A few years back, the trend was to expand, promoting the boom of the affectionately termed McMansion. After years of maintaining these massive spaces, as well as paying to heat and cool them, many are going back the other direction. Today, more Americans are opting for smaller spaces. In fact, the real estate site Trulia found homeowners would rather have a smaller space to live in and maintain than a larger one. In addition, when homeowners currently living in homes 2,000 square feet or larger were polled, 60% of them said not time they would rather go for a smaller space. If you find yourself in agreement and have decided to downsize your current living space, consider the following tips:

Know It Will be an Adjustment, For Everyone

You will have to adjust to living in a smaller space. This might take some time. It will be an adjustment for every person in the family. After all, everyone will likely have to reduce their possessions to ensure the family fits in the new smaller space. There will be less room to spread out, meaning families will have to get used to spending more time together. Bottom line is it will be an adjustment, be prepared for it and be patient with yourself and your family as they adjust.

Understand Not Everything is Going to Fit

When you have your new smaller space all picked out, measure, measure and then measure it again. Make sure that all your current furniture will fit within the new space. You will likely find yourself having to get rid of some items. Measure your largest piece in each room and then work from there. It might be better to buy smaller furnishings for your new space and either sell or give away your current furnishings. Of course, you may be able keep most of your possessions, but you will probably find that some will simply have to go. You are downsizing after all.

You Don’t Have to Get Rid Of What You Can’t Fit

Although living in a smaller space means you can keep less of your possessions, this doesn’t mean you have to give them away. If your aim is to minimize your life, and reduce your possessions, you will most likely benefit from either donating items to those who need it or selling them and making some money. You could opt to store unneeded items instead. This can get pricey when you use off site storage, but if something is dear to you, perhaps a family heirloom and you simply don’t want to get rid of it, it can be an option.

Disassemble Furniture During Move

Once you have decided what furnishings you’re brining along to your new place, make it as easy as possible to maneuver in your smaller dwelling by disassembling them. For example, remove the legs if possible from couches or tables, chairs, etc. This will make it easier to load, move and then place into your new, more comfy  home. With a smaller space, it will be harder to maneuver larger pieces.

Moving into a smaller space can be a freeing experience. You will find yourself with more time and money to spend doing other things when you don’t have to worry about maintaining a massive living space. The above are just a few tips to make the downsizing process easier on everyone.