For parents whose children have grown up and moved out, owning a family-sized home may not be worth the money or maintenance effort any longer. If you are considering downsizing your home, or just relocating, there are some things you will need to get in order. This is particularly true if you plan on doing most, or all, of the work yourselves.
Downsize clutter. Most people have items laying around that they no longer use, but just haven’t parted with. Go through your belongings and move them into storage or consider donating them to a charity. You can alternatively sell items in the classifieds, at a flea market, or on an online auction. Store important items, such as extra cars that your children may not have taken to college, unique furniture or other important items.
Consider climate changes. Let’s pretend a couple is moving from a warm climate to a cold one, such as Cincinnati, Ohio. In this case, they should probably rent a self storage unit to stash their seasonal possessions away from the house. It may contain their winter items (e.g. snowblower) or warmer items (e.g. outdoor décor), depending on the season. Also, whether or not they plan on boating in the Ohio River, they may want to either store or sell their motorboat before the move.
Ask your children to go through their things. Most young adults just don’t have the space in their new dorm rooms for all of their belongings. While you may be willing to take some of their cherished or valuable items, ask them to sort through their belongings to help remove more clutter. Get rid of old clothing or toys that they have outgrown.
Prepare your home for sale. You will want to get the best price on your home you can, even if you are downsizing. This could help reduce or even eliminate the cost of your new mortgage. Make sure your house is in good repair. Keep it clean and clutter free for potential buyers. Maintain the lawn and landscaping. Ask a realtor or certified inspector for tips on what will help your home sell. Little things can often be overlooked, but can make a large difference in the buyer’s eyes.