What is it like to downsize with a family?

Last year, we moved out of a somewhat small/medium size town home and bought a smaller home. We needed out of the town home and buying made sense- we wanted stability of one location with the added bonus of owning instead of paying to nothing, so we found a cute home but smaller in the area where he grew up.

We only went down 40sqft but that was enough to see a difference.

We now generally have lower utility payments, which is a perk of moving to a smaller home. We also have a smaller home but bigger yard. Moving from a town home joined with several other homes to a single family in a rural area gave us a garage as well, so he is able to do side jobs in the comfort of our garage.

We did move from a 4 bed with two closets the sizes of rooms to a 3 bed with closets in the bedrooms and a linen closet in the bathroom, so we are having to get creative with storage.
We have taken pieces of wood and turned them into key and jacket hooks to hang on the walls, bought book storage and extra children’s toy boxes to handle larger toys and the kids’ books, had to buy a new shoe rack and we use as many wall hanger storage systems we can get. I also went through most of my stuff and have donated bags of clothing, outgrown toys and fabric I’ll never use. We have cabinets from Walmart and Lowes along most walls and have a lot of furniture that doubles as storage.

If you’re moving to a smaller house out of a larger town house or apartment

You will likely have more of a yard and might have a garage. You will be able to make up the storage you’re giving up by adding in a storage shed in the yard and putting seasonal decor and other items in the garage. Storage sheds can be bought on credit at places like Lowes or Home Depot, they typically can range from 1-2/3k depending on the dimensions and material.

Home Depot also has portable closets that can be set up on the wall to give you a makeshift closet. That would require extra wall space, and space can be limited.

For larger budgets, watching the Netflix documentary series about tiny houses can give ideas for mods to make to give storage in compact areas. One I personally liked was a sewing center under the bed- pull it out and the sewing machine pops out and it fit snugly under their bed, so it took up no space.

Finding things like storage ottomans, storage benches that work in the kitchen as seating with lids for storage works as well.

 

If you’re moving from a larger house with a larger yard and more storage space to a smaller house or apartment, the best way to handle lack of storage is to hold a large yard sale, sell stuff on Facebook or Craigslist or donate. When you downsize and there is less opportunity to create storage (and renting a storage building is out of the question), downsizing your belongings (and making some extra cash) is the best way to go.

Have you ever downsized? How did you handle going from lots of storage space to practically nothing?