Top Tips for Downsizing Your Home

Now that the kids have grown up and are out of the house, it doesn’t make as much sense to keep that big family home. Downsizing to a smaller place can free up money, reduce maintenance, and be a fresh start for this new stage of life. But figuring out what to keep, what to toss, and how to actually execute the move can feel overwhelming. These tips will help make downsizing your home an organized and (mostly) stress-free process.

Benefits of Going Smaller

It’s easy to get attached to your longtime residence. Nevertheless, downsizing comes with some major upsides to consider:

  • Lower mortgage/rent, utility bills, taxes.
  • Less area to clean and maintain.
  • Potential to live closer to amenities.
  • Extra cash from selling a large home.
  • Simplified living with fewer possessions.
  • A “rightsized” place better suited for your needs.

Embracing the perks will help motivate you for the actual downsizing work ahead.

Start Early

Give yourself a minimum of 6 months before your target move date to prepare. Beginning early allows time to go room-by-room and sort belongings into “keep,” “donate/sell,” and “discard” piles. Don’t tackle it all at once.

Involve the Family

Downsizing doesn’t just impact you, so include your kids and grandkids in the process from the get-go. They may want certain sentimental or heirloom items. Decide together what to do with larger possessions like furniture and appliances. Having their support makes things easier.

Consider Temporary Storage

If you’ll be between homes for a period, look into renting a temporary storage unit to house belongings until your new place is ready. That way, you don’t have to get rid of everything all at once.

Explore Housing Options

Start researching potential new living situations that fit your downsized lifestyle and budget. Maybe that’s a condo, townhome, apartment or even a tiny home community. The people at Jamestown Estate Homes recommend searching “home builder near me” to find reputable local contractors if you like the idea of building new.

Factor Accessibility

As you get older, look for accessibility features that will serve you well in the long term like step-free entries, wide doorways and hallways, easy bathroom access, and low-maintenance landscaping.

Host a Sale

Once you’ve decluttered, hold a garage or estate sale to earn cash from unwanted items in good shape. You can also sell valuable pieces through consignment shops, apps like Craigslist, or online marketplaces. Donate anything left over.

Start Fresh

When moving day arrives, approach it as a fresh start. Only bring those items that have meaning and utility into your new downsized dwelling. Leave extra space and avoid accumulating clutter again.

Embrace the Upside

While purging possessions is tough, focus on the freedom of simplified living. With less space and stuff to tie you down, you can spend time on what really matters: hobbies, travel, volunteering. The possibilities are endless.

Set Emotional Boundaries

While excitement for this new chapter is good, downsizing can also stir up bittersweet memories and emotions. After all, you’re leaving behind the place that housed so many milestone moments and decades of family life. Give yourself permission to reminisce, but also create closure rituals, like taking photos of each room or walking through one last time. Reach out to close friends who can provide support and encouragement. Recognizing the feelings as natural, yet focusing on the future, will help the process feel more positive than painful.


Downsizing may seem daunting at first but breaking it down into stages makes it totally manageable. Your future, lighter-living self will be glad you did the work upfront. Pretty soon, making that transition to a gorgeous, right-sized dream home will feel like the fresh start it truly is.

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