Sunday, August 2, 2015

Is it time to downsize? By Carrie Colby

Are you living in this big house of which you only use a few rooms in a year (e.g. kitchen, living room, main bedroom and en-suite bathroom)? You more than likely haven’t set foot in any of the other rooms for months! Would moving to a smaller place be an option? Based on the latest data, it’s estimated that a person moves about 12 times in their lifetime. As you reach the mature stage in life (earlier for some than others), you will be looking at downsizing from your current living condition; whether it be for financial reasons, the children having moved out of the house, divorce, partner passing away, or just plain practical convenience of having to run a huge house for one or two people! 

Perhaps now would be a good time to think about downsizing! 

Where does one even start? There are so many closets and cupboards filled with stuff. Don’t even mention what’s been accumulated over the years/decades in the garage, basement and attic! Which stuff stays, goes, and comes with? Here are a number of tips which one needs to consider about downsizing before actually starting with all the moving! Going from a full-blown house with plenty of bedrooms and living areas to a one or two bedroom place does need some preparation!

Start by walking through your present home and analyzing how each room is currently being used. How long since you have last been there? Would you miss not having that room anymore? What if you could combine a number of the rooms into one new setup?

Go through your home, every cabinet, shelf and closet should be cleared. We tend to hang on to things that are either going to be used or taken care of one day, or things that have served their purpose and are being kept aside for that special day in the future when we’ll finally get around to using it again. There are several ways to get rid of the items to make the move to a smaller living space.

SELL IT: If you can bear to part with the attic full of childhood memories, clothes that no longer fit (and let’s face it, probably won’t fit again), the treadmill that hasn’t been touched in years or the shelves of unread books, list the items on auction or classified sites. The money you earn can be put towards moving costs or storage solutions for a smaller house. If you have time, but you don’t have a lot of large or valuable items, yard sales, Craigslist, and ebay are great places to sell your stuff. You will need to start several months in advance of your move to make sure you have time for the sales process.

DONATE IT: What you may no longer need, it’s almost guaranteed that someone else does. Plus, the donations can be used as a tax write off. There are several non-profits that will come and pick up your items. Several local charities specialize in supporting the needy, whether it entails selling the donations and using the funds, or getting the items directly to the people in need. 

STORE IT: For some, it’s just not going to happen. The idea of letting go of anything is just too much to bear. Some might want to store items for posterity. Storage units, commercial and private, are available in most areas. From climate controlled, secure units to vacant garages rented by property owners, there is a storage unit that is right for your situation. It is very tempting to get a larger storage facility than you actually need. Don’t forget: The more storage space you have available, the more likely you are going to amass stuff and store it there!

The old adage “home is where the heart is” has never been more true. For many, it doesn’t matter the square footage of the home, but just that the home is filled with love. Old memories can be brought along in the form of pictures and videos, but ultimately, new memories will be made.

Carrie Colby
Premier Properties
1263 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond, ME 04071
Fax 866-379-9252
Cell 207-232-5497

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