7 Tips for Successful Downsizing

David Deem

While moving is an exciting time, downsizing your home—especially if you've lived in it for a long time—can be stressful and frustrating. How can you slash your belongings to fit in your new space?

Rita Wilkins, "The Downsizing Designer," has decades of experience in helping empty nesters feel lighter, freer and happier. Below, Wilkins offers her top seven steps.

Remove. It's cathartic to start letting go of some of the things you've been holding onto. Pairing down before you downsize will help you have fewer boxes and less stuff to worry about when you move.

Redecorate. Make rooms work for your new lifestyle. Moving furniture around can give you a new perspective. Buy a new sofa or repaint; refreshing your rooms will lighten your spirits.

Repurpose. Your life has new priorities, so how do you want to make use of the extra space now that the kids are gone? This is your chance to turn that extra bedroom into a home office, guest room, gym or sanctuary.

Rethink. Now that you have fewer day-to-day responsibilities, it's all about you. Maximize your lifestyle by recommitting your time, money and resources to what matters most now.

Reimagine. Begin thinking about your next home and whether you would be happiest in a smaller home, a cottage, an apartment or an age-friendly community. It's never too early to start looking for a smaller home that will mesh with the new lifestyle you’re creating. Once you have clarity about what you want or don't want, it will be easier to make a decision when the right house comes along.

Reevaluate. Spend some time considering whether living in a big house in the suburbs still makes sense financially, physically and emotionally.

Reinvent. Now that you have more time on your hands, use some of it to reinvent yourself. Put your energy into cooking, pursuing new hobbies, exercising more or any new passion you can think of.

Source: Rita Wilkins
DRE: #01266522


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