Moving in any circumstance can be stressful. If you are looking to downsize and are worried about the physicality’s, this article is here to help! Whether you are after packing tips or ideas on how to start your downsizing journey, you are in the right place.
When should I downsize?
Downsizing comes at different times for every homeowner, and some find that they have no need to go smaller. However, for those who are considering downsizing, it is important to think about a few things –
- Will you struggle to move?
As we age, there is an increased risk for mobility problems. Relocating is a physical job at the best of times, and can be too much for some older homeowners, which is why it is good to think about downsizing early to avoid strain and pressure in the future.
- Can you afford to retire where you are?
A driving factor in a lot of homeowners deciding to downsize is their retirement, where income tends to decrease. Downsizing generally means lowering your outgoing costs and will often eradicate a mortgage if you are able to buy outright, minimizing your monthly outgoings and letting your money go further. Taking into consideration your finances when you retire is important to ensure you are going to be comfortable and financially stable.
- Do you want to stay in one place?
Some homeowners aspire to travel throughout their retirement, and if this is the case for you, buying a property may not be the best option. You can investigate staying with family for the periods that you won’t be travelling or renting part-time rather than buying a house that you won’t spend as much time.
How can I prepare to downsize?
Most of the time when you downsize, you will be moving to a smaller property which means you will need to reduce your belongings. Therefore, decluttering is popular as it allows you to sort and clear through your items and get rid of things that you no longer need. It also reduces the amount that you have to pack to move and can make your property more attractive to buyers as there will be more space. If you have been wanting to downsize and have asked yourself “how can I sell my house quickly?” decluttering is a great option to get things moving!
Decluttering can be a difficult and emotional journey, so make sure that you approach it in the right manner. You do not need to throw everything with emotional value away, but it is best to be strict with yourself and try to think practically wherever possible. If you are moving into a flat from a 4-bedroom house, you are going to need to get rid of a lot of stuff, and there is a good chance that you don’t really need the majority of items.
For some, the sentimental value of things is much more important than the cost, so there are a few options if you are struggling with your sorting –
- Give it to friends or family:
A lot of the time, the items that you have could be useful to someone else, and even when you have got an emotion attachment to it, if you know that it’s being used and appreciated by someone else, it makes it much easier than just throwing things away.
- Donate to charity:
Now more than ever, times are exceedingly difficult for some people and charities are always on the lookout for donations to support those in need. Your items could make all the difference to a struggling household, especially if you are not using them.
- Put into storage:
Sometimes, parting with items is too difficult, and you need to be in the right position to sort through it properly and deal with them. In the meantime, if you are downsizing and know that you will not have space for these things, you can put them into storage until you are in a better position to deal with them and declutter.
Do I have to downsize to a bungalow?
A common misconception is that if you are downsizing you must move into a bungalow, but this does not work for a lot of homeowners. There are several reasons, but one of the biggest is that bungalows are not as common a building, and so it can be difficult to find something within your budget and in the location that you are looking.
A lot of downsizing homeowners look at moving into apartments, as there are plenty of these to offer in most areas and across several price ranges, allowing you to find something suitable for you. Sometimes, downsizing can mean moving into a 3-bedroom house if you were previously in somewhere larger – you can move anywhere with the intention of lowering costs and it still count as downsizing!
Taking these things into account will make sure that you are downsizing for the right reason, and that you will enjoy your new home rather than doing it because you think you should – some homeowners decide never to downsize, and that works for them. It is all about assessing your needs and lifestyle and doing what’s right for you.