As our lives are quite dynamic and things are constantly changing, downsizing has become quite common.
When Should You Downsize?
There are many reasons for downsizing from your present home:
- It might have triggered by a life event, such as retirement, the passing away of a spouse, or children moving out.
- To buy a second property in another state or another country.
- It might be to keep your financial plan on track and clear some debt.
- Because you no longer use all the space you have currently.
- Maintenance and repair costs are constantly climbing.
- You are often away from home for work.
- To reduce the amount of tax you have to pay.
Advantages to Downsizing
- Reduced mortgage payment
As you downsize, your mortgage payment will also decrease. This means that you’ll have more money left over every month.
- Less time cleaning up
The smaller the house, the fewer and smaller will the rooms also be. Less space translates directly into spending less time on household chores.
- Lower utility bills
In a smaller house, no space is wasted. There will be no vaulted ceiling, for example. Because there’s less square footage, it will cost you less to heat or cool the house.
- Less money spent on shopping
With only a little space, you are less likely to buy things. You will be mindful of everything you buy. This includes clothing, consumer goods, and food.
- The stress of taking care of a large house will most likely disappear.
Since you will most likely have some extra cash leftover and spend less time cleaning, you will feel less stressed out.
But There Are Some Disadvantages to Downsizing
- Having to give away and sell some stuff
When downsizing, you will have no options but to get rid of some of the things you will not be able to take with you. Some of these things may even have some sentimental value.
- You will not be able to invite people over.
Smaller homes have fewer and smaller rooms. This means you will not be able to host huge parties nor invite guests to stay over.
- A restricted amount of space
If you are used to living in a big house this a huge adjustment you will have to get used to. It may even feel cramped.
Before You Move to Your New Home
Before starting the downsizing process, here are a few things you should do:
1. Do not throw away things you want, use or need.
What we mean by this is to find things that matter to you and decide if you can them with you. Yes, we said to not throw them away. But what we actually mean is do not throw away anything that has some sentimental value to you without first giving it serious thought. That piece of art you always look at when you cross the threshold of your home is a definite keep. The chipped mug you always drink from and the old kitchen towel you got as a gift? Not so much.
2. Put buying new things on hold.
Yes, keep the old stuff that has sentimental value. But hold off purchasing anything new. When downsizing, it is not a good idea to acquire any more stuff before you have actually stepped into your new home. What if you don’t need that thing after all? Or, what if you don’t have actually have space for that new furniture?
3. If you collect things, do not take the whole collection with you.
Some people collect stamps. Others collect drink coasters. A few even collect wine or shot glasses. Regardless of what you collect, you’ve probably been gifted a lot of similar items to add to your collection. But here’s the catch: drink coasters and stamp are not likely to take up much space.
But it’s not the same for wine and shot glasses. They take up quite a lot of space, space you probably no longer have. Instead, pick only your favorite and take them with you. If you can, limit to around 4 -5 items and donate the rest. Scandalous, we know. But it’s the best option if you want your collection to take up a quarter of your garage.
4. Don’t move anything that doesn’t have a designated space in your new home.
Don’t just pack everything you want or need (or think you need). As mentioned above, you may not have enough space in your new house for these items. So, plan ahead. Decide where you’ll place each piece of furniture and items.
Once you have that laid out, you can start packing. Unless you do that beforehand, you may end up with several boxes that you cannot unpack simply because there’s not sufficient space in your new place.