Downsize your home and upgrade your life! For empty nesters, downsizing is a significant option to consider. Downsizing decreases the responsibilities, expenses, and maintenance of a family home, allowing for more leisure time.
The Upside of Downsizing
- Fewer utility bills
- Lower property taxes
- Fewer safety and security concerns
- More leisure time (fewer duties and responsibilities)
- Decrease or pay off your mortgage
- Less shopping for home supply and maintenance purchases
- More bang for your buck (a nicer and/or newer home)
- New social opportunities (book clubs, card-games, day-trips, etc.)
- Cut down on clutter
- Extra money to put toward a vacation home or retirement
Tips for Downsizing
- Write a list of all the things you love and can’t live without; this will help you downsize your belongings.
- Start downsizing your belongings at least three months before your move.
- Begin editing the areas with least sentimental value. If you are moving from a home to a condo, evacuate the garage! There is no way you will need a ladder, snow shovel, or lawn mower. Next, move onto the kitchen; this is where excess likes to occupy.
- After the inevitable kitchen purge, move onto storage cupboards and filing cabinets – most of these items you will not miss! You would be surprised how many unnecessary papers you may have; as for taxes, shred and recycle anything that is older than 7 years.
- Use great discretion before throwing anything in the garbage! Recycle, reuse, sell, and donate instead. Have a garage sale, donate items to goodwill or a shelter, if you have half-used cleaning supplies give them to a cleaning lady, a neighbour, or leave them in your home for the next occupant to use. Various programs throughout the GTA pick-up your items from your front porch and donate them through their organization. A few are:
- When selling higher end goods consider an auction or an online auction. Also, consider reputable antique and second-hand dealers.
- Use rooms of similar dimensions in your present home to compare to those of your new home. For instance, your living-room-to-be might be roughly the same size as your current bedroom. You may think you can squeeze in two sofas, but this kind of reality check could help you realize that only one will fit comfortably.