5 Reasons to Downsize Your Home
Bigger isn’t always better – especially when it comes to housing. If you’re trying to save a few bucks and simplify your life, it could be time to downsize your home. In fact, a recent study by Trulia showed that approximately 60 percent of people living in homes 2,000 square feet or larger would like to downsize for their next home.
Whether you’re looking to downsize from a mansion to a two-bedroom home or a 2,000 square foot house to a tiny home, there are a variety of reasons to minimize your home size.
Easy to Maintain
How much time and money do you spend cleaning and updating your home each month? Downsizing to a smaller home can alleviate some of the maintenance concerns found in larger homes. Less space could also mean fewer updates, cutting down on the number of amenities that could require maintenance over time. Think about it: it will cost less to replace a roof on a smaller home than on a mansion.
Lower Cost and Increased Savings
Many times, you can profit by downsizing your home. In a neutral or buyer’s market, smaller homes are less expensive to purchase (unless you are moving to a bigger city or higher tax bracket). Insurance, interest payments, property taxes, and other home-related costs increase with the size of your home. It is also more expensive to heat and cool larger homes. By saving these costs, you can put more money toward debt or savings.
Fund Retirement or College
Empty-nesters or those approaching retirement often downsize to allot more funds toward retirement or their children’s college education. By selling the items you no longer need and cutting back on upkeep, mortgage, and amenity costs, you can put more money toward savings.
Smaller Environmental Impact
Smaller homes have a smaller environmental impact than larger ones. Not only are fewer trees cleared out for smaller properties, but less building materials are required to create the structure. There are long-term environmental savings as well. Less electricity is required to heat and cool a smaller home.
More Family Time
Smaller spaces encourage more interaction. If you find yourself working extra hours to afford your mortgage payment, downsizing could provide the opportunity to spend less time working and more time with your family. Less rooms mean more interaction with those living there, since there are less places to hide.
The more items you have, the more clutter accumulates. It’s difficult to keep many items organized. Your possessions can also cause you to have additional expectations for yourself. For example, an unused crafting closet could make you feel like you need to craft one day to make the purchases worthwhile. Downsizing your home can lead to increased freedom – whether that is freedom from a busy schedule or freedom from a cluttered lifestyle.
What to Keep
When downsizing your home, it’s important to also downsize your belongings. After all, you’ll have less space to fit everything. Moving is the perfect opportunity to minimize your possessions.
Start with a list. Put each of your possessions in one of three categories – must have, would like to keep, and can live without. Ask yourself, if everything I owned was destroyed in a fire, what would I replace first? Those items go in the “must have” category.
To pare down the “would like to keep” category, consider the floor plan of your new home. Will your large furniture fit? If not, sell and replace it. Will you have the same number of closets and storage? Consider your duplicate items. Do you need 20 coffee mugs for a family of four?
Optimize storage by replacing single-use furniture pieces with more functional items like futons or beds with hidden storage underneath. Digitize family photos, videos, and documents to cut back on clutter.
Have you been telling yourself you’ll fix something for months but just haven’t gotten around to it? Now is the time to throw away broken items. You can replace them if you need to down the line.
Follow the one-year rule when decluttering your clothing. If you haven’t worn it in the past year, you aren’t likely to wear it again. Donate the lightly-worn items to a local charity and recycle the rest.
If you aren’t sure you will need certain items in your new home, you can rent a storage unit to store them until you know what you’ll need. Once you are finished settling into your new home, you can sell or donate the remaining pieces.
Even with fewer possessions, moving can be a hassle without a quality moving company. EverSafe’s team of certified, professional movers can make sure your move into your smaller home is smooth and damage-free. Contact us to take the stress out of downsizing!