A checklist for downsizing your home

People consider downsizing for a wide variety of reasons: their house is too big for them to maintain and clean, they’re retiring, they have too much “junk.” Or maybe you’re tired of going up and down the stairs. Whatever the reason, there’s a whole host of things to think about when downsizing your home. While downsizing should be a stress-reducing time of purging unnecessary possessions and de-cluttering, it can quickly become stress-inducing if you don’t know where to begin or what to do next.

That’s why we created this checklist to help make downsizing as painless as possible.

Downsizing for seniors

If your end goal is to move into a smaller home, apartment, villa or retirement community, you’ll want to evaluate your options by determining the minimum amount of living and storage space you can live with. Once you’ve selected your new home, you’ll need to obtain room measurements figure out exactly how much furniture and clothing will fit into your new space.

  • Choosing the right senior housing facility for your specific needs.
    Perhaps you enjoy the independence of living at home alone but lately have found yourself less able to get out and go shopping or do your own house cleaning. If this sounds like you, then perhaps an assisted living facility might be your best option. On the other hand, if you need help cooking and getting around, or have other specific and important care needs, then a more attentive assisted living or nursing home facility in St. Louis might be a better fit.Whatever your needs, you should visit several St. Louis facilities before choosing—each senior housing facility has its own culture, community and cost. Visiting, viewing the social calendar and talking to residents will allow you to gauge how much each facility caters to your wants and needs.
  • Sell or keep your home?
    This is a big one. Maybe you’d like to keep your home to pass it on to your children. However, if you haven’t touched your home in a couple decades, it might be so outdated that your children will have to completely renovate the home.Alternatively, many people opt to simply sell their home and use the windfall of cash to buy a smaller home or help pay the expenses of assisted living facilities in St. Louis, MO, which can sometimes be quite high. Selling your home to a wholesale buyer might be the best option—you’ll avoid the hassle of inspections, realtor fees, and updating your home, and you’ll receive the cash for your home immediately at closing, which you can use to pad your retirement fund.
  • What to take with you?
    Once you’ve chosen a smaller home or senior living facility in St. Louis, you need to decide what to do with all of your belongings. Since your living space in the senior housing is almost definitely going to be smaller than your current home, you will have to downsize significantly.Once you decide on a facility, you should ask for a floor plan of your room. This way you can plan for exactly how much furniture you might need, and how much closet space you can expect to have. Enlisting your family members might be helpful. Most children are very helpful when it comes to moving parents into assisted living. Your family can help you figure out which things to take and which to leave behind.

Stress-free tips and tricks on de-cluttering

De-cluttering is easier said than done. The moment you decide you’re downsizing your home, you’ll need to decide what things you can’t live without and what things you can get rid of. It can be a daunting task, but can be lessened if you make finite goals, and take on your home one room at a time. Start with the most cluttered areas (i.e., closets, attics, garages, studies) and move to the less cluttered areas (i.e., foyers, living rooms). As you move through each of these rooms, decide what you absolutely need. Give everything else a designation: store, toss, sell or donate.

  • Store
    You might store something that you don’t currently need, but can see you or someone close to you needing in the future. For instance, if you have several sets of china on display throughout your larger home, you might consider putting ones you don’t use in storage to pass on to your children or grandchildren. Don’t, however, store something you aren’t sure you’d like to use or pass down in the future. Storage space cost money, especially when you consider the number of years you might be storing something.
  • Toss
    Toss anything that matches these criteria: you haven’t used the item in years, you can’t see yourself using it in the future and it wouldn’t have value to anyone else . Have a broken vacuum cleaner from the 80’s? Toss it. No use taking junk with you from one home to another, especially when your new home is going to be smaller.
  • Sell
    There might be certain possessions that you don’t need anymore, but would carry value to others. Some jewelry and collections might fall into this category. If this is the case, you might want to host an estate sale—there’s more information on this below.
  • Donate
    Perhaps you don’t want to go through the hassle of an estate sale, or you just want your possessions to go to a good cause. Then donating your belongings to charity is a good option.

What to do with your unwanted possessions

Once you’ve decided what to store, toss, sell and donate, you have to figure out how to transport all of your belongings to the junkyard, the charity or storage. Or, if you’re planning to sell some belongings, you might need to host an estate sale.

  • Junk removal and home cleanout services
    Once you remove those items that you want to keep, you still have to arrange for the removal of the rest of the stuff inside the house. Cleaning the house out yourself is intimidating. Fortunately, there are local junk removal and home cleanout services that will do this for you. At Wren, we have a list of reputable home cleanout services and junk removal companies in St. Louis that you can call. We’ve worked with these companies for years and can vouch that they are professional, quick and affordable.
  • Estate sales
    Especially if the contents left inside the home are valuable, an estate sale can help you liquidate the value of your belongings. When you’re choosing between estate sale companies, though, it is important to do your research. While one estate sale company might charge a greater percentage of the profit than another, it might be because they are able to see value in certain items that a less experienced estate sale company might overlook.But how do estate sales work? First, you and the estate sale company will inventory and price your possessions and decide what should and shouldn’t be sold at the sale. The estate sale company should publicize the sale and make sure it runs smoothly, professionally and yields a profit.
  • Donation
    If the contents of the property hold sentimental value, it might be difficult to let go. For many people, it’s easier to give up items if they know their possessions are going to someone in need. Beyond that, it’s good to know you’re giving back to the community. That’s why Wren partners with several St. Louis are charities and gives a portion of the profit on each home sale to charity.

How to sell your home quickly when downsizing

Once you are finished purging your unneeded belongings, you need to decide what to do with your home. Often, those who are downsizing homes want to sell their homes quickly. Selling your home as is to a trustworthy wholesale buyer allows you to skip many of the above steps and leave unwanted things behind and get a windfall of cash to use toward your new, “rightsized” home.

In the traditional home sale process, you have to price your home, hire a real estate agent and make the repairs necessary to get up to code and pass inspections—this is the big, time consuming one. Only once you pay for the repairs, which can be tens of thousands of dollars, can you list and market your home, host open houses and negotiate offers. Then there are contracts and escrow accounts and other last-minute expenses that can pop up.

It’s a lot. So, if you want to close quickly get on to searching for your smaller condo, townhouse, villa or house, then consider selling your home wholesale to a trustworthy cash buyer like Wren Realty:

  1. Give us a call.
    We’ll schedule a free 30-minute consultation. At your convenience, we’ll look at your property.
  2. Receive our offer.
    We won’t give you a hard sell. We won’t nag you. We won’t nickel-and-dime you. Just a fair, cash offer. Take it or leave it. If you walk away, then it will be at no loss to you.
  3. Close
    Usually within two weeks. Yes, two weeks. And, if you need us to close more quickly, let us know your timeline. We’ll work to meet your needs.
  4. Walk away with your cash.
    It’s that simple. No repairs, inspections or hassle.

At Wren Realty, we’ve done this for 30 years and we’re really good at what we do—we buy any home in any condition, and we do it quickly. We’ve been a proud member of the Better Business Bureau for each of those years. We even have an A+ rating. More than that, though, we’re people first, house flippers second. We’ll make you a fair offer and help you past closing with logistic details you may need so you can quickly move into your smaller, de-cluttered home.

So, why don’t you give us a call and we’ll help you with your estate sale, home cleanout and closing your home.

Contact Wren Realty, Inc.


Please contact Rob or Laurie, by phone or through our online form, with any questions you have about selling your property.

(314) 721-1199 | office phone number

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