Family with moving boxes

You’re tripping over toys, home office supplies and each other. Your once roomy home feels cramped and chaotic and there is no privacy, unless you remember to lock the bathroom door!

Have you recently added to your family with a new baby…or two? Has an older parent moved in? Or maybe a family member has taken over the basement or the spare room for a home office, and now all that hidden stuff is now living in the hallway? Or are your kids who shared a room as children desperately needing their own space now that they’re teens?

If any of these scenarios sound like you current living spaces, you may have outgrown your home.

Moving, of course, is a solution to a lack of space, but is it the right choice for you? Your first step might be to hire a professional organizer. Maybe the space you have is still there, but just buried under years of accumulation. Purging and organizing might be exactly what you need to make your home comfortable and serene once again. Clearing out the clutter is a good first step. Even if you decide on another option, having less stuff to move is a good start.

For people who already live in an established community with great schools, mature trees, excellent facilities and wonderful neighbours, an addition might be a good option to your cramped quarters. Check with your local planning office to research permits for your area. You may wish to speak with an architect to consider possibilities and options for your current home.

If you need more outdoor as well and indoor space, you might be better suited to a fresh start in a new home. Meet with a real estate agent to find out the value of your current home and the prices of homes in the areas of interest to you.

If you are still undecided on the best choice for your family—moving versus renovating—have an open discussion. As a family, have a meeting and brainstorm a wish list. Then, split the list into “must-haves” and “wants.” Add the pros and cons of renovating and moving. Remember that both options are very stressful. Renovating with small children and pets is very challenging, but moving out of a familiar neighbourhood with elderly parents and teenagers has equal challenges. Having all the information available will help you make the right decision for your family.