Whether you’ve decided to ditch debt from your life, or you’re first-time empty nesters ready for a new chapter, now may be the time to shrink your home. But before you start, it’s important to understand that there are many potential missteps along the way. This guide will help you navigate common mistakes so you can make the most of your new downsized lifestyle.
1) Don’t set goals before shrinking your home
While the financial benefits of moving to a smaller space can be many, it’s important to set goals before you start shrinking the family home. Here are the most popular reasons for downsizing your home:
- Fight debt
- Turbo charging your pension fund
- je mortgage instantaneous
- Saving money after retirement
- Reduce the maintenance and upkeep of your home
2) Ignore hidden costs
While you will save money on your mortgage and utilities by cutting back, that doesn’t mean you can throw financial prudence to the wind. If you’re shopping, make sure the home you’re considering doesn’t need extensive repairs or maintenance, or at least make sure you can comfortably afford it.
Also, make sure your new home doesn’t come with expensive real estate taxes and / or HOA fees that could eat up your savings. And if your downsizing takes you to more expensive markets, such as New York, NY or Vancouver, BC, also take into account the potential increase in the cost of living.
3) Forgotten budget for your move
If you start to realize how much money you will save by downsizing your home, don’t forget the costs associated with moving to a new location. While you may be considering cutting your costs by doing all the moving yourself, take a moment to consider hiring a moving company. Not only would you have someone to pack, move, and unpack your things, but most movers also offer insurance, which means you get compensation if something breaks.
4) Stick to unnecessary junk
Proper organization is key to any move, but it will be especially helpful when you’re downsizing your home. So take a moment to look through your garage, closets, and guest bedrooms at anything that collects dust. That model rocket you bought in space eight years ago might be great, but do you really want to stick with it? Start collecting these types of belongings and then work your way through old clothes, toys, old appliances, etc., dividing them into three piles: keep, maybe, and donate.
PRO TIP: Josh Cohen, founder and CEO of The Junkluggers, knows that when scaling down, it’s easy to overestimate the number of items that will fit in your new space. This can lead to a doubling of work, starting before you move and then again after you move in. Start by sorting items into groups of what to pack versus what to donate and recycle. Spending some extra time ahead of time can streamline your move, and you’ll feel good about keeping items out of the landfill too. – The Junkluggers
5) Not determining your lifestyle needs
After setting your goals, take the time to figure out what features you would like to have in your new home. This is especially important if you have shrink because you have less living space. If you are downsizing your home because your kids have gone to college, make sure your new home offers the lifestyle you want and that any properties you bring will fit.
6) Pay for rooms you don’t use
When you think about which rooms you use the most in your home, it is probably quite simple: the living room, kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. If you’re not using your dining room, den, and third or fourth bedroom, why have them at all? By thinking about which rooms you currently use and which you don’t currently use, you can simplify your search for a scaled-down home. The same tactic can be applied to your garden. If you find yourself spending little of your free time enjoying your garden – rather than simply maintaining it – consider finding a new home with a smaller yard or without it.
7) Try to take all your furniture with you
While your two-story home is more than capable of housing all of your furniture, your new home won’t turn out to be that spacious. So consider the limitations of your new home before loading your beds or sectional sofas onto a moving truck. Furniture that is too big for a room will also only make a room look smaller, so you may want to consider buying a new sofa that will really fit into your new space.
8) Save on storage
In addition to storing important documents that you don’t need to access often, a storage unit is a great option for keeping sentimental items such as scrapbooks or seasonal items such as winter coats. Whether you’re downsizing temporarily or for an extended period of time, renting a storage unit is a great option for those items you don’t have room for, but just can’t bring yourself to get rid of.
9) Forgetting to create a downsizing schedule
Relocating is a lot of work, even before adding home scaling to the mix. Avoid getting too stressed out by the process by remembering to take it one step at a time. Set a timeline for yourself and create a moving schedule accordingly, rather than trying to tackle everything at once. By creating a downsizing schedule and a move checklist, you stay more organized during this process while also reducing stress.
10) Choosing the wrong type of home
If you’ve decided to downsize your home, you must be wondering what type of house you want to withdraw. The type of home you choose will depend on factors such as your finances, health requirements and the type of lifestyle you are looking for. Some homes to consider include one-story condos, condos, or condos.