Downsizing with Kids: 7 Strategies to Make the Transition Easier


When you’re a parent, moving to a smaller home can be a daunting task – whether it’s across the country or just down the street.

You’re already dealing with the emotional stress of deciding to downsize, and you’re also faced with the practical and logistical challenges of actually making the move.

On top of that, you have to consider the needs of your kids and make sure the transition is as easy on them as possible. Downsizing homes is never easy even with older children.

However, downsizing with kids doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. With the right plan and strategies in place, you can make the move smoother and less stressful. Here are 7 strategies to help you downsize to a smaller home with kids.

Downsizing With Kids

1. Have an open conversation with your children. 

Moving to a smaller home can be a big change for children, so involve them in the decision-making process. Talk to them about why the move is necessary and give them the chance to voice any concerns they may have.

You could also take them to view the new home as you prepare to sell your current home so that they can get a better idea of what it will be like. It is also important to provide them with reassurance that the move is for the best and that you are all in this together. 

2. Get your kids involved in the process. 

Let your kids help with packing their personal belongings and decorating their new bedroom. Involve them in the decisions and give them a say in the process. This will help to make them feel like they are part of the process and make the transition less stressful.

Ask them what items they would like to bring to the new home and which items they would like to donate or sell. 

3. Give them time to adjust. 

Take a few days to get settled and don’t rush them into their new surroundings. Give them plenty of time to explore and get used to the new place. Allow them to visit the home multiple times before the move, if possible, to get a better idea of how it looks and how they fit into it. 

4. Make sure they have familiar items. 

Children can find comfort in familiar items, so make sure to pack a few of their favorite items to take to the new home. Toys, books, and blankets are all great items to keep them feeling at home in the new place.

It is also a good idea to pick a new item for them specific to the new home, such as a new throw pillow or rug. 

5. Take a tour of the new home. 

Before the move, take your kids on a new home tour. This will help them get familiar with the layout and make them feel more comfortable when you move in.

Show them which room will be theirs and let them know they can decorate it however they want. If possible, you can let them choose their own room. Depending on the age of your child and your personal circumstances, you can even consider including them as you tour homes throughout the entire house hunting process, which can be a fun and exciting outing for everyone.

6. Have a plan for downsizing.

Make a plan for downsizing your belongings to fit your new, smaller home. Have each family member choose a few items that are special and meaningful to them and donate or sell the rest. This will help to ease the burden of the move and make sure that only the most important items come with you to the new home. 

7. Have a plan for unpacking. 

After the move, make sure to have a plan for unpacking. Have everyone in the family pick out a room to unpack and make sure to keep the boxes out of the way. This will help to make the transition smoother and quicker. It is also important to allow time for your children to unpack and set up their own room. Let them take their time and make sure that it is somewhere that they will feel comfortable.

Selling your existing home and downsizing to a smaller home can be a stressful experience for many parents, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right plan in place, downsizing with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

Most importantly, remember to give yourself and your entire family time to adjust and enjoy the new home. Soon, you’ll be making new memories, and the house will feel more like home. With the right approach, downsizing to a smaller home with kids can be an exciting opportunity.

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About kristenherhold

Kristen is the PR Editor of Clever Real Estate, the nation's leading real estate education platform for home buyers, sellers, and investors. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cheering on the Denver Broncos and Missouri Tigers.