How To Make The Most Of Your Downsized Home
If you can’t remember the last time you went into some of the rooms in your home then it’s time to consider downsizing. Or, maybe you’re drowning in debt or living beyond your means — the paycheck-to-paycheck method won’t help you save for retirement or take that much-needed vacation. Lower bills and property taxes aside, there’s less stress when you own a smaller home because you won’t have so much maintenance to take care of.
While the pros can definitely outweigh the cons, make sure carefully consider what type of living environment would best suit your personal and financial lifestyle.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Downsized Home
To ensure you don’t feel like you’re living in a sardine can after you move in, ask yourself the following questions:
Which rooms am I not utilizing? Subtract the square feet from the underutilized rooms to give yourself a general estimate of the size of home you should be seeking.
What will my new costs be? In order to make downsizing truly worthwhile, you want to make sure you’re actually saving money. Determine whether or not there may be economic uncertainty with your job, how changing an environment (from hot to cold or vice versa) might affect your utility costs, and hidden costs you may not be thinking about like remodeling and condominium fees. Also consider whether or not the cost of living will be higher in your new neighborhood — or even new city, state, or country.
Is this potential new home close to services such as public transportation, a hospital, grocery store, church, schools, recreational activities, etc.?
Will I be depleting my social circle? Keep in mind that numerous studies indicate that aging well is linked to having friends and family living close by.
How long do I see myself staying here?
Things To Consider After The Move
Decorate To Open The Space
One of the most exciting things about moving into a new home is the decorating process. Keep in mind that what worked in your old abode may not work in your downsized environment.
Implement some pro tips to make your space look as open, clutter-free and functional as possible. For example, turn a small closet into an office nook, add narrow wall shelves to increase storage space in the kitchen and bathroom, keep walls and curtains on the lighter side, turn one room into two with an attractive curtain divider, install storage solutions under the stairs and add mirrors to make a room look larger.
Budget For Potential Accessibility Changes As You Age
As mentioned above, you need to consider how long you see yourself living at your downsized home because you may need to make accessibility changes in the kitchen and the bathroom as you age and even if you remain in your current home. Regardless, you may find that your kitchen becomes tired or dated over the years. Considering it’s one of the most utilized homes in the house, you may want to budget for a remodel at some point.
Keeping your home safe and accessible goes beyond the kitchen and bathroom. If you’re still working as a senior, take steps to create a hazard-free home office. Zenbusiness recommends securing carpets to the floor and removing clutter and electrical cords from the ground.
While moving is a stressful process, keep in mind how much better you’ll feel with reduced bills and responsibilities. If you’re older, keep in mind that there are senior specialists to help you navigate this somewhat arduous process. Don’t just downsize for the sake of downsizing. Make sure there will be balance with the other areas of your life in an effort to preserve your mental health, too.
Work with Dominique Michelle Vidal to create beautiful spaces and bring function and value to your home. (914) 672-6726. Interior designer servicing home owners, businesses, and real estates investors in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.