Knowing When It’s Time to Downsize
Knowing When It’s Time to Downsize Your Home
Are you considering the possibility of downsizing your home? You could be considering it for any number of reasons, ranging from suddenly finding yourself an “empty nester,” to leaning into a more minimalist lifestyle, to simply trying to limit expenses. Either way, you are sure to find yourself on an adventure as you begin the downsizing process.
However, starting the process can be the most substantial challenge. It can be difficult to wade through all the memories stashed away in dusty boxes and make the final decision to cut certain possessions out of your life. Although it can be tough at first, most people feel a weight lift off their shoulders and dive headlong into a downsized lifestyle.
People choose to downsize their homes all of the time, and many feel the financial benefits from it immediately. But that doesn’t necessarily make starting the process that much easier. Certain fun aspects of downsizing, such as searching through clever small home designs, can help.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to downsizing your home is the cost savings. Owning and maintaining a large home can be expensive, and downsizing can help free up a lot of that money for other things such as paying off medical bills, helping with your child’s student loans, or building a larger retirement account. Extra money saved could also be used to kickstart retirement and knock a few things off the bucket list!
Smaller residences can reduce your negative environmental footprint significantly and make your little corner of the world that much greener. Today, every person in the U.S. spends upwards of $2,000 on energy costs annually — the equivalent of over 26,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. A smaller home can help to use less energy because it takes less to heat and cool and typically has a smaller lawn.
A more energy-efficient home can also enable you to take advantage of the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which allows homeowners to capitalize on tax breaks for installing more efficient home appliances. An energy-efficient mortgage can be useful for builders to look into as they incorporate expected energy savings into the mortgage and allow buyers to take out larger loans.
Dealing With All Your Stuff
The real first step to downsizing into a smaller home is sorting home items into piles of things that will come with you and the many, many items that will have to go. Most downsizers consider this the most difficult step because it often involves going through a lot of old memories and getting rid of things that you’ve had for years. Work through the process slowly by starting with the most obvious items and the ones that you can easily sell or give away.
As you continue going through things, you’ll realize that there is A LOT that you have and do not need. Once you’ve got a good pile of things that you are getting rid of, it may be worthwhile to consider having a moving sale. That extra cash makes getting rid of things a lot more bearable. Try not to go completely overboard though; things like furniture can be difficult to replace cheaply once you’re in your smaller home.
When things are finally beginning to move into your new home, try to go slowly. Put away items as you downsize, and try to stay organized. This process can make moving less overwhelming. It can also help make your new place feel less cramped than it might with a pile of boxes arriving all at once.
Making the decision to downsize is a great choice both financially and for the environment. It can be difficult to get rid of enough to comfortably fit into a smaller home, but doing so could open up a number of opportunities. Cost savings could enable you to travel more, and fewer responsibilities at home could make it that much easier to take off on an adventure!
Adrian Johansen writes in order to focus her thoughts on all the things she learns every day! If you want to check out more of her writing, you can find her on twitter