While society pushes the narrative that bigger is better, many homeowners decide that the opposite, as in downsizing, is more advantageous. Downsizing involves moving from a larger living space to a smaller one and getting rid of possessions that no longer meet one’s current lifestyle. The decision to downsize could be due to becoming empty nesters, moving from a larger rural or suburban residence to a smaller home in the city, or, overwhelmingly, saving money – which is especially true among millennials.
Strategizing, Taking Inventory and De-Cluttering
It’s vital to start the downsizing process early and strategize with one’s agent concerning buying or selling. The decision to downsize and the process itself can be emotionally taxing, so it is best not to rush. Once secure with the choice, it is critical to reset one’s mindset, taking a mental inventory of all possessions – there are usually things people forget they even had. Pause all purchases, start de-cluttering and measure furniture as well.
During the pre-packing stage, homeowners must determine which items they no longer need and which ones hold sentimental value. When ridding oneself of excess possessions, some options include hosting a yard sale, donating to charity, giving to friends or family or selling them on the internet.
Advantages of Downsizing
One of the immediate advantages of downsizing is a decrease in financial stressors. Having a smaller property means a diminished mortgage payment, reduced utility bills and less time and resources required to maintain the house – which is particularly helpful for people as they get older and repairs become more of a physical challenge.
In terms of basic economics, spending less means that people who choose to downsize will also increase their cash flow and money saved. Another benefit to having a smaller space is seamless de-cluttering. A minimized space means homeowners will cut down on buying things that would make it harder to keep their homes organized.
Disadvantages of Downsizing
One of the most common disadvantages of downsizing is the emotional experience of ridding oneself of possessions. Sometimes, people find it challenging to part with seemingly trivial items. For things like photos, it’s wise to keep the most precious ones and digitize the rest.
Other downsides to consider are that transitioning to a smaller living situation means significant lifestyle changes. It may no longer be feasible to be the host/hostess for family gatherings. Extra room for guests will also be limited, and privacy might become an issue. Another consideration is children – families that downsize typically do so after their children move out. However, for those who have young children, studies show that the move can potentially be tough emotionally for kids.
Contacting an Expert
Generally, it is best to sell your current home before buying a new one – reach out to NMC today, and we can discuss the decision to downsize.