Downsizing is a great way to simplify your life. Whether you’re close to retirement or are just in possession of a house that’s just too much space, downsizing is a wonderful way to make your home more manageable, inside and out. A smaller home will be less to clean, and a condo or apartment means that exterior maintenance is no longer your job.
1. De-Stuffing Your Life
Walk through each room of your home and write down what you truly love. The list might be surprisingly short. If so, downsizing won’t hurt much. However, if the idea of getting rid of things is too painful, you’re not ready, and that’s probably fine.
Avoid de-cluttering and getting rid of things as a social trend. If you truly love your belongings, celebrate them. Forced minimalism is a brutal way to live. However, if your current home is too big or too expensive, you’re eventually going to resent it. Luckily, there are areas where the housing market is actually tight, so get your home appraised. Once you know what you’ll clear, check out other neighborhoods, homes, or even luxury condos. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you can find.
Moving to an apartment or condo can also mean a lot less driving. If you can find a space that’s within walking distance of your shopping needs, you may be able to cut back to one vehicle and lower your insurance rates.
2. Focus on Activities You Enjoy
If financial worries overstaying in your current home are getting to be too much, it’s time to consider selling. Do this before you become too house-poor. Also, take a look at your current schedule. If all day Saturday has long been dedicated to yard work and housework, you may be able to get your weekend back by downsizing to an apartment. By getting rid of your mortgage, you might even be able to bring in a housekeeper at the end of the week and get all of Saturday back.
Don’t forget about the community. Your neighborhood best friends may still be there, or they may have moved on years ago. Many of us barely know our neighbors. Joining a thriving apartment community or townhome association can be a terrific way to build new social connections. Check out group activities, spend time in the gym, and linger by the pool.
Also, remember that things like failed AC systems, plumbing emergencies, and other catastrophes are no longer your problem. To that end, look for a building with a maintenance person on sight. Find out their hours and post their information near your phone charger so you can reach them easily in the event of any problem. Not only can this reduce your worries, but your risk of big financial shocks will be much lower.
3. Make Things Simpler for Your Loved Ones
No matter your age, eventually we’re all going to have to downsize, or someone will have to clean up after us. By scaling back your possessions when you’re healthy enough to make those decisions, you can make things a lot easier for those you’ll leave behind.
Make your wishes known. Pass on the things that you’ve been given, or at least notify those you love about who gets what. Get it in writing, and be ready to have tough conversations about your final wishes. No, this won’t be pleasant. However, if you have more than one child you can give them some peace by making sure that none of them needs to make those decisions.
When it’s time to get rid of your non-heirloom belongings, consider donating them, unless you need to raise funds. Check out Free Stuff groups on Facebook and other social media platforms. The house full of furniture you will no longer have room for could become a great gift to someone just starting out. Once you have rooms in your current home empty, the ability to visualize where your remaining possessions will go in your new space will get much easier.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be all about frugality and minimalism. Think of paring down your belongings into just what you need for your apartment or condo as right-sizing. You obviously will need specific things to sleep, eat, and relax in comfort. Shed everything else and celebrate your new space.