Downsizing isn’t just a choice that seniors make at a certain juncture in their life. Earth-conscious people as well as those looking to use their finances in a different way also see the merit in, well, living smaller. According to a recent report issued by StorageCafé, savings resulting from downsizing can be substantial, depending on your location. If you live in any of the country’s 20 largest metro areas, you are likely to save over $190K on average when you move from a 4-bedroom to a 2-bedroom.
Whether you’re turning to downsizing as a way to enhance your golden years or for other reasons, swapping houses can be a challenging process. If it’s the right decision for your lifestyle, going for a smaller home can come with a multitude of perks. Here are seven ways in which downsizing can add value to your life:
1. You get a chance to declutter
You might have put down “decluttering” on a mental to-do list but perhaps you never got around to doing it. Now that you’re downsizing, purging your home of unnecessary items becomes a must. Go through your furniture, kitchen utensils, clothes, books and other items to sort through what you really need and what you don’t. You can either sell some items either on websites such as Craigslist, Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace, organize a garage sale if you have a lot of stuff you’d like to part with, or even donate some things to local charities.
Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to get organizing. Downsizing comes with a few space challenges, that’s for sure. You can, however, get over this by finding a place for everything. You can hold on to the things you use on a regular basis and put seasonal and other less-frequently used household items into storage. Depending on how much stuff you own, you can choose between various unit sizes. A 5’x5’ storage unit – which costs somewhere around $50 on average – can easily hold a couple of boxes with seasonal clothing and decorations plus some small furniture items.
2. Rethink your lifestyle
As you transition to a smaller home, you can also reconsider the way you live in terms of using household items. You can become more organized in the way you do laundry now since you might have fewer towels or bed sheets in your new home. Additionally, if you trimmed down your book collection, you might be able to enjoy reading your favorites much more easily since there would be fewer choices. Also, this means you will no longer leave books unread on your nightstand.
3. Limit your environmental footprint
You don’t realize how many belongings you have until you actually move. When you think about where each item comes from, the energy and resources invested in making the products we use for their transportation and the pollution it causes, there is a steep price to pay environmentally speaking in the long run. By cutting down on “stuff” when downsizing, you not only simplify your life but also make a small contribution to the planet’s well-being.
4. Reduce your housework load
As your new home is likely to have less space, there’s less for you to clean, mop and vacuum. There’s also going to be less maintenance work such as painting and mowing – smaller homes tend to have smaller lawns. Having less to do around the house is a great opportunity for you to enjoy the things you actually love. Perhaps you’ll have more time to learn the guitar – if that’s what you’ve always wanted to do.
5. Cut down on expenses
Living in a smaller home will positively impact your house bills. It’s easier to keep a smaller house warm in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer as compared to a larger one. Your gas, electricity and water bills will be considerably lower in your new home. And who can say they don’t like cutting down on expenses? In this way, you can use your savings on things that you’ve always wanted.
6. Better leverage your finances
When selling your current home, you might have already paid off your existing mortgage. If you already paid it off, you can leverage the equity in many ways: you can either set up a savings account or put some of the savings in your retirement fund. You can even use your savings to invest – if you have capital left after buying your smaller home, you can use it to buy a condo such as Kona Condos for Sale and rent it out to generate passive income.
If you still have a mortgage on your current home, downsizing to a smaller one can help reduce your mortgage value and potentially your monthly payments. In addition, this could also mean you will be able to pay off your new home faster than your larger home.
7. Start off anew in another place
Even though downsizing is often associated with retirees looking to move closer to their children, it can also be a great chance to relocate to a dream location whether you’re retired or not. You can finally move to Florida or to another place you always thought might be your own personal paradise.