7 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving to a Smaller Home


A loaded moving truck.

When moving to a smaller home, you might be surprised by how many possessions you have. Living in the same place for a long time makes it easy to amass a lot of things. Nowadays, we buy a lot, which can quickly fill our homes with clutter. And if you're going to downsize, you might have a massive project in front of you. Downsizing is a challenge, and there are many pitfalls you can fall into. Make sure you avoid these seven common mistakes for a smooth process.

1. Going too small

Be realistic about your demands and the lifestyle you'll have when you relocate and decide whether you're looking for a new smaller house, townhome, condo, or tiny home. If you're a host who enjoys having guests stay the night, keep that in mind when designing your space. If you're happy with the layout of your current home, think about what rooms you can get rid of or downsize.


Keep in mind that you will have to downsize your belongings as well! Using this information, you can figure out how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need. There is a good chance that downsizing to a 1,500-square-foot home might be too little if you've lived in an enormous 5,000 sq. ft property for many years. As you peruse real estate listings, imagine yourself living in each one and see if it feels cramped or spacious. Face the facts. There is no point in purchasing a house too tiny for your needs.

2. Planning is key when moving to a smaller home

Don't forget to account for wiggle room when planning your moving timeframe. You'll need a lot of time to go through your belongings and decide what may be donated, sold, thrown away, or stored. Make sure to factor in how much time and effort you'll need to spend dropping off items you won't be taking with you. Calculate how much time and effort it will take to complete each step. Don't forget about the time it will take you to settle in. Adjusting after moving to a smaller home can be challenging. Remember to give it some time and not get overwhelmed by the process. The move is never over until you feel like you've truly made a new home.


A person writing a to-do list for moving to a smaller home.

3. Don't throw everything away

You might be tempted just to throw everything out when you start downsizing. And we know that throwing away things that you no longer desire or need might seem like the right thing to do. But the saying" "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is true even when downsizing! You should donate or recycle as many items as possible. This takes a little more time and effort, but it will pay off. You won't be clogging up landfills, and you'll be doing good by donating your unwanted goods. Consider holding a yard sale or selling some of your belongings to get extra money for the move.

4. A floor plan is vital when relocating to a smaller house

While packing your wooden furniture for the move, you might imagine how great it will all fit in your new home. You might be worried about how to pack it right, how you'll ensure safety during transport, or how you'll load it into your vehicle. But when you and the furniture arrive, you find that your furniture doesn't quite fit right. To avoid this, measure each piece of furniture you plan to bring. Arrange where each piece will go in advance. Your room can feel claustrophobic or congested without a comprehensive floor plan, especially when you have many large furniture and decor pieces. Laying out a new home might be tricky if your existing furniture doesn't work with the new layout.



A person drawing up a floor plan.

5. Stressing too much

Downsizing can be an emotionally draining affair. It's a significant shift in life. When you downsize, sometimes you might regret letting some things go. You should not disregard your feelings about the move, but focusing on them for too long will make you more stressed. Put more emphasis on the advantages you stand to receive. Because you'll live in a smaller space and have less to worry about, your quality of life will improve. Consider all of the beautiful things you have coming up.

6. Decluttering is a process

One of the most common mistakes people make when moving is timing. You need to know when to start packing and decluttering to avoid falling short on time. Start decluttering your home at least 90 days before you plan to move. One room at a time is the way to organize your home. Anything you don't use regularly should be at the top of your decluttering priority list. For some, it's helpful to get rid of things that bring you down, such as souvenirs. Go through your possessions and establish a rule: if something makes you sad, get rid of it. This approach does not work for everyone. However, it provides relief for certain people, both in terms of their bodily and psychological well-being.

7. Asking for help when moving to a smaller home

There is a temptation for those accustomed to being self-reliant to try and downsize alone. It's easy to get overwhelmed or sidetracked unless you're extremely diligent and have a lot of free time before your relocation. A sympathetic family member, a trustworthy friend, or a professional downsizing firm can make a difference when moving. You shouldn't be hesitant to ask for help. Rely on friends and family for support, whether it's to pack boxes, create a floor plan, or provide a shoulder to cry on when things get a bit stressful.


Scrabble letters displaying the message “ask for help”.

Final words

Moving to a smaller home can be a stressful time. But it can also provide a fresh new start for you and your family. It's important to avoid these mistakes we have listed to experience a stress-free move and an efficient downsizing project. Happy moving!



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