Jumpstart Your Action Plan
Installment 4 in From Decision to Downsized: The 6 Week Plan to Your NEXTadventure™
If you’re giving serious consideration to downsizing your home and adopting a smaller footprint — carbon or otherwise — you’re going to have to get really, really organized. This is no small undertaking. It is an orchestration of many moving parts to achieve the goal of lightening the load of physical stuff and finding a new home that makes you happy.
By adopting an action plan that’s equal parts good planning, solid implementation, and a great team, you can get from decision to downsized in around six weeks.
- Make a Plan The only way to get through a project of these proportions is to get really great at making a plan (and following through it.) You’ll have to set realistic expectations at the sheer volume of time it takes to go through every single thing that you own and decide what to do with it: sell, donate, keep, or trash.Stay organized with systems that work for you. To-Do lists will get written and rewritten as work gets done and new things emerge. Whether you like index cards or online project management tools, keep it all together by working with a plan.
- Rally Your Team Collaborate with your team: realtor, mortgage guys, title company, and anyone else helping to get and keep things moving. Service providers like a handyman, housekeeper, lawn guys, and contractors are often worth the investment and should be factored into your overall plan.Lean on family members to talk to when things get extra tough. Have a back-up plan for kids and grandkids, dogs and cats, and anyone else who depends on you for care. Be open about what’s going on and set limitations on responsibilities wherever possible.
- Set A Realistic Timeline Together with your key people, work out a realistic timeline and build in some flexibility for any snags or stalls along the way. Try to stay true to the timeline as there is little margin when shooting for goals based on the best time to sell — and buy — a house. Frontloading most of the heavy lifting, like packing up all of the small stuff and getting rid of excess clothes and furniture, can pay off big time when your house goes under contract and you have to start focusing on your move out of this house and on to your NEXTadventure™.
- Know Your Priorities As much as you would like to do everything and everything to “do it right,” it’s next to impossible to hit everything on your punch list. Pick your battles and stay focused on the big picture. Is it equally as important to you to donate all of your cast off furniture and housewares or do you really want to sell everything with market value? Or are you on really friendly terms with the bulk trash guys?In reality, your approach may be a blend of all three. Know what your priorities are and be flexible when you run out of resources and/or bandwidth.
- As Is or Make It POP?! When downsizing from a larger home, you are in a unique situation for a realtor or management company. You home isn’t quite a total rehab and it isn’t a complete renovation. If you plan to sell or rent “As Is,” you must decide how much you are willing to invest in fixes and upgrades.Ask your realtor about the absolute “must haves” and the “would be nices.” Consider your budget and timeline, and decide what to do (get new appliances, rehab the porch, and landscape the yard) and what to convey.
- Set A Budget It’s no secret that a little bit of money can reap big rewards when the offers start to come in. Upgrades — both big and small — often have a sizeable return. Determine in advance the amount of money that you are willing to allocate for bringing the house to market.Don’t forget to factor in the hidden costs of getting ready for sale or rental. You’re going to spend some money in random places, from potted plants to basic supplies — and not to mention cleaning crews. Overestimate and give yourself some breathing room financially.
- Know When To Say Enough Avoid the pitfall of not knowing where to stop. Some things just won’t get done, period. Get as close as you can and give yourself a break. This is hard work.
Ready, Set, NEXTadventure™
Now that you’ve made a solid action plan for how to manage downsizing your home and starting your NEXTadventure™, it’s all about implementation. If you’ve gotten this far, congratulate yourself. This is an awesome start. Ride this momentum and Roll Up Your Sleeves.
Tell us what you think about downsizing on Twitter at @taylor_morrison. We’d love to know what you’re up to. Did you know that we are building a living example of inspired living for 55 and Better communities in celebration of the International Builders Show? Watch the progress of The NEXTadventure™ Home using #nextadventurehome.