It’s an all-too-common situation that we see time and time again. We meet with a senior client who is looking to sell their home, and it becomes perfectly clear that they have stayed there for too long.
Perhaps they’re overwhelmed by the idea of moving later in life. Or maybe they are worried about their children’s wishes when it comes to leaving the family home. Regardless of the reason, by staying in a home for too long, they are missing out on some amazing opportunities that exist for us as we age.
In this blog, we’re covering everything you need to know about downsizing–or as we like to call it, rightsizing.
This is a topic we’re pretty passionate about. In the past, we offered a full three-step guide on rightsizing. You can read those blogs here:
- Part 1: Downsizing with Style and Grace
- Downsizing with Style and Grace: Part 2
- Part 3: Downsizing with Style and Grace
How to Tell if the Time is Right?
At a certain point in your life, you might think to yourself, “this is house is far too big.” Your children have moved out, and the house feels empty. You might think, “what do I need all these rooms for?”
At some point or another, having a large family home with all that extra space becomes more of a burden than anything else. Although you are no doubt attached to your home, wouldn’t you be better off somewhere smaller? Is there really a need for three bathrooms when you’re either living alone or with your partner?
Knowing the right time to make a move is critical, as it will help transition you into the next phase of your life. Here are a few signs it might be time to consider rightsizing:
- You get easily overwhelmed at the thought of maintaining your home.
- You are not maintaining your home and it’s beginning to fall into disrepair.
- Your mobility is reduced and you have a hard time navigating your home.
- The expense to maintain the home is beginning to become unreasonable.
- You do not feel safe alone in your home and/or your family members are worried about your safety.
The key to finding the best time to rightsize is to do so before any of these issues become a huge problem. This should be a proactive solution–a choice, not a last resort.
It Might Seem Stressful, but it’s Better in the Long Run
Many clients who we help rightsize, fit into two categories. The first are people who are excited about making new routines and the lifestyle change that comes with moving to a smaller home. However, the second category is the people who seem paralyzed by the idea of leaving their family home behind. They’re unsure about the future and generally feel anxious and stressed about making such a big move.
If you fit into the second category, there are a few things you can consider to help alleviate some of the stress that comes with making such a big decision later in life.
The Benefits of Rightsizing
Lower monthly expenses: A smaller home means lower utility bills, a smaller mortgage, reduced taxes, and maintenance fees. It’s better for your wallet!
Improved mobility and independence: If you currently live in a big house and have trouble getting around, a smaller place will afford you more mobility and independence for longer in your life.
Better amenities and community: Depending on the type of home you want to move into, and the location, you can enjoy easier access to amenities and a better sense of community if you choose to live somewhere with like-minded neighbours nearby.
More free time: How much time to spend cleaning and tidying your home currently? With a smaller place, you won’t need to spend so much time maintaining your home, you can try new hobbies, and do whatever your heart desires.
If you find yourself struggling in your large family home, rightsizing to something smaller will give you peace of mind and the freedom to enjoy life however you want.
A controversial idea: Although not right for everyone, many rightsizers may choose to sell their home and not buy a new property. Instead, opting to rent. The options are limitless when it comes to rightsizing, and you can really choose your own adventure and go with the plan that suits your unique needs.
But What About All My Stuff?
We’ve arrived at the elephant in the room. What to do with all your belongings? We get it, after decades of living in your home, you’ve probably amassed a fair amount of things. As humans, we tend to fill the spaces we’re allowed. This is why upsizing your home is so easy and downsizing is considered a little more laborious.
However, don’t let that discourage you. Decluttering and downsizing your belongings can be easy if you go into it with the right mindset. Think about Marie Kondo’s theory of, “does it spark joy?” If an item doesn’t bring you joy, you can probably live without it.
We’re not saying you need to live like a minimalist, but there are probably many items in your home that you don’t really need anymore.
By going into it with a positive mindset, you can easily declutter your space. Get your friends and family involved. Use sticky notes, to determine what stays, what you can give away, what you can possibly sell, and what needs to go straight to the curb.
Interested in learning more about decluttering? We’ve got a blog post all about it. You can read it right here.
Adjusting to Your New Space
It’s completely reasonable that you may find an adjustment period after rightsizing your life. But if you take a proactive approach, you can limit some of the disruptions. Plan ahead, print off floor plans, hire a stager, and start looking for smaller furniture.
This is an exciting time! Don’t be surprised if you feel re-energized with a new zest for life after you’ve finished the rightsizing process!