The idea of moving into a smaller home use to seemed like a sacrifice. Not any more. Many people are starting to realize the benefits of downsizing their lives. Homeowners are starting to see that smaller homes can mean bigger lives. Some people move because they want to, others because they have to, but either way moving into a smaller home can offer some real advantages.

Here are some tips and considerations when deciding to downsize

The Benefits

1. Smaller Homes Can Save You Money

The expense of a bigger home doesn't stop at the price of the home. Big homes are expensive to upkeep, maintain, and run. Downsizing into a smaller home can save you a lot of money in energy cost as well. Freshome writes, "From heating and cooling costs to water savings in your bathrooms and kitchens, it costs a lot to run a large home. Smaller homes will give you the added benefit of reducing you and your family’s carbon footprint meanwhile you will enjoy a lower energy bill in the warmer and cooler months." Small homes can mean smaller property and landscaping costs.

2. More Money, More Fun

Saving money can be its own reward, but it doesn't have to be the only reward. Think of all the things you can do with the new expendable cash a smaller home affords. Small homeowners are finding that the extra money they have can go to dream vacations, more nights out, and new home upgrades. Some people have even invested the extra money into building an art collection, and fine home furnishings which before might have been outside their budget. Having more money to spend on the things that make life worth living can be much more rewarding than having a larger home.

3. Say good by to debt

All the extra fun that comes with saving money can be amazing, but staying out of debt might be the most important factor when downsizing. For most people debt and growing debt is one of the biggest causes of stress. Stress have proven to be a major contributing factor of unhappiness. The money saved by downsizing your home can get you out of debt and keep you in the green. That means a lot less stress and a much happier life in the end.

TIps and Considerations

1. Start Making a List of All Your "Must-Haves

A lot of people find it hard to part with their things. When your downsizing its important to remember that you might not be able to take everything with you. Making a list of the things you absolutely love and can't live without will make it easier to purge the items that didn't make the list.

It's important to give yourself enough time to make these decisions. Give yourself at least 3 months to compile your list. Most people will find that they own a lot more stuff than they think, and some of that stuff can take way more time to go through than expected. Style at home writes, "Take some time each day, or one morning each week, to go through that jammed coat closet or overflowing filing cabinet. "Paper is the real killer," so tackle it one box at a time. The same goes for photos, which require a lot of attention."

2. Establish a New Local Support System Before You Move

Moving is a big task and takes a lot of outside help to do right. It is important for anyone considering moving to a new place to have some support structure which will ease the tension and help facilitate your move. Moving expert United Van Lines writes on the benefits of establishing a local support system, "Moving into a new home involves much more than just relocating your belongings. You need to re-establish your local support system, set up new accounts and notify government agencies of your new address." Getting this done before you move could prove to be instrumental when moving day does arrive.

3. Consider Your Furniture First

When deciding what to take and what to leave consider your furniture first. Furniture is large, heavy and difficult to move. Moving and considering your furniture may prove to be your hardest obstacle when downsizing. Keep the family heirlooms and those unique pieces of furniture that you can't live without. Remember when your downsizing everything might not fit. Find rooms in your current home that resemble the size and spaces of your new home. Try organizing the furniture which you have decided to take before you move into the new place. This will help you "see" your new space before you leave. This will make the move in much easier. It may also help you decide which furniture you can get rid of, or replace later.


Photo: Lastnychero

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    Carol McDonald