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Downsizing can be a form of rightsizing, but not all rightsizing is downsizing! A rightsized home is one with the square footage, layout, and other features that are right for your family’s lifestyle, priorities, and goals. Rightsizing your home may involve moving to a different house, but it can also take the form utilizing your current home in a way that is optimal for your specific situation. Let’s explore 3 general categories of rightsizing as well as tips for doing so successfully.

1. When does rightsizing mean downsizing?

For some individuals, couples, or families, rightsizing will involve moving from a larger house to a smaller house. Reasons are varied, but may include:

  •  Adult children moving into college dorms or homes of their own.

  • The desire to cut monthly expenses such as rent/mortage, utilities, landscape services, cleaning services, and so forth.

  • An alteration in budget due to retirement or job change.

  • The wish for a simpler lifestyle.

  • A move to an area with higher housing costs.

  • A commitment to using less energy.

  • Health issues that make it difficult to maintain a large home.

  • Housemates relocating and no longer sharing your rent or mortgage.


If the move to a house with less square footage is in your future, use these tips to navigate the change successfully.

  • Using your current home as a point of reference, determine which rooms are indispensable in your new living space.

  • Square footage isn’t everything; if your downsized home is thoughtfully laid out, the transition will be easier.

  • Downsize your belongings BEFORE moving out of your current home. (See below for a guide to reducing how much stuff you own.)

  • Include savvy storage options like glass wall shelves, coat and shoe racks, wall hooks, lidded boxes, storage benches and ottomans, and so on.

  • As your budget allows, purchase a few new décor items for your new house. Shop at thrift stores or flea markets to do this in a sustainable and affordable way.

  • Use design strategies to make smaller rooms feel larger – light paint colors, floor to ceiling window treatments, a mirrored wall, thoughtful lighting options, and furniture proportions that match those of the room.


2. When and how can you rightsize without moving?


Dissatisfaction with your current home may be unrelated to its size and basic layout. In this case, rightsizing will involve correcting how much you own and how you use the space you have. Clutter adds to stress and detracts from a home’s visual appeal. Luckily most of us can get rid of lots of “stuff” and never miss it. Follow these steps to make the process as easy and effective as possible.

  • Don’t try to declutter your whole house or even a whole room in one go. Choose a manageable space to tackle each day, like a single closet or even a single shelf.

  • Have labeled boxes ready to go – Keep, Donate, Sell, Trash.

  • Promptly deal with each category. Put away items you are keeping. Drop off your donations the next time you go out. Post your “For Sale” items on an online marketplace right away. Bag up the trash and get it into a garbage can immediately.

  • Create workable storage areas for everything you are holding onto. Remember that items you use regularly shouldn’t be put on high shelves or in lidded bins. Place these on open shelving or drawers that are easy to reach.


The other side to this coin is adjusting how you use your existing space. For example, are you lacking a room that you need, such as a home office, workout area, playroom, or study room? Use one of these strategies to get what you need without a move.

  • If you have a room you rarely use, such as a formal dining room, convert it into a space that better fits your lifestyle.

  • Make one of your single purpose rooms a multi-purpose space. For example, cover your formal dining table with a glass top, add a small cabinet with doors, hang a piece of white back painted glass marker board, and you have a school room without losing the option of hosting a formal dinner party.

  • Have glass partition walls installed to create a space within a space. Choose clear or obscure glass depending on the desired level of privacy between the two rooms. This method works well for creating home gyms, home offices, school rooms, and more.

3. Can rightsizing mean moving to a larger house?

Absolutely! No matter your age, some circumstances call for a move to a bigger house. Examples include:

  • The wish for living space where your grown children and their families can gather for Sunday brunches, holiday dinners, and so forth.

  • Aging parents moving in with you and needing their own space.

  • Children entering their teen years and wanting a place to gather with friends.

  • Grown children moving back in with you.


If you’re upsizing, weigh the pros and cons of choosing a move-in-ready home versus one that’s more of a fixer upper. In the case of a fixer upper, try to make large scale updates like re-painting or changing out flooring before you move in. More targeted improvements, like new light fixtures or frameless glass showers can be completed while you’re living there.


Count on ABC for all home situations!

Whether downsizing, tweaking your current home, or upsizing, homeowners in the Northern Virginia area can rely on ABC Glass & Mirror for all custom glass and mirror needs. We can help you add storage with custom shelves, create the illusion of space with standard or antique mirrors, and bring your home more in line with today’s hottest trends in shower design. Call (703)257-7150 to schedule a free in-home consultation with one of our glaziers.

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