What You Need to Know if You’re Downsizing Your Home

What You Need to Know if You’re Downsizing Your Home

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By Gabriel Patel

What You Need to Know if You’re Downsizing Your Home

Too much house can be a burden on your lifestyle. If you feel like you never catch up on chores or it takes ages to accomplish simple tasks at home, you might benefit from selling your house to purchase a smaller home. But while downsizing can simplify your life, the process itself isn’t easy.

The Athens Community Council on Aging offers some tips on what you need to know before you begin your downsizing journey.

The Pros of Downsizing

Downsizing to a smaller home can be a good idea for a number of reasons. Smaller homes are easier to clean and maintain, making them a great option for seniors, busy professionals, and others who enjoy low-maintenance living. In most cases, a downsized home is also more affordable. If you’re looking to trim your budget and currently have more space than you need, purchasing a smaller home could be the key to increasing your financial security. More compact homes also tend to appeal to young professionals and retirees who want to live near an urban center and take advantage of public transit and vibrant, walkable neighborhoods.

Giving Up Space

If you’ve spent years living in a large home, transitioning to a smaller space may seem unfeasible. But rarely do we use all of that space on a daily basis. Walk through your home and think about where you spend the most time. For most people, the kitchen and living room are the hubs of activity, while guest bedrooms, formal living and dining rooms, and out-of-the-way bathrooms rarely get used. Rather than trimming square footage from the rooms you regularly use, look for homes that cut out underutilized spaces.

Parting With Belongings

The hardest part of downsizing isn’t finding the right house, it’s getting rid of everything that’s accumulated in your home over the years. When we have excess space, we tend to fill it with things. But if you take all that stuff to your new, smaller house, you’re going to be drowning in clutter.

Downsizing your belongings is time-consuming, so give yourself a few weeks to get the job done. Tackle one room at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed by the task at hand. The kitchen is a good place to start. We tend to collect duplicates of kitchen tools and hang onto single-use appliances that we haven’t used in ages, which leads to lots of kitchen clutter. Now is the time to get rid of that quesadilla maker and second blender!

Don’t overlook the furniture. The furniture that looks good in large rooms isn’t the same furniture you want in a small space. If you’d rather avoid purchasing an entirely new set of home furnishings, measure your existing furniture and compare it against your new home’s dimensions to see what fits. Tips from Architectural Digest can help you plan a furniture layout to suit a smaller space.

Sorting through everything you own is a big job, and you might not be enthusiastic about giving up your weekends to organize. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task, hire a professional organizer to handle the tedious work for you. Depending on how much help you need, you can expect to pay between $225 to $2,160 for a home organizer in Athens.

You’ve Moved, Now What?

Getting settled into a smaller space is easy for some and more challenging for others. Once you’ve found the perfect place and have moved all of your belongings, it’s time to make your house feel like a home. Unpack each room one at a time, but make a point to decorate and arrange rooms in a way that feels cozy and comfortable.

In addition to unpacking, you’ll want to assess chores like a new furnace filter, whether a refrigerator needs a new water filter, when garbage and recycling pickup occurs, and where your water turnoff is located in the home. Remember to also give the home a good deep clean before you unpack.

We also can’t underscore enough the importance of rekeying the locks of your home for the sake of safety. This should be a top priority since you never know how many keys to your home have been given out. Zero in on a top locksmith service in your area with the experience needed to quickly rekey your doors or even add deadbolts or additional locks. Search reviews to find a quality locksmith, but also be sure to ask about their specialties and determine the cost. The national average to rekey a door runs from $100 to $150, but this price will vary depending on your location.

Downsizing isn’t right for everyone, but many families find that a smaller home frees up both time and money—two things we never seem to have enough of. If you’re thinking of downsizing in the next few years, consider how you can start getting ready now. The sooner you start cracking open those dusty boxes in the attic, the better off you’ll be when it’s time to move.

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