It’s a known fact that downsizing is usually for people who are getting older. This is because senior citizens are most likely to downsize. According to data (source?) from the National Association of Realtors 2022 report, most people aged 57 years and above sold off their large homes to cut costs and shifted to smaller ones in 2021.
However, downsizing can be an excellent way to simplify life and find happiness for everyone. The following steps will help you determine if it’s time to downsize, so you can simplify your home and life.
Benefits of Downsizing
Downsizing can offer a lot of benefits, such as the following:
- Spend less time cleaning. It’s a fact, big houses require more upkeep than small ones. The more rooms you have, the more work it takes to keep them clean and tidy, and what’s worse is that most people don’t have enough hours in their day to get all of this done.
- Spend less time doing laundry. Downsizing can also mean simplifying your wardrobe so that laundry isn’t such a chore anymore. However, if you still want to keep some variety in what you wear, having fewer clothes means fewer loads of laundry per week or month.
- Save money on utilities, groceries, and other expenses by reducing space requirements for heating and cooling appliances, etc.
Downsizing can also save you money on property insurance, utility bills, etc. According to a recent report from StorageCafe, it can help save around $196,000 on average across the USA. According to the report, San Jose was the city with the highest savings of around $778,000.
Since downsizing saves you a lot of money, it is best for retired seniors who want to spend their lives on the savings they have built until now. Hence, downsizing is best once the nest, or your large house, is empty.
Downsizing once the nest is empty will gain you the above benefits and enable you to lead a simple yet active lifestyle. For instance, since cleaning and laundry will take less time, you will be able to focus on physical activity and meditation to keep yourself healthy.
How to Downsize
While downsizing can be beneficial, taking the wrong path will be useless. Here are some tips to help you downsize.
Establish the Reason for Downsizing
The first step in downsizing is to establish why you want to downsize and what your goals are. Are you looking for a smaller place because of finances, or do you want less housework? Are there children who will be moving out soon, freeing up space in the house?
Once you have established why your family needs to move into a new home, the next step is figuring out how much space they need. This will help determine whether or not this move will be successful for them, and if it isn’t, then perhaps another option would better fit their needs.
Organize Your Home
Organizing is a great way to get started downsizing your home. List everything you want to keep, then organize your home by room. This will help make it easier for you when deciding what should stay and what should go.
Donate items you can’t use or don’t need anymore. If there’s still too much stuff in the house, consider organizing the garage and attic next. You may also want to organize kitchen cabinets and pantry space if there’s no room left in the cupboards for food storage containers or pots/pans sets.
Finally, closets are often packed with clothes you don’t wear anymore but still hold onto because “they might come back into style someday.” If you don’t have much experience with this, you can get a professional organizer onboard, who will charge around $55 per hour, depending on the level of expertise.
Sell or Donate Things You Don’t Need
It’s essential to get rid of the things you don’t love. Don’t keep things around because they are expensive, valuable, or sentimental. If the object doesn’t bring you joy and make your heart sing, it has no place in your home.
If an item is not bringing you joy or serving a purpose, you must ask yourself if you can replace it with something similar without taking up space. For example, if your husband loves his old laptop but it doesn’t work well anymore, there’s no point in keeping it in the house.
Find Homes for Things That You Want to Keep But Don’t Need Right Now
If there are things you want to keep but don’t need right now, find homes for them. You can give your old furniture, clothes, and kitchenware away. You can sell them on marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist. Or you could donate them to charity if they’re still in good condition.
If you know someone who could use an item, pass it along. Your local Salvation Army or Goodwill store might even have a donation box where people can drop off items no longer needed by their owners.
However, if you do want to keep some things that you think might be useful sometime in the future, you can store them in a small storage place. If you don’t have the space for a storage room, you can go for a self-storage unit. In 2020, 13.5 million families in the US rented self-storage units.
Donate Items Instead of Selling Them
You’ll be doing a good deed by donating things to help others and reducing the amount of clutter in your home simultaneously. If you reduce clutter, you can save money, which you would otherwise have to spend on storage renting.
If any items were gifts or have sentimental value only, consider giving these away as well. They may not be worth anything financially, but they can still bring happiness when given as gifts or displayed proudly on a shelf in your home.
You can also donate items directly to friends and family members who may want them instead of selling them online or at an antique shop, where they might get damaged during shipping or handling by strangers and then end up costing money anyway. It’s always nice when someone gives us something for free rather than making us pay for it ourselves.
There is no right way to downsize your home, but we hope this article has given you some ideas on simplifying your life. The most important thing is ensuring the process makes sense for you and your family.
Don’t do it if downsizing feels overwhelming or like too much work. You don’t need us telling you how important it is not just for our environment but also for our mental health. Less stress means more happiness and peace of mind, and none of us want anything less than that.