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Moving to a smaller home can have its advantages. A smaller home could be cheaper, cosier and easier to maintain. However, there can also be drawbacks – you could have to sacrifice possessions and make lifestyle changes in order to adjust to the reduced space.
To determine whether downsizing is the right option for you, you may want to ask yourself some of these questions first.
Can you afford your current home?
Bigger homes tend to be more expensive to run. If you’re struggling to pay the rent/mortgage or the energy bills are too high, moving to a smaller home could be a solution for helping to cut your bills.
Of course, there are other ways to reduce the cost of a home. You may be able to make green improvements such as improving insulation or adding solar panels to reduce energy bills, however, this is a big investment. You could similarly move to a home that is the same size as yours but in a cheaper area – however, this could mean having to put up with a less appealing location. This guide at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk offers more alternative tips on reducing household bills without downsizing.
What will you do with all your stuff?
Unless you live a very minimalist life, you likely won’t be able to fit all of your current possessions into a smaller home. This could mean having to get rid of items. If you’ve been meaning to seriously declutter for a while, downsizing could be the perfect motivator. However, if you’d like to keep a lot of your possessions, downsizing may not be practical.
It’s possible that you may be able to pay to keep items in a self-storage unit – you can find self-storage units at sites such as www.selfstore.com.au. Other than doing this, there isn’t really a way of keeping onto your stuff when downsizing.
Can you cope with fewer bedrooms?
A smaller home could mean sacrificing bedrooms. If you currently have a spare bedroom or one that is only temporarily occupied, it may be possible for you to downsize to a home with fewer bedrooms.
However, if all of your bedrooms are currently occupied by kids or family members, you won’t be able to move to a home with fewer bedrooms. You may still be able to find a smaller home with the same amount of bedrooms (it may have a smaller garden or no dining room), however, you likely won’t make any significant reduction to the costs unless you opt for one less bedroom. This could be something to consider if you’re thinking of downsizing as a means of saving money.
What are your future needs?
Before downsizing, you should also consider your future needs and whether it will positively or negatively affect them. If you’re nearing retirement and your kids have recently moved out, downsizing could have many benefits in the future – your home won’t feel as empty, there will be less space to maintain and it could be easier to get around if your mobility is eventually affected.
This may not be the case if you’re living with a partner and you are thinking of having kids/having another kid. If you’ve currently got a spare bedroom, you may not want to give this up now – a baby may be able to sleep in your bedroom for the first year of their life, but eventually, you’ll need an extra bedroom.