Don’t take the term “downsizing” as negative. When it comes to our home, it’s not unusual to think that trading in for a smaller space is somehow a step backwards. Instead, consider this transition as “rightsizing” – strategically aligning your living situation with your lifestyle. Following are three tips to help ensure that just your home and not your happiness gets downsized.
Establish your reason for downsizing
Downsizing is often motivated by practical or financial reasons. Smaller homes tend to require less upkeep, which is why downsizing is appealing when there are fewer people living at home. A smaller home often appeals to those who want to simplify their life. A smaller home can also be less expensive, so those who are retiring or looking for more disposable income may seek to downsize. Regardless of the reason, what’s important is that you understand why you want to downsize so that you can dispel the doubts that tend to surface with any big move. Knowing your “why” will also help when it comes to home searching, as financial and practical motivations don’t always go together. For example, a condominium in the city can be very low maintenance, but the associated fees can make it a less budget-friendly option. Understanding why downsizing appeals to you can help you make an informed decision that perfectly matches your expectations.
Calculate how much space you need
Moving all your current possessions into a smaller space can make it feel cramped very quickly. As you downsize your home, you should do the same to your belongings. Go through your home room by room and purge anything that’s nonessential. The kitchen and the bedroom are notorious culprits for excessive clutter. Next, take stock of any unused or excessively bulky furniture. An oversized bed frame or sectional sofa may look great now, but a smaller space requires more appropriately sized furniture. Replacing furniture can be a significant hidden cost when downsizing, which is why knowing ahead of time what will fit in your new space can help you stay on top of your finances and maintain peace of mind. You may be surprised to find that having fewer but more meaningful possessions in your home can be quite liberating. Once you know how much space these possessions require, you can calculate the minimum amount of space you will need and work from there to find your ideal home size.
List your trade-offs
Downsizing doesn’t have to mean “less”. At one time, a fourth bedroom and a finished basement may have made sense, but now you may find having a renovated kitchen, a walkable neighborhood or a shared pool to be an acceptable compromise. Next, outline what you will be giving up with the move. Whether it’s the memories associated with big gatherings at a family house, or your spacious yard and beloved garden, consider the emotional impact of the decision and weigh it accordingly. Once you have a completed list, you can evaluate the move and identify potential issues before they arise.
Downsizing can be a simple living adjustment, and with more people becoming lifestyle conscious, it’s an idea that’s gaining traction. Size isn’t the only consideration; what matters most is that you feel content with where you live.