I'm ready to downsize. I don't like this house my stuff won't fit.

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team

Recently I was taking a home buyer around to look at properties. She and her family are moving from another state where the homes have large basements. Her current home is nearly 4000 square feet (plus a basement) and she's looking at homes between 2000 - 3000 sqft. She knew she wanted to downsize, but had a really hard time with the room sizes. 

When we would find a home that would fit all of her needs, inevidably I heard, "I don't think my living room (or bedroom) furniture will fit in here." Respectfully I tried to remind her that she was losing half her living space. She was moving to Florida for a more simple life, part of that would mean letting go of "stuff". 

When you are ready to downsize, be prepared to let go of your stuff. 

I downsized when I moved to Florida too. My two oldest {adult} kids stayed in SC and we didn't need a 5 bedroom home anymore. we went from just over 3700 sqft down to about 2900 sqft. I'm ready to downsize again when my youngest graduates high school this year. While she'll probably still live with us, we can move to an area that isn't dependant on school district and when we do, I would like to get down to about 2100 sqft. 

live in a smaller home

What everyone, including myself when the time came, seems to forget is that downsizing means that the entire scale of the house shifts. Rooms throughout the home get smaller. Downsizing probably means getting rid of a lot of pieces, and maybe having to buy new furniture altogether. 

Unless you are building a custom home, then expect that you won't just lose the formal living room, but your family room will probably be smaller too. You may not need the sitting area in your master bedroom anymore, but when the bedroom gets smaller, the closet may get smaller as well. 

In general buying a home because of how your furniture will fit is always a tricky way of looking at things. If your furniture is part of your lifestyle then that makes sense, but usually it's easier to decide to buy new furniture for your new home than picking a home based on where the sofa will go. When you decide to downsize the situation only gets more difficult. 

If you are ready to shift your life, to give up the big house for a simpler life, it may just be time to give up the big furniture too. 

Posted by


 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comments (18)

Donny Carter
Carter & Roque Real Estate - Frostburg, MD
Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert

This is so true Melissa, many buyers begin shopping for a home based on how their furniture will fit in it. (whether downsizing or not) Sometimes it takes a gentle reminder that they "can change furniture easier than walls" to get them to look at the home with a different perspective. 

Feb 17, 2014 11:49 PM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Having the right attitude about downsizing can help sellers edit their furnishings when staging their homes, too.  It can help make the decision to lose the over-sized sectional, for example.

Feb 17, 2014 11:58 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Melissa- I love this!  When we're moving, even if we're not scaling down, it's not wise to sacrifice the house we want because we're hung up on the furniture we have.   It is so much easier to buy new furniture.  

Feb 18, 2014 11:21 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

I think downsizing and moving to a new home is an excellent time to purge all the old furniture and start fresh with all new furniture, that will fit the new home.  

Feb 19, 2014 04:49 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Feb 22, 2014 09:56 AM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee 423-677-6677

Down sizing is the hardest thing when showing property.  Such a tough call, trying to decide what to let go of.  BUT, it needs to happen.

Feb 22, 2014 09:18 PM
Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR

I had the same frustration with some buyers recently. The had GOG SIZED furniture and would not even think of buying different furniture. When you are spending 300k for a home why oes 5k in furniture matter?

Feb 22, 2014 09:35 PM
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

Melissa - great advice here.   And, less stuff will make the space look larger and vice versa if you have too much.  Often, it may be better and less expensive to leave your stuff behind and not pay for moving it. - Debbie

Feb 22, 2014 10:04 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Melissa, this is something good to think about when working with downsizing clients. I had one of those this past week. Good stuff.

Feb 22, 2014 10:09 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Downsizing is more than just a smaller house...a reality that some may find hard to adjust to!

Feb 22, 2014 10:23 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

How did I miss this post. I caught it on Kathy's list of "Ah-ha" moments and this post certainly qualifies! Downsizing is always interesting...many say they want to accomplish this but aren't ready to let go of all their stuff!! The two go hand in hand


Feb 22, 2014 10:43 PM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Sometimes buyers do things out of order. Mental preparation and actually getting paring back on belongings should precede the house-hunting!

Feb 22, 2014 11:41 PM
Beth and Richard Witt
New York, NY
The best Retired Brokers !!!!

Good tip for buyers looking to downsize... buy the house that fits the lifestyle you wish to live not your furniture... 

Feb 23, 2014 02:16 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Letting go of "stuff" is hard for many - it's as if we're defined by our possessions instead of the other way around.

Feb 23, 2014 03:19 AM
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

You make some very good points. Downsizing is a lot more than moving all of your stuff to a smaller home. 

Feb 23, 2014 09:29 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Very good idea for a post. Smaller means smaller for the furniture, too.

Feb 23, 2014 10:58 AM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Melissa, we are working with a couple now. They say they want to downsize but they don't want to give up big bedrooms and big closets. I don't think they really understand the meaning of downsizing

Feb 26, 2014 08:26 AM
Tina Parker
EXP Realty Canada Inc. - Halifax, NS
Managing Associate Broker

I downsized last year and had a great time getting rid of "stuff" that was cluttering my life.  I can breathe much better now in a smaller, simplified home. I hope your clients see the benefits of a smaller home.

Feb 27, 2014 01:26 AM