If you're getting ready to retire, you may be thinking about downsizing. Once you have reached your golden years, it usually makes sense to move into a smaller, more efficient condo. While downsizing may seem impossible, these six tips will help you reach your goal.
1. The Six-Month Rule
If you're finding it hard to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of, stick to the six-month rule - if you haven't used an item within half of a year, you probably don't need it. Seasonal items aren't used as much, but if you haven't used them within a year or two, it's safe to get rid of them.
2. Measure Twice
Measure your furniture, your current room sizes and your future room sizes. After you've done that, do it again. Nothing's worse than wrestling with your heavy sofa for hours on end to find out that it won't fit in your new living room after all.
3. Pre-Arrange Big Items
Once you know where your new home is going to be, get the floor plan or draw one up yourself. Use measurements from your furniture and other big items to figure out where you're going to put things, or if it is wise to throw out.
4. Get With The Times
While you might want to keep your all-time favorite books as a paperback or movies on DVD, you can obtain most of your reading material on an e-book reader and most of your movies online. You can even transfer the files onto flash drives.
5. Multiples Multiply Headaches
If you have more than one of the same item, consider getting rid of the multiples. You'll probably find that your kitchen is the biggest culprit as far as multiples go. Don't be a hoarder, just throw out. Refer back to the Six-Month Rule if you must.
6. Use Your Resources
If you're moving to a neighborhood with a great library, plan to use it instead of bringing all of your books and movies with you. If you're going to have a gym in the neighborhood and can afford a membership, it may be time to give away your home gym equipment.
Don't forget that your real estate agent can be an invaluable resource when downsizing, so be sure to get in touch with them before you make the jump.