not", I repeat, "Do Not", begin dumping anything before having someone look at it for potential value. All too often things that you perceive as having value turn out to be valueless, while things that you perceive to have little value end up having considerable worth.
• Have a Professional Help You With Values: Before tossing anything out you would be wise to hire someone who is knowledgeable in Personal Property values to provide you with valuations prior to beginning the dumping process. A Professional In-Home Personal Property Walk-Through Valuation is usually a good place to start for most individuals. A USPAP Appraisal will be more precise and detailed, but will cost significantly more because of the time involved in its preparation. The up-front cost of either should seem quite reasonable when compared to the potential loss if you throw the wrong things away.
• What You Paid Has No Bearing On Today's Value: We'll cover this concept in greater depth in a later article, but at this point you must understand that what you paid for something has absolutely no bearing...none...on what it will bring in today's market.
• Start Early In The Process: Whatever you do, don't wait until the last minute to get started. Start early, work in smaller blocks of time, and the job will go much easier.
• Start With A Small Room: Start by selecting a small room to begin with. Once that smaller room has been successfully completed, it will be easier to move on to a more complex room.
• Start With A Room That Has Less Sentimental Attachment: A bathroom, closet, or kitchen may be a good place to start. The most important thing is to start somewhere, and then build momentum towards larger projects.
• Start With Larger Objects: It's often easier to start by eliminating larger items, such as furniture. The logic here is that you can begin to feel as if you are making progress after only making a few decisions.
• Start With A Portion Of The House That You Don't Currently Use Much: A grown child's empty bedroom is often a good place to start.
• Start With Personal Papers and Family Photographs: This won't gain you that much space, but it can be fun, and is a logical step in starting the downsizing process.
• Work In Limited Blocks Of Time: The process can be very tiring and emotionally draining. Limit yourself to only a few hours at a time, at least in the beginning. Then, if you are feeling up to it, you can work in extended periods of time.
• Stick With A Specific Project Until Done: Once started, do your best to complete a specific project, especially smaller projects. For example, if your start cleaning out a closet, finish that project before moving on to another project. However, recognize that larger projects, such as a basement or attic, will most likely not be completed in a single session.
• Anticipate The Weather: Plan ahead, keeping the weather in mind. You don't want to work in the attic on a scorching July day, and you don't want to be working in the garage or outbuildings in sub-freezing weather. Use the weather to your advantage.
• Give Yourself Ample Lighting: Little will get done if you can't see what you are doing. If the room you are working in isn't bright enough, bring in some temporary lighting to brighten up the workspace.
• Give Yourself Ample Workspace: You can't sort much into piles or sorting categories on a single, rickety folding card table. Try to provide yourself with one or more solid 3' x 8' folding tables. Today's tables have light, plastic tops and are much easier to move by yourself than the heavy wooden tables of previous years.
• Use Heavy Duty Plastic Bags For Dumping: It doesn't matter whether you buy them at the supermarket, home improvement store, or dollar store, be sure that you use heavy duty plastic bags for packing old clothes and linens, or dumping unwanted smalls into the weekly trash. Nothing is more frustrating than having a lighter-duty plastic bag break after you have spent considerable time packing it.
• Homes With More Space Can Sell Better: Selling off your Personal Property can make you even more money when you sell your current home. Clutter tends to make a house look small. By downsizing before you put your house on the market, you can make your house look even bigger than it really is, thereby increasing its salability. We know of one situation where the Real Estate agent felt that a house brought $30,000-$40,000 more than it would have brought had the home downsizing not occurred.