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On the fence about downsizing? We help you decide whether that fencing should encircle a mansion or a mini trailer.

We all consider downsizing for different reasons. Maybe we’re sick and tired of the maintenance and upkeep of a large home. It could be that we’re weary of the financial burden, or of being tied to a house and yard. Perhaps we want a smaller footprint for greener living. But is downsizing really for you?

If your circumstances make downsizing a necessity, go for it and decide to love it. But if you have a choice in the matter, take a few minutes with what I call the Knee-Jerk Reaction Test to see if downsizing is really for you. Gather a pencil and paper, look at each picture below and write down the number next to the response that most closely matches your own.

Ready? Here we go.

Photo by Siemasko + Verbridge - Browse beach style exterior ideas

1. This is my dream home! 
2. Lots of roof there to maintain. 
3. All I see is time and $$$$.

Photo by Bonterra Build | Design - Browse farmhouse porch photos

1. I don’t think my grand piano will fit through the door. 
2. Must be nice having time to sit on the porch. 
3. When can I move in?

Photo by Oregon Cottage Company - Look for Asian exterior design inspiration

1. Is this the garage? 
2. I’d have to get rid of a lot of stuff, but maybe it’s time. 
3. We could live on the road and visit the grandkids whenever we wanted!

Photo by Beth Dana Design - Browse contemporary kitchen photos

1. Where’s the kitchen? 
2. It calls to me. But where am I going to put the Cuisinart, the KitchenAid mixer, the coffeemaker, the espresso machine and the countertop rotisserie? 
3. As long as I can find the microwave, I’m good.

Photo by Leff Construction Design/Build - More eclectic bedroom ideas

1. This is a bedroom I would love to live in. 
2. I could probably get along without the fireplace. 
3. How many people sleep in this room?

Photo by Dailinger Designs - Discover beach style bedroom design inspiration

1. I am so not ready to give up my king-size bed. 
2. At least there’s room for a chair to throw my clothes on. 
3. All I do is sleep there, anyway.

Photo by Martha O'Hara Interiors - Search traditional laundry room design ideas

1. Finally! A laundry room that fits my family! 
2. Hopefully I’ve outgrown the need for multiple machines. 
3. Looks more like a Laundromat than a laundry room to me.

Photo by Castle Building & Remodeling - Discover contemporary laundry room design ideas

1. And just where am I supposed to fold the 15 loads of washing I do each week? 
2. Maybe this would discourage my son from bringing home his laundry. 
3. Compact, functional, no piles of clothes … I like it!

Photo by Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Inc. - More transitional home office ideas

1. My partner and I both work from home, so this shared office is a good idea. 
2. This office makes me tired. 
3. Just give me my laptop and a Starbucks!

Photo by Rossington Architecture - Search traditional home office pictures

1. How can you expect me to accomplish anything in such a ridiculous space? 
2. This could work if I culled my files … 
3. Genius use of closet space.

Photo by Stephanie Bonini - Browse contemporary closet photos

1. This closet might work for my partner. But where’s mine? 
2. I wish my closet looked like this. 
3. Anything I haven’t worn in the past year gets donated, so this is perfect.

Photo by David Clough Construction Company - More traditional landscape photos

1. Cleaning gutters and working all day in the garden is my idea of a good time. 
2. I am seriously getting too old for this. 
3. I’d rather golf, read, drink, watch TV, shop or travel than work in my yard.

Photo by Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture - Browse traditional patio ideas

1. Where would I play croquet? 
2. Wow, I could weed this in five minutes. 
3. Someone pour the wine!

OK. All done? Now add up all the numbers you wrote down. If you scored:

13–21: You are definitely not a candidate for downsizing, and can totally ignore my next several ideabooks.

22–30: Brace yourself - there is a move in your future. You are definitely showing signs of being bitten by the “maybe it’s time to downsize” bug.

31–39: Call the moving company! And watch for the next installment in this series on the secrets to successful downsizing.

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- 2015 Client, Seller