Experts offer tips for downsizing your home

Experts offer tips for downsizing your home

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Have you ever thought that maybe you've got more house than you can handle?

Homeowners downsize for a variety of reasons: to cut their mortgage payments or maybe just cut down on hassle.

One out of ten home sellers in 2014 said their houses were too big, according to the National Association of Realtors. The percentage is even higher among senior citizens.

Seniors toured downsizing options during an open house Tuesday at Plantation Village Retirement Community in Porters Neck. Starting at 720 square-feet, these apartments aren't as small as the so-called "tiny houses" you might have seen on reality TV. But for seniors, the apartments offer some of the same advantages.

"There's not so much house to take care of," said Jane Roberts, a certified senior move manager and owner of Carolina Move Managers. "There's not so many responsibilities with the yard and home maintenance. And they have much more time to enjoy their activities."

But downsizing means parting with personal items, and that can be difficult.

"People live with their memories, and the older they are, the more precious those memories become," Roberts said. "And we need to help people remember that their memories are in their minds and in their hearts. They don't live in the boxes full of paper and photographs that they might be saving in the basement."

Professional Organizer Erin Barbee of Plan B Organizing says if you're moving to a smaller space, you need to be creative. For example, she recommends ottomans with hidden storage compartments.

"The biggest thing to consider is to really try to downsize before you move," Barbee said. "That way you're not so overwhelmed on the back end of the move, where you have to go through things that simply you don't have the space for or just won't work in your new home."

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