The era of the McMansion is coming to an end. Families are recognizing the benefits of downsizing to smaller homes over enormous showplaces.

When was the last time you used your formal living room, guest room, media room, or dining room?

How much do those unused rooms cost in your mortgage, electricity bill, furniture and accessories, property taxes, insurance bills, and time/money spent cleaning those rooms?

Consider downsizing to a condo/townhome, cottage in the country, or an apartment in the city.

If you are thinking about downsizing, here are some steps to help with the transition.

Tips and Tricks for How to Successfully Downsize Your Homephoto courtesy of mrkumm flickr.com/photos/mkumm/3716836335/Purge
Purge what you don't use.

You should purge your home once a week for at least a month.

This can be very difficult because most people are sentimental, however many people find this liberating and feel like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders.

This is an absolute necessity for downsizing.

Once you think you have purged everything, wait a week and purge again.

Think Differently
Consider new ways of doing things.

If you normally save every bill, consider shredding them or scanning them into your computer.

You can pay your bills online instead of getting a paper statement.

Consider using a small laptop instead of a desktop.

Do not over purchase groceries that will not fit in the pantry (avoid wholesale clubs). 

Less is more when downsizing. 

Neat and Tidy
You will need to be very orderly and organized if you downsize.

Create a place for everything and keep it there. 

Find unused space in your home and turn that area into a closet, bookcase, or storage cabinet.

Even consider space inside your walls, such as under your stairs, as places to store items. 

Dual Purpose
Purchase items that serve more than one function when downsizing.

You can get a platform bed that has clothing storage underneath instead of a separate bed and dresser.

You can get a sofa that converts to a guest bed instead of a guest bedroom.

Your dining room can double as a home office

Your coffee table ottoman can have storage inside instead of having an entire closet filled with stuff.

Seasonal Storage
Store items that are out of season.

If the season is winter, you can store your summer clothes under your bed or at the top of your closet to make more room in your bedroom closet. 

Inform Others
Make sure your friends and family are aware that you are downsizing so they do not buy presents for you that will not fit in your new smaller home.

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