Moving from a large house to a smaller space can present a somewhat tough transition period, but the benefits of deciding to simplify can’t be understated. Downsizing is becoming a popular route for people of all ages for varied reasons; from simplifying life in general to saving money, it’s an attractive option. If you’re deciding whether or not to take the plunge and move into a smaller home, you’ll find this article filled with tips and tricks for making it happen.
By Holly Tomlinson
Finding a New Place:
If your home is paid off, selling it could become a major source of capital and give you the flexibility to find a smaller place for less money or in an area you’d prefer to live in. If you’re looking to rent instead of own, use a rental listing website like Hotpads.com. It’s essential to remember that simplifying your life isn’t an uncomplicated process, though. During the search for a rental or new home, you’ll be handing out a lot of sensitive information, including bank statements and your social security number. Instead of giving it out no questions asked, request that your potential landlord use a certified screening service like Transunion Smartmove to ensure they get the info they need and you remain as protected as possible. Rushing the moving process will make moving much more complicated and open you up to potential scammers.
With a smaller home comes less maintenance requirements, both inside and outside. Smaller square footage often complements smaller yards, meaning your landscaping costs will also be decreased. Repairs will be fewer, and in-house upkeep will take less time and effort; less time cleaning and more time lounging.
Consider the Furniture:
If you’re moving to a much smaller place, you’ll need to take the size of your furniture into consideration. If you have pieces too large for your rooms, i.e. a king-sized bed that won’t fit into your new master bedroom, you’ll find you might be initially shelling out more money for new furniture. One upside? Smaller furniture pieces are less expensive, and may be covered by the sale of your current furniture. Before selecting a smaller home, you’ll have to budget how much would need to be spent for new furnishings and weigh whether or not it’s still a sound financial move for your individual aims.
Time for the Purge:
If you’re moving to a new place that’s much smaller in size, it stands to reason that you can’t take all of your current belongings with you. It’s actually mind-blowing how much stuff we accumulate over the years, and if you’re scratching your head at how you’ll be able to fit all of your possessions into a place that’s half the size of your current home, the answer is: you simply can’t. It’s time to take inventory of all that you have and start parting with the things you don’t need and those that don’t hold sentimental meaning.
This isn’t specific to only your closet. You’ll likely need to get rid of old décor, recreational equipment, dishes, electronics—and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You may find that you have an overwhelming attachment to some of your material items, and that’s normal, but it’s something every downsizer deals with. It’s hard to regulate our consumption of material items, but it’s a necessity if you’re looking to simplify your life, so it may be that your shopping habits have to change as well. Don’t let the things you own, own you.
When you’ve decided what you’re going to part with, you can choose to give these items to people who could truly use them through a charitable organization, or hold a garage sale and use the cash to pad your wallet even further. In any case, getting rid of these items will make your moving costs much smaller as well.
You’ll Save on Utilities:
With a smaller home, you’ll pay less in utilities. A larger home means you’ll be expending more energy to heat or cool the entire space, which will translate to higher energy bills. Not only does this poorly affect your wallet, but it’s also bad for the environment. Because downsizing means you’ll bring along less furniture and appliances simply for lack of space, you’ll also have less plugged into energy sources throughout the day. One of the biggest energy expenditures comes from forgetting to unplug appliances that aren’t in use. With every one less appliance you’re guaranteed to save money, it’s that simple.
Downsizing is by no means an easy process, but it is a worthy option to consider for multiple reasons and it could be the right route for you.
By Holly Tomlinson. Image via Domaine.