You may be downsizing for a number of reasons. Maybe there’s a cut in your salary, divorce or the kids have finally grown up and have left the nest. When you make the decision to downsize it may come as a shock to the system. Because you’re letting go of everything you’re used to. But once you get over that first initial hurdle you’ll realise the freedom that comes with letting go.
Here are nine things you need to know about downsizing.
What you’ll go through
Downsizing can be hard, emotional and even terrifying. Most people are creatures of habit and rarely welcome any change. If you have lived in your house for years, it’s understandable adjusting to a new home will be hard. You have made tons of memories there. But once you have done it, you’ll feel free and welcome the idea of starting afresh.
If your house is huge, you may feel the need to fill it up with accessories to decorate it. The more rooms you have, the more furniture you’ll have accumulated over the years. And after some time the furniture becomes outdated and you may feel the need to replace it. A smaller house won’t need a lot of furniture and you’ll end up saving as a result.
The smaller the house, the less cleaning you’ll have to do around the house. A big home requires a lot of maintenance and looking after. And you could also have a big yard that has to be manicured and pruned. You could end up hiring a professional that’ll be responsible for maintaining your lawn. Landscapers can be quite expensive to use and, when you have a big yard, you could need extra help to keep it well-maintained.
Save on electricity
If you have a large home, it’ll use more electricity than a smaller one. There are more lights and appliances that’ll be used indoors and outdoors. It’ll cost you less to heat up your home and cool it down.
Reduction of rates
When you downsize, you won’t pay the same amount of mortgage, so you will be saving. The extra money can go towards other debt you have accumulated over the years. Or it can go towards a vacation you’ve always wanted to go on.
What to do before the move
Organise all your items and put them in boxes, then label them. You’re starting out afresh, so take only the things you’ll need.
Find people, charities or drop off areas to donate some of your items to. If you haven’t worn that suede jacket and those red leather boots in years, why don’t you consider giving them to someone who actually needs them? Raid your wardrobe for any items that you know you won’t use and give them away. Not only will it create space, but it’ll also make you feel good too. And it doesn’t have to be just clothes, it can be books, CD’s, furniture, exercise equipment and anything else that you haven’t used in a while.
An alternative would be to sell some of your belongings. That way you still profit from them. You can use many outlets to sell your goods. You can sell the goods online through platforms like Gumtree or OLX. Or if you have antiques, you can try and sell your items through an auction or antique shops.
What to keep
Each family member should have an input on what they want to keep and what they want to let go off.
If you’re moving into a place where you’ll be sharing with a roommate, why don’t you consider selling the items that’ll end up being double? You can decide on whether to keep your lounge suite or sell their dining room table.
Ways to get your house sold quickly
Make minor touch ups on your home. Paint your walls and clean the tiles. Make sure your bathroom sets, kitchen appliances and all the rooms in the house are spotless.
Find an estate agent that’ll help you sell your house. Ensure that your home doesn’t have personal touches. Don’t leave photos or paintings on the walls. This could be a turnoff to some people.
Downsizing has many advantages and could be very exciting as it means new beginnings. You get to save on costs because you won’t be living a high-end life mounted with many expenses. You can save the extra money for a holiday away in Tanzania or pay off debt that you have accumulated over the years.