12 Things You Should Consider Before Downsizing

There are plenty of reasons why some may want to move to a smaller home, per Home Light. For older adults, a bigger house may pose safety risks such as a steep staircase or a difficult driveway. Others may be faced with financial issues like high housing expenses or little money left in the budget. Further, large homes are more difficult to clean and maintain, and if you're not using all the rooms, it may make sense to transition into a tinier space. Those that aren't tied to their area either by work or family members may desire to move as well. Finally, perhaps you're yearning for a lifestyle change or you want to be closer to family or friends.

Moving is always a lot of work, but if you're also transitioning to a much smaller space, there are a lot more hardships you may need to overcome. Before you decide to downsize, you'll need to consider quite a few things, and 12 of them are listed below. 

1. You'll have to let go of most of your possessions

You should first think about all of your current possessions — if you have a lot, you'll have to say goodbye to quite a few items. Those with close family members could give them away to cherished homes, while others could consider donating or selling. 

2. Decluttering sentimental items is difficult

While most understand that downsizing all your belongings requires work, many don't truly know how difficult it can be to part with items, especially those that are sentimental. Before downsizing, consider if this is something you truly want to do.

3. Avid shoppers will need to drastically change their lifestyle

When preparing to downsize, it's important to stop buying anything you don't need such as home décor, which may be difficult for those who love to shop. 

4. Selling items may take longer than you expect

Downsizing will require you to get rid of some bigger pieces of furniture, which you may want to sell online. However, don't wait until the last minute to start this process, as it may take longer than you expect, and the sooner you can begin getting rid of items, the better.

5. Consider how important hosting is to you

If you're moving from a large, multi-bedroom house to, say, a one-bedroom apartment, you'll need to think about how important hosting is to you, as you'll have less room for guests to stay over.

6. Make sure you'll have enough room

This may be obvious, but it's extra important: When considering downsizing, think about your current lifestyle and how much space it requires. If you like to paint, work out, or do another activity at home, will you have enough room to do the things you love in your new space?

7. Think about security measures

Many consider how important security systems are when living in large homes, but not everyone thinks about adding these features to a smaller place like an apartment. However, security is important no matter where you live, so you may have to invest in a system that works in your new space. 

8. When selling, don't forget about hidden costs

Many downsize to save money, but it's easy to overestimate the amount you'll receive when selling your home. Consider everything from hidden costs to the cost of living in your new area to determine how much money you'll really make.

9. Look into your new place's area

It's also important to see if your new area has some of the same features your old one did. For instance, look at how far away places like the grocery store, restaurants, shopping areas, the movie theater, and the gym are, and contemplate if you're willing to drive that far. 

10. Contemplate how long you plan to stay

While some downsize for good, others do so for a short amount of time in order to save money. If the latter is the case for you, perhaps you'll be able to make more sacrifices when it comes to available space and amenities in the area.

11. Compare the neighborhoods

Those who weren't too fond of their neighbors may have an easier time downsizing than those who were best friends with the people who lived around them. Consider what you'd have to give up to move away from your neighbors and what benefits you may gain in your new place. 

12. Weigh the benefits against the downsides

Ultimately, the decision to downsize should come down to this: Is this choice going to improve your quality of life? Perhaps you're moving to be closer to family or to save money to pay off debt; both these scenarios would most likely improve your life more than they would negatively affect it.