Tips for downsizing your home

Beginning the Process of Downsizing in Seattle, Washington

If you know that your long-term goal is to sell your home and downsize into something smaller in Seattle, WA, it’s best to start early. The process is more jarring if you quickly move from a big home to a small one, since you may unreflectively ditch items that you later wish you still had. Here’s a path to a successful, comfortable downsizing experience.

Begin Winnowing Furniture Early

The easiest pieces to get rid of, when it comes to furniture, are pieces you already don’t want to own or do not use. Start with any unfinished areas of your home like garages, basements, or attics: are there pieces of furniture you’ve not used in a long time? Can you get rid of them? Start removing items and selling or donating them from the rest of your home too. If some items, like bookcases and trunks, are also storage, consider whether the items inside the storage vessel can also go – we often can live on much less if we give ourselves time to adapt.

Start Noticing Where You Spend Most of Your Time

Another concept is to notice your own foot paths through your home. If you have four bedrooms, do you only visit one or two every day? Same with common spaces – if you have a den and a living room but end up sitting on a stool in the kitchen, that’s noteworthy. Start charting how much space you’d have if you only had the square footage you actually use. This helps you start planning for your next place.

Shop For a Smaller Home With Access to Outdoor/Public Areas

While you can also adapt to a small space without access to public and outdoor areas, consider whether you’d enjoy your new, smaller home better if you also had new places to go. Foot-travel friendly communities like beachfront roads can be a nice way to forget that you are living in a smaller place, since your “backyard” has gotten so much larger. Even walkable restaurants, coffee shops, or small pocket parks are enough to create the feeling of spaciousness. Some apartment buildings and condo buildings also have on-site communal spaces like gyms or pools, so those spaces can factor into your choice as well.

Any Remaining Extras? Opt for a Sale!

Right before you go, consider having a yard sale or garage sale. This will put you in the mindset to downsize, but it can also generate a little cash to spend on one or two exciting new touches for the new place. By commemorating the move, you can find reasons to be excited about the smaller space. In practice, less space to clean and declutter is also a way to free up time for all the things you really enjoy. The more you get rid of before you move, however, the better the process will go – it’s no fun to drag a large sofa up a bunch of stairs just to realize that there’s no where appropriate for it to go.

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