The Advantages of Downsizing

If you are a renter or homeowner, you have probably heard people talk about downsizing, and how it can change your worldview.

Downsizing can be incredibly advantageous, but only if you meet all of the basic conditions that it is supposed to remedy. While it isn’t for everyone, you can learn how downsizing your home might be a great way to put more money into your pocket, as well as happily and responsibly use your living space to its fullest potential.

What is downsizing, and who does it?

Downsizing is basically moving from one house or apartment into another one that is smaller in size. This does not necessarily mean you are downgrading. Quantity does not always equate to quality in the housing market. By moving from a bigger home to a smaller one of comparable comfort and style, you can often save a lot of time and money.

Thus, anyone can effectively downsize, as long as they do so properly. Downsizing is a particularly common practice for retirees, as they may not need quite such a big home or apartment after finishing up with their work, and empty-nesters who don’t need all of their children’s old bedrooms. However, you may also wish to downsize if you have recently had a job change, want a lower monthly rent payment, or simply do not need the amount of space that you currently have.

The Many Perks of Downsizing Your Home

There are many reasons that one might choose to downsize into a smaller home or apartment. By understanding these benefits, you can begin to come to a conclusion regarding what kind of housing situation meets your needs. Some of these benefits are:

  • Financial : Obviously, it is cheaper to pay for a smaller apartment than a larger one, assuming the two are in the same location. Smaller houses and apartments usually mean lower monthly rents, lower mortgage payments, lower utility bills (especially in terms of the amount of work your air conditioner and heater must put in) and lower cleaning costs. By purposefully downsizing for financial reasons, you can put that extra cash towards something special for your family, like a vacation.
  • Space-efficient : Downsizing can ensure that not only are you taking up less space (with a smaller price tag), but you are also keeping all of your belongings in a more concise environment. Having too many rooms and too much square footage can lead to spreading out your belongings across many different rooms – but with a smaller house, you can access all of your things much more quickly.
  • Simplified : To continue on this point, downsizing is an excellent way to de-clutter your life. There are often many material possessions that we may keep for no reason. And when you decide to move, the more things you have to pack, the harder your moving process will be. Keep in mind: you do not necessarily have to throw away things that you may not need when you downsize. But if you choose to do so, it will make unpacking in your new place so much easier and more tolerable. Plus, you may realize that you never needed a certain item after all!
  • Convenient : Downsizing can be extremely convenient for a number of reasons. First, it allows you to spend less of your time doing annoying housekeeping, such as cleaning, gardening and lawn maintenance. This saved cleaning time can be used to get some extra work or rest in. Also, downsizing can often land you in more city-based areas, where you don’t have to travel as far to get to the stores and attractions that you want to go to.

By downsizing effectively, you can get the right amount of space for you and your family, while saving some extra money as an added bonus.

Why might someone NOT choose to downsize?

However, downsizing is not for everyone. When it comes down to it, saying goodbye to your home can be a difficult decision, especially if you have lived there for a while. Certain types of furniture, like especially big couches and armoires, may not be able to fit in a downsized apartment. There are no guarantees with regards to new neighborhoods, either. Moving means having to meet new neighbors, find new grocery stores, and even get new jobs and school districts. Those who are already deeply rooted in their community may have a harder time finding a way to downsize while still staying in their general area.

Additionally, downsizing just may not make too much financial sense in certain circumstances. The biggest point of downsizing is to save money, but if you move from a moderately sized house in the country to a small apartment in the city, you are likely going to have to spend more money on the apartment due to the convenience of living in the city. The attractions of living in the city may still make this move make sense for some. However, it is very important to keep in mind why you are moving in the first place, and how much money you are willing to spend on moving trucks, closing fees and your new rent/mortgage.

Weighing Downsizing Factors

Whether you are leaning towards downsizing or staying where you are, it is incredibly important to sit down and consider all of your options and possible outcomes. Finding the right time to make the downsizing move can be tricky, and you may need to get a variety of opinions from your family, friends and even lifestyle professionals. Downsizing is a big step in your life, and it can come with some serious financial benefits if you choose to go along with it. Ultimately, while the final decision is yours to make, downsizing your home and possessions can be a big step towards making the most of your time and resources without worrying about building up towards the fanciest place to live.

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