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Getting ready to downsize to a new home

August 4, 2011
 
A recent article published in The Washington Times provides advice for homeowners who are looking to downsize to a new home. One of the most difficult factors of buying a home that is smaller than the previous one is that people are often forced to get rid of a number of their possessions, sometimes a large percentage of them.
 
An article published in REALTOR Magazine noted that the size of the average home in the United States dropped more than 11 percent in 2008 alone, the fastest rate since the 1970s, as many home buyers looked for smaller properties.
 
Planning ahead for the move
 
The president of Solutions by Scott, Scott Roewer, told The Washington Times that many people wait until they have signed a contract for a new home or even until they arrive at their new home to begin sorting through their belongings, which he thinks is a mistake.
 
"People don't realize that they can start downsizing earlier. Editing some of your stuff before looking for a new home can help you figure out what to buy. It's important to plan six weeks to two or three months in advance of a move, to think about how you want to use your new space and how your furniture will work there," Roewer said.
 
Where to begin
 
Roewer suggested to The Washington Times that people begin cataloging their items in rooms like the attic, basement, storage closets and the garage. People often keep items in places like these that they have forgotten about, and may not have a use for in their new home. Roewer recommends involving the whole family in the process, to avoid getting rid of something that may be cherished by another family member.
 
Once a family has a collection of items to get rid of, they'll need to figure out how to do so responsibly. Nancy Ilene Quinlan, owner of Must Get Organized, told The Washington Times, "County websites have information about how to recycle items, and consumers can also decide whether they want to take the time to sell possessions or donate them … 
 
Clients can also sell items on eBay and Craigslist, but they need to be aware of the potential complication of shipping or having things picked up. A consignment store is another option."
 
Organizing a new downsized home
 
Properly organizing a new home that's smaller than the previous one is also essential to maximizing the available space, The Washington Times states. Quinlan recommends making use of vertical space, such as hanging items from ceilings and the backs of doors, and utilizing the space underneath beds and other furniture for storage.
 

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