Whether you’re moving into a relative’s home , assisted living community, or simply selling the family house for a more manageable mortgage, there are a lot of benefits to downsizing.
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Moving house is stressful at any age. In fact, alongside finding care for elderly relatives and divorce, it’s classed as one of the most stressful eventsin life. There’s stress, anxiety, and disappointment mixed with hope and potential excitement for new beginnings.
But before your new adventure can begin, you have to pack. And that means downsizing.
As with any move, it’s always good to take a long hard look at what you’ve got and what you really need. If you’re moving into a smaller property or an assisted living apartment, you’ll likely have a lot less room than you’re used to. Downsizing and getting rid of a lifetime of belongings can be scary, sad, and daunting, but really, when was the last time you looked at that magazine clipping you saved back in the 90s? To help you feel a little more motivated to wade through all the stuff that’s cluttering your home, we’re sharing a few actual benefits to downsizing and why it should be added to your retirement planning.
You’ll have more control within your space
Purging all the items that you don’t use can help you regain control of your living space. Rather than storage is a balancing act and moving around the house being some sort of obstacle course, downsizing gives you a simple, clean, and curated space that you’ll feel much more in control of.
Cleaning is way easier
Housekeeping in the family home can be a nightmare. With old bedrooms now used for storage, collecting dust, and both indoor and outdoor spaces to attend to, cleaning can become a full-time job.
With fewer belongings and less space, you have much less to keep tidy and clean. Meaning a quick 15-minute spruce up is all you need. After which you can get back to doing all the fun things you enjoy instead.
Some people who downsize find that the house gets messier faster, as there’s more stuff in a smaller space. This is why it’s important to also downsize your belongings, rather than just your property. That way, you can keep the ratios balanced. Some people call it ‘rightsizing’, which we love!
Donating old items can help others in need
Rather than throwing old items in the trash, you can donate them – bringing new life into furniture and appliances. Downsizing and giving items away to other people in your community could really help out a person in need. Not everyone can afford to buy new – or even buy second hand – so being gifted something, even if it’s well used, could be a total lifeline.
It’s not just the community you can help by giving things away, either. If you’re proactive about your retirement planningand downsize in advance, it can take a lot of pressure and work of the shoulders of your loved ones down the line.
If you’re a savvy business person, there is also the option to utilize Facebook marketplace and other online stores to sell your unwanted goods and put the money in a nice little retirement pot or to book yourself a holiday.
It saves money
If you’ve already started looking at retirement communities Los Gatos, you’ll know that residency doesn’t always come cheap.
By downsizing now, you can reduce your overheads and save on any hidden costs you’re currently paying. A smaller place means you’ll have less space to heat, and renting a newer build might even reduce the need for heating at all, thanks to improved insulation.
If you need to buy new items or furniture for the new place, it’s good to be intentional with your spending; by quality items that have more than one function and plenty of storage.
Less clutter, less stress
As mentioned above, a lot of people find downsizing stressful, as space can appear to get messier, faster. But by ‘rightsizing’, you’ll have much less clutter to worry about. And while it comes as no surprise, the Journal of Environmental Psychology proved that clutter around the house can create a chaotic feelingand have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing.
You’ll have more time for things you enjoy
Rather than constantly having to search for things or filling up your time tidying and cleaning, downsizing will let you regain your downtime and spend it doing things you enjoy. Without the stress and worry of keeping a huge house at bay, you’ll have plenty more time to spend with the family, joining groups, or simply sitting and enjoying the sun.
With a low-maintenance property, you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to be independent for longer.
It promotes creativity
With smaller spaces comes the need to think more creatively. You’ll need to find ways to store and display things betterwithout taking over the whole room or house. As such, downsizing can be a great way to get the interior creative juices flowing.
It’s a chance to realign your values
When deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, you may find yourself realigning with your values. Being self-aware about your belongings and needs through reflection and mindfulness can be a great way to use downsizing to benefit your mental wellbeing.
So, these are just a few of the upsides to downsizing. It can be easy to dwell on the negatives that come with moving house, but if you can shift your mindset to think more positively, there is a lot of fun, personal development, and savings to be had.
The next step is to become ruthless in your packing. Skip the items that you think you might need someday; forget about how much something cost you and cut ties with the sentimental value of that gift you never actually ended up using. Downsizing can only work if your whole head and heart are in it. So, get relatives involved to help you get rid of the things you definitely don’t want or need.