These days, it seems like everyone knows someone who is in the process of downsizing or decluttering their life. It used to be that downsizing was typically associated with empty nesters looking to lead a simpler life during their retirement years; however, that’s not always the case anymore.
From first-time home buyers to seniors and everyone in between, there are many different types of people from all walks of life who could potentially benefit from a more minimalistic living arrangement. With that in mind, here are some important facts about downsizing, courtesy of ADVA Construction.
Benefits of Downsizing
- Save money. Obviously, one of the biggest benefits to living “small” is that you’ll save money. Sadly, we live in a world where housing and energy costs are skyrocketing. From lowering mortgage or rent rates to reducing utility bills to spending less money on upkeep and cleaning costs, there are many financial benefits to having a smaller home.
- Save time and effort. Smaller spaces are easier to clean and maintain. Just think of all the time you’ll save not having to constantly mow, vacuum, dust, and scrub each week!
- Boost your mood. If you ever find yourself scrolling through all the gorgeous, minimalist homes on social media, daydreaming of creating the same environment in your own home, there could be some powerful psychology at play. Multiple studies have shown the mental health boosts of a clean, well-organized home. As it turns out, a clean home is a happy home.
Of course, downsizing isn’t simple. There are many things to consider when downsizing or transitioning to a more minimalist lifestyle. For instance, you’ll need to consider how your decisions will affect those around you. This is especially true if you are a parent, caregiver, or pet owner. Downsizing can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially daunting for those who have children or pets. There’s a good chance that your loved ones might be confused by your decision to downsize or move. By planning ahead, you can make this transition easier for everyone.
Downsizing with Pets
If you’re planning to move as a means of downsizing and you have pets, be mindful of them in the process. You might start by crate training them to keep them safe during the move. If your pet is anxiety-prone, ask your vet for calming medication beforehand. If possible, try to walk them around their new neighborhood so they can begin getting used to their new surroundings. You can start this even before you move.
Downsizing with Children
If children are involved, you can prepare them prior to downsizing by turning it into a game. Allow them to help you choose what they want to keep or sell. Consider letting them keep any money that is made from selling their old items. When it comes to downsizing with children who still live in the home, one of the easiest places to start can be clothing. Choose one room of your home where you have plenty of space to sort through your (and your children’s) items. Divide items into piles you want to keep, donate, or sell. Then, commit to actually doing it!
Other Preparations and Considerations
One of the first things you need to consider is what large items you wish to keep and which ones you want to donate or sell. There are some charities that will pick up donations, including large items like furniture and appliances, so don’t forget to contact them when the time comes.
You may have some furniture that you want to keep but that seems a little worse for wear. In these situations, consider hiring a furniture cleaner. Chances are there are plenty of professionals with good references and positive reviews in your area, and you will truly enjoy the furniture you keep if it is refreshed and beautiful again.
Also, when choosing your location, it’s a good idea to explore the available utilities ahead of time so that you can be sure you’re getting the best price — and avoid future hassle when you’re already stressed out from the move. Especially if you have someone who might be working from home, make sure you check out your provider options as far as the internet goes. You might also decide that moving into someone else’s home isn’t ideal, and instead decide to design and construct a smaller home perfectly suited to your needs.
Ready to Downsize?
If you’ve decided that the benefits of downsizing outweigh any of the stresses, congratulations! Before taking the next step, be sure to plan ahead. Make time to sort through your belongings, deciding what you will keep, sell, or donate. It might tug at your heartstrings or be tedious at first, but trust the process; your hard work will pay off in the end.
If you don’t have the luxury of extra time, consider inviting friends and loved ones to help you with this process. Even if you don’t have friends to help, it’s important to start somewhere. You can start small or by making a list. Whatever you decide, the most important step in this process is to simply get started. You never know; downsizing might be your best move yet!
ADVA Construction is a second-generation full-service construction management company with over 40 years of experience in the Northeast. We take pride in delivering products and services that are the finest in the commercial and residential industries. Contact us today!