When you hear the word “downsizing” you automatically think of companies laying off people and generally bad things. But downsizing isn’t always bad. It can be the best thing you can do for yourself if you are downsizing from a huge house to a smaller, less upkeep home. Many times as people grow older, they find that the huge three or four bedroom house is just too much for them to take care of anymore. The kids have grown and gone and they just don’t need that much space. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t have the physical stamina to do all the upkeep, cleaning and maintenance that we once did. Just keeping the grass cut can end up being a huge chore. So downsizing makes perfect sense.

However, before you actually put your house on the market, you need to come up with a plan as to what you really want to do. Do you want to buy a smaller house with a smaller yard or would you rather move into a completely maintenance free condo? You should give this considerable thought. Yes, there are some advantages to living in such a condo, but you generally have no yard for planting flowers or for grandkids to visit and play on. And your neighbors are very close. So consider your family in your plans. How often do they visit? Will you have room for them to stay a few days during the holidays?

After you’ve decided which one you want, house or condo, then you need to put your house on the market and start looking immediately for a new place. You never know how fast a home will sell, so you need to be prepared if your house sells fast. And it could. Some sellers like to put a clause in their sales contract as to the date their home would be available to new owners. This gives you some extra time to get packed and out after the sale. But you should begin looking as soon as you list your home.

Another part of the plan will be deciding what to do with all that extra furniture and accessories. A great way to do this is to have a special day picked and invite your children to come and pick out any of the furniture you don’t plan on taking. If you planned on leaving one of them a special piece of furniture after you die, then go ahead and give it to them now. If you still have a lot of furniture left that you don’t need, then have a moving sale. If you price it reasonable, you will not have any trouble selling it. But remember, just because it was special to you doesn’t mean anything to a stranger. It’s just a piece of furniture, so price it accordingly.

After the furniture is out of the way, you’re left with the personal momentos and possessions. Family photos and keepsakes are the hardest things to part with. Again, let your kids choose some of these for their own homes. Photos can be sorted and put into albums. Make albums for each child, including report cards, awards they received, and photos. You can also scan photographs and copy them to CDs. We did this with my mother’s photographs after she died, then gave the original back to the person who had given it to her.

Clothes, shoes, and clothing accessories are the last thing you need to sort through. These are very easy to dispose of. You can include them in the moving sale, or simply donate them to Goodwill.

While the accessories are nothing too much to get rid of, just make sure that you sell them at a good price based on how old they are but donating it to Goodwill would be a better option. Off topic, people always ask for which is the best Makita impact driver? It is because they want to know about the best manufacturers in town.

So you see, downsizing can be a good thing. It can make life simpler and easier. Just make yourself a plan and follow it through and in no time at all, you’ll find yourself with much more time to just enjoy life.