Have you ever thought about downsizing your home? My husband and I recently made that choice, and it has had an amazing impact on our daily lives. We used to believe that having a large home was the ultimate goal, but we discovered that size doesn’t always guarantee a better quality of life. I am sharing a few of the details on how we downsized from a house to a condo.
About a year ago, we moved from South Carolina to Florida and have come to love our new location. However, we found ourselves missing out on the many things that Florida has to offer. My husband, Derek, spent several hours commuting to and from work each day, leaving little time for fun. On weekends, he was exhausted from yard work, which can be especially challenging in the intense Florida heat of the summer. We knew something needed to change.
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We had to downsize from a 4-bedroom, 3-car garage house to a 2-bedroom, no-car garage condo. This experience challenged my organizational skills, but my dislike for clutter made it easier. We have written many blog posts on decluttering your home, and a great resource to start with is “10 Everyday Things to Declutter from Your Home.”
Where should you start?
When downsizing, consider which furniture you’d like to bring with you. It’s likely that you’ll need to part with some of your current furniture. Additionally, some pieces may be too large for your new space.
Consider your options for what to do with your furniture – sell it, donate it, or give it to friends or family. In our case, we chose to donate most of our furniture to The Salvation Army. There are many organizations that will collect your donations, and you’ll be contributing to a worthy cause. Keep in mind to obtain a receipt as a part of your donation may be tax-deductible.
Tip: To keep track of your donations, it's helpful to store receipts and photos of the items in one convenient location, like a spreadsheet or folder.
This includes linen, storage, and holiday closets. Anywhere that you are “stashing” stuff. This is the time to go through and decide if these are things that you will be able to use or fit in your new place.
I realized that I had been holding onto an excessive number of towels and sheets, which wouldn’t be necessary for our new condo with fewer guest bedrooms. Additionally, I had accumulated an excessive number of pillows. This was a perfect opportunity to declutter and minimize my collection.
We had two Christmas trees that we put up and decorated every year. Plus, many totes that were filled with decorations. We ended up getting rid of both of our trees; the one that was the newest would be too tall for our new place. I went through our decorations and downsized decoration that I didn’t think I would use in our new place. Derek was able to get rid of all our outdoor decorations since we will no longer have a yard to decorate.
Get rid of your duplicate items! How many spatulas does one person need? It still amazes me how fast we can accumulate items.
Go through your storage containers. Do you need more than one set of food storage containers? Mixing bowls, one set should work fine. You get the picture.
We had a bunch of small appliances lying around that we hadn’t used in ages, so we decided it was time to part ways with them. We didn’t want to lug them around during our next move. Additionally, we combined some of our appliances, which I’ll go into further detail about in another post. Specifically, we bid farewell to our bulky air fryer and welcomed a new microwave that boasts a plethora of impressive functions. It can air fry, microwave, convection bake, and even do a combination.
The most important tip – It's best not to try to tackle everything all at once. Instead, create a list and work on a little bit each day. Consider making small trips to Goodwill to get rid of items. If you wait until the last minute, it's likely that you'll become overwhelmed and shut down and do nothing.
Pros of Downsizing
When we first talked about downsizing, we were worried that we wouldn’t have enough room. But then we thought about it more and realized that we hardly ever use most of the rooms in our house. We found that we spend most of our time in the kitchen, family room, bedroom, and patio. So, we don’t really need all that extra space after all!
- Less stuff! – This has probably been the most freeing thing. When you start going through everything, you soon realize that you don’t need all those things that you are holding onto.
- Less Maintenance – Derek wouldn’t have to spend hours in the yard. He also wouldn’t have to risk his life putting up hurricane shutters during the next hurricane.
- On-Site Amenities – We have so many amenities at our fingertips now, boat docks, a pool, a clubhouse, a fitness center, tennis courts, pickleball court. The bonus: we don’t have to personally maintain any of them!
- Walkability – Living so close to water makes it so much more accessible to restaurants, stores, and the beach. We can walk or ride a bike—no more hour drives to get there.
- Security – Many condominiums offer building security, and our facility is no exception. Knowing that you have an extra layer of protection can bring peace of mind, although it is important to remember that nothing can be guaranteed.
- Less Cleaning – This has to be the most important! Lol. With fewer square feet along with fewer bedrooms and bathrooms, it will cut down on the amount of time you spend cleaning.
There are many advantages to simplifying our lives. Quality is often more valuable than quantity. Have you already downsized or are you thinking about doing so? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.