- Bitty Living Space January 30, 2017
There is no way to really prepare for downsizing from 4200 square feet to 300 square feet. There just isn’t. We did it in stages. For us, it worked better than doing it with one big bang. When we met with our realtor in October, we expected her to say we should put the home on the market in May so imagine our surprise when she said “February at the latest”. Gulp. For people who moved every 3-4 years, you’d think we’d learn to purge of the stuff. Nah, we just found bigger places to put it. We knew the house would sell quickly and we’d be gone by April at the latest.
So what did we do?
- Created a timeline – we had six months to purge of the stuff and tried to understand what that would mean
- Had outdoor pictures taken – buyers tend to not look at houses with pictures of deep snow drifts, even if they know they happen. We had them taken in October where the grass was still green.
- Took an inventory of what we had – What would we sell or donate? What’s needed to stage the house? We told ourselves that if we haven’t seen or touched the item in a year, it would go sooner rather than later
- Joined local facebook tag sale sites – for non-specialty items (such as a piano) this was the place where we were most successful
- Understood timing – we posted items right before the holidays. People need tables and chairs then. People look for interesting items such as a high-end card table for the game room. People look for electronics to give to their kids. We had great luck between Thanksgiving and Christmas
Once house went on market:
- Be prepared for a quick sale – Be prepared mentally and physically. We knew our other house was sold in the worst selling zip code in 2007 (yes, during the housing crisis), and with a decent realtor, we sold in 16 days. We knew that in a very good school district, it wouldn’t last long. Our realtor and we were prepared for this but even we couldn’t predict how many people were coming into the house. Because of this, we set a date for the Saturday after we went “live” for all offers instead of weighing each offer as it came in. This way, we met as a group (us, our realtor and our realtor’s assistant) and went through each of the offers and went from there
- Looked at apartments – once the house went on the market we looked at smaller apartments. We knew that going from 4200 square feet to anything smaller would be an adjustment so went from that to a two bedroom one-floor apartment. That would get us more used to the idea of living in a much smaller space. We didn’t go too small so as not to shock our systems too quickly.
- Sold items more aggressively – We had one final party to host and then got rid of serving items, chafing dishes, glasses, alcohol, holiday items, et cetera.
When the house was under contract:
- Sold specialty items – once the house was under contract, we sold specialty items (such as the piano) that were no longer needed for daily living and staging. There are great apps out there for these specialty items (for example, the piano sold on Reverb).
- Pared down the decor – Art may make you happy to see, but you can live without it for a month or two.
- Sold non-necessary furniture – The spare bed in the guest bedroom is great for guests and staging but no need for it.
When the house sold:
- Purged – we didn’t need three spatulas. This was clear to us now.
- Moved into a smaller apartment – this is where we learned to live without items that were in our daily lives. If we found we needed them, we kept them. If we found we didn’t, we sold them or donated them.
- Rented a storage unit – the grandfather clock wasn’t going to go in the apartment but we weren’t going to part with it. Worth the fees, for us.
This is what worked for us. 4200 square feet to 300 square feet in less than a year. 3900 square feet downsized, baby!
- Review: Shower Triple Wall Mount Pumps January 14, 2017
We have a glass-enclosed shower which makes things like bottles, soap and such look a bit unkempt (never mind the loofahs, they add character). They are just extra things we have to put away before driving. We saw this at Bed, Bath and Beyond and while the price was steep, thought it was perfect for the shower. They have these in singles, doubles and triples. Some other makers have them in a brighter chrome but we liked the stainless look.
We chose the triple because we (read: Kim) needed a place for shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap.
What: Triple wall mount pumps for the shower
Manufacturer: Simple Human
Where to Buy: Bed, Bath and Beyond, Amazon, Kohls
Would we buy it again: Yes
The Pros: Instantly cleaned up the shower. You can have your loofahs and razor all in one place.
The Cons: Other than the price tag, the biggest con to this is that you have to make sure that your conditioner is not too thick (otherwise it will clog). Originally we used Aveda’s products (Invadi) and had a terrible time with clogging. We switched to another Aveda product (Balancing conditioner) and no problems.
The Results: There are probably other items out there that are less expensive, but this works for us and we liked the look. It has become of the daily routine and at no point do we say “Gee, wish those bottles were back”.
- Happy holidays! December 25, 2016
When RVing, you need to sometimes feel some closeness to how you grew up. For us, this meant decorating the site.
We sprung our decorations from storage and purchased a few key items (read: the tree). Here’s how it turned out.