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  • Writer's pictureCameron H. Thomas

How to Avoid Mistakes and Make Downsizing Your Home a Breeze

by Shirley Martin

Putting together a strategy to downsize your home is a solid first step in this process. There are many immediate benefits to downsizing, but proper organization is a must. Without preparation, you can run into avoidable bumps on your journey. Here are a few downsizing mistakes to avoid.

Getting Rid of Too Much

When downsizing your property, you’ll also have to downsize your possessions. Of course, it isn't always easy to decide what is needed, what is loved, and what you can let go. To begin, focus on your wardrobe, and then branch out. One common mistake is getting rid of too much, either out of fear it won’t all fit or to make moving day easier. However, you can try self-storage for a few months to see how your new house feels and to transport fewer things at once.

Not Sticking to Schedule

Another common problem is a lack of time management, which can lead to chaos the week before the move. To stay on track, you not only need to create a schedule, but you must also stick to it. With that in mind, write everything down in a planner to see when your goals must be accomplished. Even then, it's best to factor in your day-to-day activities to determine if you have enough time to make your daily — and overall — moving goals. For a little extra help, consider downloading an app designed to give you reminders. Features will vary, as some have alarms to track deadlines, while others will let you sync between devices. No matter which method you use, keeping track of your schedule is vital to success.

Not Doing Enough Research

Unfortunately, many people fail to properly research a neighborhood before they move. In particular, a home may not feel welcoming without amenities, green spaces, or shops within walking distance. Likewise, you’ll want to look online to see how secure the area is, or even limit yourself to the nation’s safest cities. As you do so, don't overlook individual statistics, such as violent crimes, break-ins, and property damage, to gauge the safety of certain communities. After all, downsizing should be about finding a more peaceful home, not a stressful one.

Giving Yourself Only a Week

So, you’ve made a timetable to declutter and pack, but you want to get it done in a week. Unfortunately, such a short window could ultimately lead to mistakes, such as giving away more than intended or just not finishing the project. Instead, start a month or two in advance, and schedule one big weekend decluttering effort. While it's unlikely the whole house will be decluttered, it can give you an idea of what has to happen. Then, you’ll need at least one week to pack, as it may take six working days to sort and box everything. That’s about 48 hours, so you’ll probably have to factor that over the entirety of a month.

Going Smaller but More Expensive

One positive of downsizing is taking the profit you make from selling up and buying a home outright. However, if you don’t take local costs into account, you could move to an area that turns out to be more expensive. Given that, before assuming that a small home means cheap, talk to a dedicated and skilled agent from GTRSALES to help you find the perfect property in your price range (Omaha homes have a median sale price of $214,000). After all, there is nothing worse than falling in love with something that isn't affordable.

Another thing to consider is whether your new home will need any expensive modifications or repairs. For example, if you need to modify your kitchen for accessibility, a remodel averages around $22,000. And if you need to remove a tree that’s too close to your home, this work averages between $400 and $2,000 depending on the size of the tree. So you’ll need to include the cost of any necessary work in your home-buying budget.

Downsizing not only provides simplicity, but it can also save us money and effort. However, to ensure we don’t cause ourselves any undue stress, we need to prep smartly. With the right planning, you can have a smooth downsizing experience.

When you’re ready to start looking for your new dream home in the Metro Omaha area, contact GTRSALES by visiting their website or calling 402.991.0300!

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