The Unexpected Benefits of Downsizing Your Home

There’s a lot of reasons why families decide to downsize. It’s not only because of the pandemic. Financiallife change, and location are three key elements people decide to downsize.

When people downsize, they’re not sure what to expect. But getting used to a smaller home is easier when you notice the bonuses. People who have downsized have noticed these unexpected benefits:

    1. They save on furniture and general upkeep, which means less spending.
    2. A smaller home means less cleaning and maintenance.
    3. Less space means saving on heating, cooling, and other energy costs.
    4. Traveling is easier since a smaller home is easy to take care of in their absence.
    5. They discover new organizing systems and processes to keep things in order.

Living small doesn’t mean you’re giving up anything. Are you giving up space, yes, but you find new and creative ways to live? Downsizing doesn’t mean you’ll be cramped. I’ve seen and helped clients who actually find smaller homes cozier.

The trick is preparation. And knowing why.

Don’t just downsize because it’s a trend. Downsize for the right reasons.

Has the pandemic made you realize your job in proportion to your child’s school is too great a distance? Are you tired of cleaning rooms no one uses? Are you sick of having to drive twenty minutes to get anywhere (the grocery store, shops, a coffeehouse, etc)? 

Ask yourself these questions and consider them carefully. Have a conversation with your significant other. Maybe they’ve been feeling a need for change, but haven’t felt confident saying anything yet. 

Talk about what you both want and if downsizing might be an option for you and your family.

RightSizing Home Checklist

Preparation is key when embarking on any new journey. Downsizing your home — if you choose to go down that path — can be a daunting task. 

Check out this foolproof checklist on how to get through this with as little stress as possible.

  1. Start early: I said before, preparation is vital. You can’t expect to crush any plan without first sitting down and figuring out the steps you need to take. If you plan on moving by April, the best time to start planning is now.
  2. Figure out a budget: Once you decide your deadline, next up is budget planning. What are you willing to spend? Remember, some of your big furniture might not be able to come with you. What can you shell out for new stuff? Even if you’re off by a few hundred dollars, write it down. You can adjust later.
  3. Scout locations: Next is to figure out where you plan on moving to. Research as many areas as possible. Take into account when looking at what you want in a new space. Consider cost and nearby essentials. How far is the nearest supermarket? Your kids’ school? Your job
  4. Begin packing: Once you found and locked in your new place, it’s time to start packing. Pack the items you know you’ll have room for. You hopefully scooped out the new place and got some measurements. This will help significantly when packing. 
  5. Eliminate rooms you won’t have: How many rooms does your new place have? If you downsized right it should be less than what you have now. Here’s where creativity comes in. You need to figure out how to make up for those fewer rooms.
  6. Get rid of duplicates: We’re known to overbuy. But now is the time to rid yourself of any unnecessary duplicate items. Remember, you won’t have the same amount of storage space. Ask yourself: Do you really need two whisks? What about those two black wool jackets? 
  7. Reduce collections. You love your salt n’ pepper shaker collection. But your new home doesn’t have space for all of them. Here’s where it gets hard. Select your favorites. No more than five. Gather the rest and take a few photos for memories. Believe me, it’ll be tough. No one said downsizing is easy.
  8. Sell or re-gift items. For those pieces you know for a fact you’re not taking, have a yard sale a few weeks before moving day. Do your best to sell or re-gift as many unwanted items as possible. Whatever remains you can donate to the charity of your choice. But make sure these items are out of your hair long before you move.
  9. Allow time to reminisce. As I said before, downsizing isn’t easy. You’re leaving behind a lot. Give yourself time to say goodbye. It might seem funny, but we get attached to our things. Saying a proper goodbye and reliving the memories it gave you is normal. Take that time.
  10. A chance to bond. Downsizing and decluttering is a great family bonding experience. Teach your kids how important it is to let stuff go when it no longer serves a purpose. Relive memories together. Take pictures of them with childhood toys. Make it fun, yet educational.

Choosing to downsize won’t be an easy decision. It’ll require planning, preparation, and a lot of decluttering. But the reward is worth the hassle. At least from what I’ve seen.

Posted by Tamara Williams on
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