DOWNSIZING YOUR HOME
As life changes, so do our housing needs. Whether you have an empty nest, a change in financial circumstances, or you just want something simpler, there may come a point when the size of your current home is no longer needed. This realization is the reason that many homeowners decide to downsize. This means moving to a place with fewer rooms, less square footage, and less upkeep. Whether you’re looking to declutter, optimize space, or embrace a more minimalist lifestyle, we’ve put together some practical tips that will empower you to navigate the downsizing journey with confidence and ease.
The Top 5 Benefits of Downsizing Your Home
There are a number of advantages for homeowners who choose to downsize and transition into and smaller and more manageable home. Here are the top 5 benefits:
- Clean Less: When you move into a place with less square footage, there will be far less space for you to clean, giving you extra time to do what you actually want to do!
- Save Money: Utility bills are not as expensive due to the smaller area to heat and cool. Additionally, with less to pay for, you’ll likely have more expendable income to use for daily purchases, travel, and savings.
- Reduced Yard Work: In most cases of downsizing, you’ll have a smaller exterior and front yard. This means you won’t have to spend as much time mowing the lawn or mulching. For areas that get snow storms, this means less time shoveling. Many people downsize to a condo or a living community, and sometimes the outdoor maintenance is completely taken care of for you!
- Less Clutter: In a smaller space, you’ll naturally have fewer options for storage. Fewer belongings to own and maintain can save time and stress!
- Overall Enjoyment: With more time and fewer distractions, you are free to enjoy the simple things in life!
Preparing to Sell your Current Home
Selling your home can be a daunting process, and doing so for the purpose of downsizing adds its own unique set of challenges. However, with an expert REALTOR® in your corner, you’ll have a professional experienced in downsizing to help you navigate through the entire journey with confidence. They’ll be able to walk you through the typical aspects of selling a property, including boosting the curb appeal, staging your home for listing photos and showings, and exploring other ways to increase the home’s value. With downsizing, there comes the added task of significantly reducing your personal belongings, as you won’t have nearly as much storage space in your new home.
How to Declutter and Organize Your Belongings
What should you keep, what should you sell or donate and what should you throw away? Follow these tips when going through all your belongings.
- Walk through each room in your home and decide which areas need decluttering. Start with the main living spaces in your house, including the living room and kitchen, and move on to the bedrooms and bathrooms. Be sure to leave extra time for your attic and/or basement, as most clutter ends up living in those spaces.
- Go through all cabinets, shelves, and drawers. Remove every item and only put back the things that you couldn’t live without.
- Measure your furniture. All your existing furniture most likely won’t fit into your new, smaller space. Measure all your furniture and plan out what will go where. Simply put, the stuff that won’t fit in your new home needs to be left behind.
- Where does it all go? For the items you no longer need, you can donate them, sell pieces to your buyers or at a yard sale, and you can give the high-quality, sentimental pieces to the family. Or quite simply, you can throw items away!
- Follow the 20/20 Rule. If the item can be replaced in 20 minutes for $20 or less, it’s time to get rid of it. If you end up needing one, it’s easily accessible.
- You can also try the 5-Second Rule. If you can’t remember the last time you used something in 5 seconds, it’s probably time to part ways with it.
When the day finally comes to pack up and move, you’ll have only the items you absolutely need to begin your next chapter in your smaller space!
Finding your New Home
Where Should You Move?
When you downsize, you most likely won’t be moving many more times in the future. If the house you are buying is a place you plan on staying in indefinitely, consider your needs for the future:
Take into consideration:
- Town and State
- The size of the house. Do you want an extra room for the family to stay and visit?
- Condo or House? Do you want to pay an HOA, or would you still take care of maintenance?
- Accessibility to amenities – In some cases of downsizing, some people choose to move into a 55+ Community, where they’ll have access to all sorts of amenities!
- Proximity to family
- How well this new property will fit into your lifestyle? Consider your work schedule, leisure activities, and hobbies. Aligning your daily rhythms and interests helps identify neighborhoods where you can seamlessly integrate the life you envision for yourself.
This selling and buying process, while at times overwhelming has been known to be very cathartic. If you hire an experienced REALTOR® who has experience working with downsizing clients before, you’ll be in great hands. Once you are in your new home, filled with everything you love and need, and with less work to do daily, you’ll be thrilled you made the decision to downsize.