Last updated on August 14th, 2023 at 10:17 pm
It has traditionally been the goal of the retired; to downsize and reap the equity rewards they’ve built up in their current, larger home. Now, some sources are suggesting that downsizing isn’t quite as hot as it once was, with the recent pandemic playing a large part in this.
However, if you want to learn how to downsize and simplify your life because you’re retiring, want to save money, or for any other reason, we’ve compiled a list of ten helpful tips.
How to Downsize and Simplify Your Life: 10 Tips for Success
- Assess your needs
The first step is to take an honest look at your needs and what you want from your new home. Do you need a lot of bedrooms if your children have all flown the nest? Is a backyard important to you? Or do you simply want to live in a home that’s easier to maintain?
Sure, downsizing is about making your home smaller – but this doesn’t have to only mean fewer bedrooms. You can tailor your ‘downsizing’ needs to whatever suits you.
- Consider your budget
Your budget is obviously going to be a key consideration when downsizing. You need to be realistic about what you can afford and what you’re willing to compromise on. How much equity do you have in your existing home? Do you have enough to go mortgage free?
- Downsizing checklist
Make a list of everything you’d need in your new home and be ruthless in crossing off items that are no longer important to you. This will help you to focus on what’s important.
- Location, location, location
Think about the areas you would like to live in and research the cost of properties in those areas. If you’re downsizing in the later stages of your life, it goes without saying that your location needs are much different than what they were a couple of decades ago.
What if there’s nowhere in your desired location that’s suitable? Consider a rental home while you wait. Pack your belongings in a safe furniture storage facility while you play the waiting game until your new dream home and location are available.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few areas, take the time to research the cost of living in those areas and learn more about the local amenities. It’s not just about the price of the property, but also the rest of your living expenses, along with so many other things we might not immediately think of. Consider the area’s entertainment venues, shopping, restaurants, parks, and infrastructure.
- Make a list of must-haves
What are the things that are absolutely essential to you in a new home? Make a list and be prepared to compromise on the rest.
- Get rid of excess belongings (aka decluttering)
This is going to be a key part of the downsizing process. You need to get rid of anything that’s no longer needed or useable. Decluttering can be tough, but it’s worth it in the long run.
- Downsize your lifestyle
This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You may need to be prepared to downsize your lifestyle to match your new home. This might mean downsizing your car, your wardrobe, or your social life. Downsizing a property quite often has plenty of ripple effects, all of which need to be considered.
- Ask for help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t have to be the physical help of moving, but it could be support in finding a new area or home for your needs. Particularly if you have lived in one area for a long time, it can be difficult to find somewhere new without outside support.
- Take your time
Now that you know more about how to downsize and simply your life–remember you don’t have to rush anything. This is a huge decision, even if you are actually making a profit on your downsizing journey.
Moving frome one home to another is stressful at the best of times, but if you do your due diligence beforehand, you can at least be confident you have done everything you can to make it a success.
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