The Upside To Downsizing Your Life

You’re Not Alone

Downsizing may feel daunting, but the good news is you’re not alone. Reports say that 46% of baby boomers who sold homes in 2017 were in the process of downsizing (a term for moving to a smaller space), according to a Zillow report, and downsizing was a factor influencing the decision to move in a full 12% of home buyers between ages 39 and 53.

The Benefits of Downsizing

Downsizing can be an emotional experience. Letting go of a home built with memories is a process.

A study interviewed 40 older adults in Michigan who shared their experience with downsizing. One of the participants said, “The other phase of course is leaving the house with...over 50 years, and all the possessions that we had in there. And, it's been pretty difficult. Because, trying to decide what you want to take with you, and everything, it took a lot.”

But there can be several benefits to downsizing. For starters, downsizing may help free up the income needed to pay taxes, insurance, upkeep and utility bills, which typically run about 3.25% of the value of a house. Paying less in utilities, cleaning and upkeep may give you extra money to put into savings.

You can also move into a new home that is better suited for your needs. A closer community, less stairs, fewer rooms and an easier layout may give you more freedom for your retirement years.

Downsize Your Belongings First

If you’re not sure where to start, downsize your belongings before you downsize your home. Figure out the size of your new home whether you’re finding a home better suited to your current lifestyle, moving in with a loved one or moving into a senior living community. This helps you start to think about the size of your new space and what you should plan to take with you.

Then, you want to start separating with your stuff. These aren’t objects, they’re memories — and you will want to handle this process with care. A lot of nonprofits will pick up items from you to donate to a great cause.

Get Started Early

The process of downsizing may take some time. It’s important to give yourself the necessary bandwidth it takes to assess your belongings, decide what to purge or keep and make moving arrangements. Experts suggest giving yourself a couple of weeks to several months to make the move.

“Go through each item one by one,” said Alison Kero, CEO of ACK Organizing. “It’s important to give everything you own your attention for at least a second or two. It will also help you develop a great decision-making system because you’re learning how to focus and then choose.”

Share Your Legacy

One of the bright spots of downsizing can be that it gives you the opportunity to pass down cherished items to loved ones. Do you have a grandfather clock sitting in your living room? Love that mid-century modern table in your kitchen but it may not fit in your new home? Check with your kids and grandchildren to see what they may want to hold onto. Passing down legacy items allows you to connect to future generations and also clear your space for your next downsizing destination.

Ready to move into Brookdale? Here are our helpful decorating and storage tips and tricks to help you maximize your new space after you downsize your home.

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