If you're wondering when the right time is to say goodbye to your family home and downsize to a home more suitable for your lifestyle and needs, consider these scenarios:
- You plan on travelling: if you're nearing a time in your life when you plan on seeing more of the world, then leaving a big home just sitting doesn't seem sensible. You can downsize to a home that's more appropriate, and then rent it out for the months you are away.
- The kids have moved out: with your kids moving out and you becoming an empty-nester, you likely don't need the same amount of space anymore. This also leads into the next point...
- You have empty rooms: if you have rooms in your house (especially bedrooms) that are sitting empty and you can't come up with a purpose for them, then you really don't need them at all. No sense in keeping bedrooms for guests that you may have in your home once or twice a year.
- You're still not mortgage-free: if you're still paying off that same mortgage at 50 or beyond, downsizing will help you be more financially stable and get you caught up on things. Heading into retirement debt-burdened does not make any sense.
- Too much stuff: generally speaking, the more space we have, the more stuff we have. A clutter-free, minimalist way of living will help you live a happier life.
Though the pitfalls are many, downsizing efficiently can be very effective and simplify your life. Make sure you have a plan, you’re emotionally ready for the transition, and you have realistic expectations. Take the time to do your research, and be sure you have a good understanding of what your life will be like in your new home. Try to work through any shortfalls before you take the plunge. That way, when you’re ready, you can be sure that the next stage of your life will be just as rewarding as you imagined.
Now the fun part, getting rid of your stuff! Here's a couple ideas for downsizing your belongings:
- If you don't use it, you don't need it: If you aren't using something at least 80 per cent of the time (or wearing something 80 per cent of the time), you probably won't miss it. Think of the extra square-footage you would have if you just pared down your belongings.
- Avoid storage lockers: for some reason, our minds think that when we have places to hold storage, we need things to store. If you don't have a costly storage locker or storage closet, you will have no choice but to pare down.
- Sell what you can get rid of: make a little extra cash by selling items that still hold value like art, furniture, collector items, decor items, etc. You would be surprised how much extra money you can make and sites like Kijiji make it super easy.
- Donate: there are numerous organizations throughout the city looking for donations. Value Village, Goodwill and Women in Need Society to name just a few.
Looking at downsizing into a new home? Please contact us to ask about your options, we're happy to help!