Whatever your reason is for downsizing you can save money and time when you do make the move. The most important first step is to create a plan. Making lists will save you from mistakes that are costly–not only financially but also emotionally.
How Much Space Do I Need?
Your children are grown and have homes of their own so do you still need five bedrooms and four bathrooms? Assess your day to day living and chances are you will find that you only use a fraction of the rooms in your home. Perhaps you only need three bedrooms; one to sleep in, one to use as an office or hobby room and one for sleepovers with your grandchildren. By downsizing you can reduce the amount of your mortgage or use the profits from the sale of your large home to buy a smaller residence outright and have no mortgage payment.
Taxes and Insurance
Besides a smaller mortgage payment, you may also save quite a few dollars on real estate taxes and insurance payments. In this case “less is more.” By checking real estate values in different areas of the city you live in, by using reports like this, you could conceivably save a considerable amount of money.
No matter how many vents you open and close in a large home there will always be lost energy. A smaller home will save you a lot of money in heating and cooling because ideally there will be no unused rooms. Gas, electricity, water, wastewater and even your Internet service costs can be lowered.
The amount of time it takes to maintain a large home can go unnoticed but once you downsize you will be amazed how much time you have for other, more fun activities. Even if you hire someone to do the major weekly or bi-weekly cleaning you will find that your daily maintenance chores will shrink. In a smaller home you will be more likely to put things away rather than expanding the clutter.
Once you have chosen your new, smaller home you will need to cull your belongings. Unless you have major parties every week you probably don’t need china for 24 guests. Spend a week or so really paying attention to the items you use. When you discover which pieces are no longer used, evaluate their monetary and sentimental value. If a piece of pottery is the only physical remembrance you have of a loved one, keep it. Downsizing is not meant to erase your life. But the items you can part with can turn into money in your pocket. Donations of household goods are always needed at shelters, and this is yet another way to help divest yourself of unnecessary items and know they will be put to good use.
There are many ways to furnish your new, smaller space and one way is to re-use or re-purpose the furniture from your larger home. Obviously, you won’t be able to use all the furniture from a five-bedroom home in a two-bedroom, but there will most likely be pieces from various rooms that can be used differently. If you have previously used a desk in a bedroom there is no reason it couldn’t become the center of an office and craft center in your new living room. Don’t be afraid to change the way you use your furnishings. There are no rules that designate what can work in a room. Also, multipurpose furniture can be a huge help.
By planning your space and experimenting with your furniture arrangements you will be able to make your new home unique. And with all the money you save by lowering the cost of your day to day living you will be able to do more of the things you like!