Moving Into a Smaller House

April 21, 2011

Small room containing a cabinet that is too large for the space and a tilted couch that won't fitMany of you helped me when my mom was ill, and I was caring for her. Many thanks. Mom lost her battle Sept. 19, 2010.

Now we are moving into her house. We have been planning on moving to a smaller house, empty nesters, for years. I bought mom's house after my dad passed away eight or so years ago. We are not sure if the area, Jersey Shore, will suit us, but the house needs work and living there and doing it just seems easier.


My problem. One of them anyway, I have always loved her little one level home. But now that she is no longer there, the thought of living there makes me very sad. I am still having a very hard time having lost her. Everything reminds me of her, the house, the gardens, etc. I cry constantly.

The stress of moving is making me nuts. My house is a mess. Her house is a mess. We are moving ourselves (thrifty but not fun). So there are boxes and all at both houses. I am finding it quite easy to throw stuff away. If I haven't seen or used it in years, out it goes. But fitting a four bedroom, large kitchen, dining room, living room, and large family room, into a three bedroom, no family room, galley kitchen is not easy.

We are having an estate sale and then garage sale, but it's so exhausting. I wondered if anyone had any ideas of how to get through this without losing my mind completely?


And the worst thing is that there is only one bathroom. Good gosh, I am 59 years old and need my own potty. There is no place to put another one. Unless we take part of one of the bedrooms. And when we sell, if we do I don't know how easy it is to sell a two bedroom home. Oh my, what to do, what to do.

And we have little to no help. Everyone works you know. If anyone out there has any ideas at all, please post.
All my thanks.

By valery from Cranford, NJ


April 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

All the others have given great advice and their heartfelt support-know that you are not alone. Many of us have downsized (I started out with 5 kids and now they're all married), at first it was hard to part with "stuff", but then I found the less there was around to clutter up, the better the feeling! I gave lots to my kids if they wanted it, some to neighbors, some donated and the rest went in trash. Making the move into your Mom's house will work out for you, and I would consider adding another shower/commode (is there a basement to put in a small bath area there?). You will appreciate the convenience of having it.


As far as getting some extra help, do you belong to a church or a club where the people there might be able to lend a hand with tasks? Putting out a few sandwiches and a beverage to make it a "packing party" might just lift your spirits, too! Enlist the help of people at the other end for when you arrive, have a box all ready for things for immediate use; coffee, phone, toilet paper, cleaning stuff, toweling, shower curtain, hooks, towels, toiletries, sheets for bed; stuff that you know you need right away once you get there. This box travels in your car or load it "Last Box on, First Box Off" include all essentials! This way you can take your time unpacking and getting set up.

I'm sure your loss is still causing much pain..and in time, you will feel better (I lost both parents within same year) and look forward to living life a little bit easier, you don't need the "stuff" to hold onto the memories: those are always inside you. Don't worry about a buyer for a 2-bed home: many singles, bachelors, couples starting out will want to buy it, or another "down-sizer"! :D Take time to have a glass of wine, listen to some music, stop and relax and then tackle next project. You haven't been used to moving, so this is new to you but you'll do fine. You don't have to be a perfectionist..and always enlist help when you need it!! God Bless.

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April 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I went through the same thing a few years ago except that I was selling my parent's home. This might help. Do one room at a time. Empty the room, make the repairs, then put the things in it of yours that you want to keep and go to the next room. Don't try to do all the rooms at one time.


When you are finished, see of you can place a half bath in one of the bedrooms. If not, consider taking some of the money from the sale of your house and putting a small addition on one of the bedrooms to add the half bath. Be calm and work at your own pace.

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April 23, 20110 found this helpful
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Don't worry about resale value if you plan on living there for more than a few years. You can often add a powder room or shower bath in a small space, you could add a main level laundry also and only use one bedroom's space. I find most people with small children still like two baths and main level laundries are the norm now. Also if you cannot purge enough items to fit in the smaller home, you could store them in the garage or a storage unit until you know what you want to use.


Each home has it's own personality and what I loved in my old home would not work in my new one. Good luck and be comforted by your mother's presence in her home. Grieving will not last forever.

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April 25, 20110 found this helpful
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I think you are mostly overwhelmed by everything because you are still grieving. I'd just try to take it one thing at a time (at least mentally) and try not to stress. I purchased my grandparents house. I loved them dearly (though not to be compared to the loss of a mother). After a while, I almost "forgot" it was originally their house, and at times when I was unhappy about anything, it was a source of happiness.


My biggest piece of advice would be to store anything you are not sure about getting rid of, until you are, and of course, don't complicate it by trying to keep too much of her stuff....a mistake common to many people.

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April 21, 2011

I will be moving from a 1,700 sq. ft. home into low-income, senior housing which is 480 sq. ft. I need help! Any ideas for making the most of such a small space?

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