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Preparing to Downsize

February 21, 2017

Empty-nesters and retirees are often the people most seriously considering how to downsize their living spaces, but the tiny house movement has shown that younger adults are interested, too. Partners moving in together often have to do similar work to combine their households, whatever the size, as may partners splitting up.



There are as many reasons to downsize as there are people who decide to do it, but we often hear that these folks are interested in saving money (including mortgage or rent, taxes, maintenance, and storage), spending on other priorities (like travel or education), or living within a smaller ecological footprint.



If you're just starting to consider making a change, these might be helpful reads:

  • Money gives five key suggestions, though these may be most useful for retirees

  • Similarly, a "retirement guru" shares some words of wisdom based on his own experience

  • Check out Alison Stewart's Junk: Digging Through America's Love Affair with Stuff -- available as a book or e-book from both the Multnomah County Library and Washington County Cooperative Library Services -- or just listen to her interview on NPR

  • The book Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life just came out on Valentine's Day and addresses both the practical and emotional implications of downsizing -- both library systems have this one, too, but you might need to place a hold


If you're about to begin culling your possessions in anticipation of a move, start here:


And if you need some design inspiration or are about to turn the key on a smaller living space, these are for you:

  • If you haven't moved in a while, Laurel & Wolf has a refresher on relocating

  • Martha Stewart Living recommends using paper templates for furniture arrangement

  • Books like Tiny House Living: Ideas For Building and Living Well In Less than 400 Square Feet by Ryan Mitchell or The New Small House by Katie Hutchison may help you think about the process, even if you'll never go that small

  • Whether one, two, or a family, you might find inspiration in this round up of downsizing or small space posts at Apartment Therapy


Are you consider downsizing? We'd love to hear what worries or excites you about the prospect. Have you already survived the process? Let us know what resources were the most helpful, and we will be sure to share them!





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© 2017 by Mary T. Tongue