The common opinion when buying a home used to be “the bigger the better”, but with more financial and environmental awareness, many people are leaning towards minimalism in both their lifestyles and their choice of living spaces.
From factors, such as age or debt, there are various reasons for downsizing, each with its own considerations.
Take a look at this post to see if downsizing may be right for you, and if it isn’t right now, why it might be an option to look into in the future.
Downsizing as a Senior
Often, seniors find their family home seems to have grown three sizes over the years. The amount of maintenance that it takes to keep the house running can be overwhelming, let alone the cost of supporting a large home for just one or two people. That’s why many seniors choose to downsize, either to a seniors’ community or complex, or to a smaller condo or townhouse.
When deciding whether or not it’s time for you to move to a smaller home, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my house too large for me to maintain and clean by myself?
- Would a smaller space better fit my needs and lifestyle?
- Would I feel more independent in a smaller home that I could easily take care of?
- Am I ready to not only downsize my home, but my possessions as well?
If you feel like you would be more comfortable in a smaller home, it might be time to start on your journey to a house that better suits your current needs, instead of those of your past.
Downsizing After the Kids Move Out
Empty nest syndrome is something that many parents face after the kids move out. While you may feel like your house is no longer a home, it might just mean that you need to make a different nest for yourself. Your life has changed, and that just means that you need to make it into something new and exciting.
Since your family home was most likely purchased to be just that—your family home—now might be the time to start thinking about a new home for the new you—the one with adult children. Put your needs first, and really try to envision yourself in a space that will make you happy. Your kids will still come to visit and downsizing can be a great way to adjust to your new life.
Ask yourself these questions to see if downsizing after your children have moved out might be just what you need:
- Do I want a smaller space that is easier to maintain?
- Have I always wanted to create a space around my needs, instead of someone else’s?
- Could downsizing help to free up some money and let me take that trip I always wanted to?
After shaping a life around your children, it’s your opportunity to have a space of your very own. If you feel like your house is too big, and too empty, since your kids moved out, choosing a smaller space might be the way to go.
We’ve all seen the posts circulating about micro-homes built out of storage containers, or cheap and small solutions to home ownership. While these options may not be for everyone, they are perfect for someone who might be looking to scale back on costs. Many people have at least some form of debt, whether that’s a student loan, mortgage, or credit card. Micro-homes can give people the option to own their property while having little to no debt by allowing them to use the money that would have normally gone towards a mortgage to go straight towards other debts.
With this option though, you will be making some sacrifices. Make sure to consider the following questions before deciding if downsizing for financial freedom is right for you:
- How much will I be saving if I downsize?
- How much space do I need? (mini-homes can start at just 160 square feet)
- What are my long- and-short term financial goals?
If you have the determination to gain financial freedom, and you wouldn’t mind living in a small but efficient space, downsizing to pay off your debt could work for you. It might also be a great option for students, young couples, or as a hotel alternative to frequent travelers.
Sometimes, we wake up and realize just how much “stuff” we actually have. For some, this can be inspiration to start living smaller and to simplify their lives. Getting rid of things can provide both financial and spiritual freedom, but once you limit your belongings, the next step might be to look for a smaller living space.
If you have recently decided to start trimming down the items in your home, and you are considering a move to a smaller abode, ask yourself the following:
- Am I fully interested in, and committed to, living in a smaller space?
- Will a smaller home accommodate my family and lifestyle needs?
- Do my spending habits support my desire to downsize?
Maintaining a simpler lifestyle with fewer belongings can be a big undertaking, so make sure that it’s something you are ready and committed to accomplishing before unloading all of your possessions and embarking on your minimalistic journey.
Tips for Downsizing
As mentioned, once you decide to downsize, for whatever reason best fits your needs, you will also have to limit the number of items you take with you. A smaller home will likely have less space for possessions. Some ways to get rid of unwanted things include:
- Holding a garage or yard sale
- Selling items online
- Giving things away to family or friends
- Donating items to charities or second-hand shops
By selling, donating, or giving away items, you are contributing to a “no waste” lifestyle. Instead of simply choosing to throw unwanted items away, find others who are in need of what you have to offer. You might even make a little extra cash on the side.
Deciding to Downsize
Downsizing can offer many benefits, such as reducing your environmental footprint, adding to your financial freedom, and providing you with a living space that is easier to manage and maintain.
Whatever your reasons, weigh both the pros and cons to your current and future lifestyle to decide if it’s the right thing for you to do now, of if it’s something that you want to do later in your life.
Have you considered downsizing, or have you downsized recently? What positive or negative benefits made you decide for or against it?