Why Downsizing Your Home May Be the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make
Deciding to move is already an emotional process, but throw in the fact that you’re considering downsizing and it’s likely to add an extra element of anxiety to the mix. But considering we’re living larger in the U.S. by an upwards of approximately 1,000 square-feet since 1973 — and space per person has doubled — you’ve got to ask yourself, how much space do you really need? There are several benefits that come with moving into a smaller abode, and once you become privy to them, you won’t even think twice about packing those boxes.
Why Do It?
- More Money: Fact: Studies indicate that Americans are struggling to pay down their debt, yet they’re spending 40 percent of their income on non-essentials and only 33 percent on their debts. While that’s clearly an example of poor money management, it clearly means we’re living beyond our means, too. By purchasing a smaller home that costs less than what you can make from your current abode, you’ll be able to throw more moneyat your loans, credit cards, retirement fund, and mortgage — or possibly even pay for your new home in cash. Even if you’re in good financial shape, you can create a larger nest egg and finally be able to spend a little cash enjoying the fruits of your labor with a dream vacation. Downsizing your lifestyle can also save you money because you’ll have less space to fill with superfluous purchases.
- More Free Time: The bigger the space, the more upkeep you’ll have, from cleaning to maintenance to emergency home repairs. If you really want to cut down on all of this busywork, consider moving into an apartment or condo if you’re single or retired.
- Reduced Carbon Footprint: One look at your utility bills and you know that large homes eat up a lot of energy. Smaller homes, however, have the hidden benefit of reducing your carbon footprint during the warmer and cooler months. Up the ante by looking into smaller, more energy efficient appliances and systems for your new home.
- Change of Pace: Whether you’re newly retired, following the loss of a loved one, or recently became an empty-nester, moving to a new neighborhood or city can help you start a new chapter in your life. The fact that you’ll have less upkeep means you’ll have more time to get to know your neighbors and become active within the community.
How To Do It
It’s impossible to bring everything from your old home into your new one, so downsizing will you help you prioritize your life by bringing only what’s absolutely necessary. Start by getting rid of items you don’t need or haven’t used in a year. Keep things that bring you joy, but make sure you have a good idea of where these items are going to go first. Go digital for anything that’s bulky like that old CD and DVD collection.
Measure the space in your new home, as well as the furniture you plan on taking, to make sure it’s going to fit. Consider selling old pieces and purchasing a couple of smaller, quality items that also double as storage spaces. Implement creative organization techniques such as built-in bookshelves, vertical closet organizers, pull-out drawers under the bed, and recessed niches to make the best use of your small space.
Make an effort to reduce moving stress by being organized. Plan your date and book your movers in advance and lean on resources and anchors in your life to help keep you grounded. Remember to keep things in perspective, too — you’re not the first or last person who’s going through the same thing, so focus on the positives and start enjoying the next chapter of your life.
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