7 Expert Tips for Empty Nesters When Downsizing to a Smaller Home

Downsizing is not just for the empty nesters after the kiddies have flown the coop. These days, homeowners of all ages looking for a less-stressful and lower maintenance living arrangement are downsizing to a smaller home.

However, whether you're looking for a smaller home in a senior living community or just ready to get out of a large house after the kids move out, you need a strategy to downsize the right way. In this blog, we break down a few tips to help you with this process, talk about the pros and cons of downsizing a property, and mention an easy way to sell your current property stress-free.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Downsizing?

Should you downsize? It depends on your needs! Here are a few "pros" and "cons" of selling your home and moving into a smaller place. 

The Pros of Downsizing 

There are plenty of benefits to downsizing. 

  • You save money. Whether you want to travel, save up for a beach house or have more cash for hobbies, downsizing allows you to save more money and increase your cash flow.

  • You lower your utility bills. Smaller spaces require less energy to keep hot or cold! Downsizing is an excellent way to reduce energy costs. 

  • You'll have more free time. With a smaller home, you'll experience fewer things to maintain and clean, meaning more freedom and time to do the things you love. 

These benefits can be helpful to anyone, but they can be especially helpful for people entering retirement and senior living age. 

The Cons of Downsizing

While living in a smaller space can be ideal for some people, it does have some drawbacks.

  • There's less room for guests. If you enjoy having guests staying over or hosting dinner parties, this might become a thing of the past. Hosting large-scale celebrations will be more challenging in a smaller space. 

  • Some hobbies may be more difficult. For example, if you're a keen woodworker or have an in-house studio dedicated to your art, these hobbies may be more challenging to enjoy in a smaller space. 

  • You probably can't keep everything you own. It can be challenging to decide what to keep and what to get rid of when moving to a smaller home. 

If you don't typically need space for guests or hobbies, these "cons" might not be an issue for you to downsize your home!Senior Couple Downsizing In Retirement Packing And Labelling Boxes Ready For Move Into New Home

7 Tips for Downsizing to a Smaller Home

No matter your reasons for downsizing, these seven tips will help you transition smoothly and get organized for the big move! 

1. Keep Track of Your Possessions

Start by taking stock of what's essential in your life and what is no longer required. To help with this, take an inventory of everything you own. This strategy will help you determine high-value items vs. possessions you've long forgotten about and can get rid of. 

In the inventory list, be sure to assign key 'tags,' including the room the item is in, the quantity, and the product's desirability, i.e., how much you rely on the thing. Just like Marie Kondo, ask yourself if an item sparks joy. If not, you probably don't need it. 

Consider downloading an app to help keep track of everything, and don't forget to take photos of each item. 

2. Take It One Room at a Time

Packing can be overwhelming, especially if you haven't moved for a while and have collected a thing or two.

Start by working room by room and use an easy system for classifying items. One popular strategy is to organize things into three separate boxes: trash, donate, and keep. An optional fourth box can be a sale box. However, these should be high-value items that will sell quickly, and you are willing to go low on them. 

3. Choose Your Strategy for Unwanted Possessions

Naturally, you'll find a large number of unwanted possessions as you get deeper and deeper into your packing process. 

Some strategies to help you get rid of these items include: 

  • Donating to local charities and charity shops that accept donations

  • Sharing with friends and family 

  • Renting a dumpster or taking a trip out to the dumpster

  • Using online trade pages such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist

  • Donating items such as books and videos to the local library 

Getting rid of old possessions can be emotional but also a very liberating process. A yard sale is one of the top ways to sell these items and bring the community together.   

4. Leverage Technology

Having an entire library of photo albums can be great for nostalgia but not so great for your space-saving plans. 

Consider using a scanning service that can digitize your photos and memories. Be sure to scan any essential documents and recycle records and reports that are no longer necessary. 

5. Create Space In Your New Place

In this stage, it's time to get creative and utilize as much of your new space as possible.

  • Unlock 'hidden' storage spaces such as under the stairs, under the bed, and crawl spaces.

  • Create space with multi-use spaces, for example, a closet that opens up into a small office.

  • Make the most of your walls by hanging items such as keys, remotes, spice racks, and more.

There are many space-saving tips out there. Be sure to search through home improvement blogs, Pinterest, forums, and DIY websites to get more inspiration. 

6. Focus on Furniture

It's a lot more challenging to get rid of an oversized couch that doesn't fit than to find or purchase a new one. 

Therefore, ensure you carefully measure your new space and match it up with the furniture you plan to take. That way, you can hold off on making new purchases due to costly errors from eyeballing it. 

If you haven't yet settled on a new place, pre-measure your furniture so you're ready to rock and roll once you've found the downsized home of your dreams.  

7. Take Your Time

Downsizing can be a monumental task. Always set yourself more time than you think you're going to need. Then, break it down into smaller tasks by focusing on a particular room and then a section of that room at a time. 

Set timers for short bursts of work and reward yourself with plenty of breaks.Smiling Senior Couple Sitting On Sofa At Home Together

Homefield Homebuyers Can Help

When you're ready to start your home downsizing journey, we can help you declutter your home and make a fast and fair cash offer. 

At Homefield Homebuyers, we buy houses Minneapolis homeowners are ready to sell. We make a quick cash offer within 24 hours and help you close in as little as a week, meaning you can live your downsized dream faster and with less hassle. In addition, there's no need to hire a realtor, photographer, or staging professional!

Whether your house has deferred maintenance issues or unfinished DIY projects, we can help you start the next chapter of your life.

Downsizing To A Smaller Home Doesn't Have To Be a Challenge

Whatever your reasons for downsizing, by using the tips and strategies above, you'll be able to execute a smooth and stress-free transition to your smaller space. 

If you're ready to sell or interested in learning about how a cash offer from a local family-first business can help your downsize dreams, then reach out to the team at Homefield Homebuyers today.

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