Many homeowners decide to downsize to a smaller home at some point in their lives. It may be because you no longer need the size of home you currently have, you’re moving to be closer to family, and/or it will benefit you financially. Whatever your reason for downsizing, it comes with its benefits — as long as you prepare and do it the right way. To keep the process from becoming overwhelming, here are a few mistakes you should avoid as you downsize.

Going in Without a Plan 

One of the most common mistakes made by people downsizing is failing to plan. Downsizing is not something you do on a whim unless you want it to be extremely stressful. Don’t wait until a few days before your move date to start decluttering and packing your belongings, since as Budget Dumpster notes, it can take some time to do it right. It’s best to allow yourself at least a month to sort through your items, decide what to do with them, and pack for the new home. That way, you can go through room by room, reflect on the sentimental items, and feel less pressure to rush the process.

Making Yourself Give Up Sentimental Items

While sorting through your belongings, you’ll likely come across sentimental items. This can be an emotional part of the process, especially if you plan on only taking a few things with you to the new home. You may not be able to keep all of your sentimentals, but it’s a mistake to force yourself to part with anything before you’re ready. If there are any items that you’re not ready to get rid of, and you know they won’t fit in the new home, you can put them in self-storage for the time being. That way, the items will be safe until you decide what to do with them. 

Not Actually Downsizing Your Belongings

Another common mistake to avoid is holding onto too many things. While you don’t want to force yourself to get rid of items before you’re ready, PopSugar points out that you also need to draw a line. Taking too much stuff to the new home will crowd your space and keep you from enjoying one of the most appealing aspects of downsizing — simplicity.

Rushing New Purchases

It’s also important not to buy a bunch of new items before you know how much space you will have in the new home. As soon as they decide to downsize, many people get inspired and purchase a lot of storage bins, furniture, and other things before they know what they need. However, it’s best to figure out what you need first to avoid getting stuff you won’t or can’t use.

Not Doing the Math

Finally, don’t make the mistake of assuming you will be saving money by downsizing without considering all the costs. This includes long-term upkeep and potential renovations to your new home. Factoring in all the costs can help prevent your new home from becoming a financial burden.

These mistakes also occur when you’re making improvements to your old home — that is, if you’re looking to increase its value and earn more money when selling it. For instance, you’ll need to set aside some money for the expense of landscaping, since buyers are likely to look at your home’s exterior first. Additionally, don’t cut corners by going for the lowest price; this could end up costing you more in the long run. Do your homework by checking out sites like Angi.com that offer write-ups from customers who’ve used one of the more than 200 top landscape companies in Dallas. Once you have a company in mind, give them a call and see what arrangements need to be made.

Coming at the downsizing process with the right approach can help keep it from being overly stressful. Be sure to come up with a plan, and start sorting and packing your belongings early on. Put sentimental items you’re not ready to part with in storage, but don’t keep too many items. Lastly, wait until you know what you need before you buy lots of new stuff, and make sure you’ve considered all the costs before moving. 

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