Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Tips for downsizing

"Whether you're an empty nester moving from a house into a condo, or a renter trading in a two-bedroom for a studio, you'll have to say sayonara to some of your stuff." So says Helen Racanelli in her article in Style at Home magazine. Helen provides excellent tips but I asked one of my clients who has just sold the family home of 31 years how she was able to find a smaller home and sell hers within a space of two weeks without any problem it seems. Her response:

If the sale of your house comes suddenly the preparation that you have put into this months or years before counts. My most important tip is that your children take all their stuff when they move out except of course for their most treasured childhood things which I have kept for their children. I'm a not a clutterer so when any new item came into the house one went out. Clothes not worn were periodically sent to charity. Don’t keep paper.

Next over the last few years I looked at my furnishings and style and identified what pieces kept my rooms looking like they were furnished in the 90s . So out went the mahogany china cabinet which was the the most prominent feature of the living room/ dining and in came a plainer style sideboard which would fit anywhere. Any furniture pieces I did not use were given to local church sales or put on Craig's list, not stored in the garage!

You are most likely selling to a young family so I made my home appealing to them -no heavy draperies, a wide open bright basement, no wallpaper.

What I did do right? When I replaced the bathroom several years ago I installed white fixtures, protected the hardwood floors, installed good windows and kept the house in good repair

I did not have to rush around making repairs, emptying the garage, unstuffing closets or removing tired furniture.

Now it's packing time ..

See: Preparing your home for sale.

See: Top ten tips for downsizing- Helen Racanelli

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