7 Tips for Downsizing

Posted by Melissa Barrett on Monday, May 28th, 2018 at 3:26pm.

Source: Vanessa Milne, Readers Digest Canada

When the kids have moved on, and you’re left with a big house it’s easy to see the appeal of moving from a big space to something more compact that requires less maintenance. But the whole process requires a lot of careful planning to not overwhelm yourself when it’s time to actually make the move. Here are seven tips to make sure you find the right fit.

Be realistic about your budget.

Many people associate downsizing with being less expensive. But that’s often not the case. Many bungalows and condominiums are becoming quite pricy. If you’re relying on the sale of your existing home to be your nest egg, perhaps consider a less expensive location.

Don’t get caught by unexpected costs. 

Even when making money off the sale of your home, moving can take a sizable sum of your profits. Costs such as home inspection on your new property, appraisals, land transfer tax, realtor fees etc. If you’re downsizing into a condo, be sure to take monthly maintenance fees into account as well. And plan to keep a small reserve for unforeseen expenses.

Consider a place your future self will thank you for

You may be well mobile and active now, but think about what your body will be capable of at 80. That might mean searching for something without stairs, or within walking distance to amenities. Also, consider a condo where your monthly fees include snow removal, lawn care, and maintenance of common areas.

Start with the end in mind

You have a larger home now, but all of your furniture may not fit in a smaller, more compact home. Don’t discredit a contender because your stuff wont fit. Be open to selling your furniture and buying something smaller – or renting a storage locker for your heirlooms you would want to pass on in the future.

Schedule your de-cluttering

Before downsizing you will need to de-clutter your life, and determine what stays and what goes. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start well before moving day and simply schedule 2-3 hour blocks of decluttering.

It’s ok to procrastinate a bit

Not every decision needs to be made right away. If you can’t choose between two items, pack both and revisit in a week or two. Sometimes you won’t be 100% certain about some voices you need to make. Knowing there’s room to re-calibrate afterwards can allow you to move forward.

Get enthusiastic about what’s ahead.

There are a lot of feelings tied up in leaving a home, especially if you’ve spent many years there. But allow yourself to get excited about your new, simpler lifestyle. It’s emotional, but it’s also a new adventure!

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