Moving to a new home, especially if you're downsizing, can be really stressful. If you are downsizing with small children, the stress multiplies, and everything becomes even more difficult.
However, many families found that, after downsizing, their relationship became stronger and tighter. For you and your kids to go through this process as easy as possible, we've prepared tips and guidelines that will hopefully be of help to you.
How to know if it's a good time to downsize with small children?
Sometimes, it's hard to say that it's the right time to move to a smaller home. People usually downsize after retirement or divorce, but there are many other instances where this is recommendable. Here are just some of them:
Your mortgage is becoming too much to handle.
You're spending more time in your office trying to make money to support your lifestyle than you do with your kids.
You are sick and tired of constant maintenance, repairs, and home improvements.
Your yard requires too much care as it's too big.
You have unused space and empty rooms in your home.
If some of these statements apply to you, moving to a smaller home might be the best choice for you and your family.
Deciding how small you want to go
When you think of downsizing with small children, you probably think about the tiny house movement. This does sound intimidating, but downsizing doesn't have to be that drastic.
Caption: When you're downsizing with small children and choosing a new home, make sure that it fits your family's needs.
Alt-tag: A big family with their dog in a park
Therefore, make sure to figure out how small you want to go. You need to be aware of what your family can handle. If you have three kids and two pets, you surely won't be looking into getting a 500 square foot house. No matter how big or small, there are some crucial things you should look for in your new home.
In a small home, everything is about functionality. It's not just square footage that counts. When looking at homes, you should think about what you can do with the space. If it's is not used well, you will feel like you lack space even in a 2000 square foot home.
Choosing a new home
Whatever your reasons for downsizing are, you want your new home to fit your family's needs. When downsizing with children, there are some criteria you should take into consideration before deciding to buy.
Schools in proximity - If your budget allows, stay in or close to your old neighborhood so your kids can continue going to the same school.
The neighborhood - It's more important to choose the right neighborhood as you can always renovate the house but not change the surroundings.
Crime rates - You want to give your kids a carefree childhood and not worry about their safety.
Prepare your kids
One of the biggest challenges when downsizing is telling your kids about it. No matter how small your kids are, it could be a lot for them to process. Especially since this is not just moving but moving to a smaller home where they won't have as much space as they're used to.
Caption: As soon as you decide to downsize - talk to your kids. This will give them more time to process and accept this change.
Alt-tag: A father talking to his son about downsizing with small children
Try turning the situation into an adventure and get your kids involved in the process. For example, take them to house viewings and check out local parks and playgrounds while there. See how your kids react - if they really don't like a particular neighborhood or home, consider their opinion. They might have a point, regardless of how young they are.
Downsize your stuff
Before you downsize your living space, you should downsize your possessions. Since you'll be moving to a smaller place, you won't have room for all your stuff. You will probably remember things you haven't used for ages when you think about everything you have.
Therefore, use downsizing as an excuse for some overdue decluttering. Get your kids involved, too. They probably have toys and clothes they no longer need and that you could give away or sell.
Caption: Turn packing into a game. You wouldn’t believe what a great toy a moving box can be!
Alt-tag: A family packing for a move
Packing can also be turned into a family adventure where everybody can help somehow. Packing boxes can be great for your little ones to draw on, or you can let them pack their own toys. If you present everything as a game and not a chore, you won't have much trouble involving your kids in the process.
Organize a yard sale
It's no secret - we could all always use some extra money. After you declutter and figure out what you no longer need, organize a yard sale and sell the excess stuff.
This is also an excellent opportunity to teach your kids the value of a dollar. Even if you think they're too young to understand, don't underestimate their minds. Kids are like sponges - they absorb everything.
Maximize every square inch of your new space
Before you move in, make a detailed plan of what goes where. When it comes to your kids' rooms, you can let them choose the color and decorations. This might help them go through this period more easily and adapt quicker.
Storage could be the biggest issue in your new, smaller home. Therefore, focus on getting multi-functional furniture and creating storage space wherever possible. For example, if you have unusual corners or nooks in your place, order custom-made shelving. When dealing with a small space, you need to get creative and think outside the box.
Even if you think you have enough space, after you fully unpack, there is a big chance that you'll still have some extra things you won't know where to store.
Luckily, the team from A2B Moving and Storage can help you figure things out by providing valuable storage space. Storage units are a perfect way to keep the things you and your kids don't use so often. For example, you can safely put away camping equipment or even seasonal clothes. You can rent a unit near your home and have access to your belongings anytime you wish.
Downsizing with small children will be stressful and challenging, but most importantly, it will pay off in the long run. Your finances will recover, and you'll be able to make the most out of your living space. More importantly, you will have more time to spend watching your kids grow up and building strong and trusting relationships with them. There isn't a house big enough to beat that feeling! Happy downsizing!