Bigger isn’t always better. There can be many advantages to moving to a smaller home. You will however need to make some sacrifices when downsizing, so you need to be sure that the benefits are worthwhile. Here is a brief guide that could help you to determine whether downsizing is a good idea.
Good reasons to downsize
There a number of good reasons to consider downsizing your home.
- The kids have grown up and moved out. This could result in rooms being left bare and a general sense of ‘empty nest syndrome’. Downsizing could allow you to live somewhere more practical and cosier.
- You’re getting older and less mobile. A lot of people downsize later in life from a two-storey home to a bungalow once they develop mobility issues. This could make getting around the home less physically demanding.
- Cheaper rent/energy bills. A smaller home could be cheaper to run. If you’re currently struggling to keep up with payments or simply want more disposable income, downsizing could help to lower your living costs.
- Easier cleaning and maintenance. A large home can be a chore to clean and maintain. Downsizing could result in less housework and less repairs to keep on top of.
- A means of freeing up money for retirement/travel/wedding. A smaller property is likely to be cheaper to buy. If you’ve already paid most of your mortgage off, downsizing could allow you to buy a smaller property outright and then still have money left over from the sale. This could be money to put towards your retirement, travel plans, a wedding or various other things.
The downsides of downsizing
Downsizing does have its disadvantages. You may have built up lots of possessions that will be harder to squeeze into a smaller home. This could mean having to get rid of possessions or finding a way to live in more cramped conditions.
You’ll also have less space for accommodating guests if you downsize. Less bedrooms could mean less places for guests to sleep. There may also be less living space and possibly less outdoor space. If you’re the type of person that likes to invite over guests frequently, you may find that downsizing has a negative impact on this.
How to downsize successfully
In order to downsize successfully, you’ll need to plan ahead as to what to do with your possessions. Spending several months decluttering could be worthwhile – using sites like Gumtree, you may be able to sell some of your clutter.
Alternatively, you may be able to make the move and declutter later by putting some items into temporary storage. The likes of Squab storage have cheap rental rates and could help you to keep your items secure whilst you figure out what to do with them. This could be useful if downsizing is something that you want to do sooner rather than later.
You should make sure that downsizing is definitely the right option and that there are no other alternatives to achieving your goals. For instance, if you’re struggling to pay the bills and the kids have moved out, you may be able to take on a lodger instead of downsizing. If you’re struggling with mobility meanwhile, you may be able to simply install a stairlift.