Scaling Down: What to Do First When You Decide to Downsize

Posted on 20 June, 2017 in Moving Home

Downsizing can be an emotional topic. Let go of the family home, with all its memories? Still, there comes a time for many people when something smaller makes more sense – less to clean and maintain, fewer expenses and perhaps a better location, closer to shops or services. Planning carefully can help ensure you find just the right place. Here's how to get started, with ideas courtesy of Top End Removals in Darwin, Australia.

Who Are You?

In many cases, people downsize whilst they are still active and healthy. If you love gardening, how are you going to continue to enjoy that activity or find a substitute? Perhaps you like the puttering involved in maintaining a house or have a hobby such as woodworking, painting pictures or developing your own photographs. 

Ideally, downsizing shouldn't curtail the activities you love. Even if you're downsizing because your health or finances require a change, try to find ways to continue the hobbies or activities that are important to you or to find acceptable substitutes.

Think First – Don't Just Leap

Whilst downsizing may be a good decision in many ways, you must make sure it's right for you. Living in your own home means you make the decisions. Of course, it also means you have to do or arrange for things like yard work and house maintenance. If you move to a condo or an apartment, you're giving up a certain amount of control. 

You may need to sign a lease that restricts you in certain ways or be required to share facilities that were once yours alone. Take plenty of time to think about just why you want or need to downsize and what you're looking for in a new home.

Make a List

Actually, you'll probably be making lots of lists, but your first list should be what you're looking for in a new residence. Start by “blue sky” brainstorming – don't let money considerations hamper you in this initial process. If you need help, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do you want a great view? 
  • Are you thinking about a certain location? 
  • What about country vs. city vs. suburbs? 
  • How many bedrooms do you need? 
  • Are you looking for a condo, an efficiency apartment or perhaps just a smaller house? 
  • How much storage do you need? 

Get it all down on paper, then put the list away for a few days to a week. Now go back and look it over, adding any other considerations that come to mind.

Look to the Future

No matter how good your current health is right now, the fact of the matter is that as you age, you will slow down a bit. Whilst many elderly people can continue to live independently, you may need a home designed to support that independence. Stairs can become a major obstacle, for example. 

A home that has a conventional bathtub rather than a walk-in shower can become a problem if you have balance or mobility issues. Give careful consideration to how you would manage in a new home if you needed a walker or wheelchair.

Sometimes making downsizing decisions is like having a child – until you've been there, you simply can’t know what it's really like. Talk to friends and relatives who have downsized within the last few years. What would they do differently? You may be able to avoid making the same mistakes. 

You can also find resources from removal specialists like Top End Removals. Whether it's the emotional aspects of making a move or the practical basics of decluttering and storage, a professional removalist can help make downsizing much easier for you.

Image Reference: https://pixabay.com/en/key-house-house-keys-home-estate-2114455/

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