The Essential Guide to Downsizing Your Home

by Point2 Staff
7 min. read

Whether you’re seeking a more modest way of life or looking to move on now that the kids have flown the nest, you might have considered downsizing. Of course, moving into a smaller home has its fair share of advantages, but it’s not always the right choice for everyone. And, if you do decide that it’s the right move for you, you’ll need to think about the actual process of downsizing. Fortunately, the following guide covers everything you need to know.

Advantages of Downsizing

From financial gains to lifestyle changes, there are many benefits to downsizing:

1.     More Financial Freedom

In most cases, smaller homes boast a smaller price tag than larger properties in the same area. So, depending on how much equity you have in your current home, there’s a good chance you could buy a smaller home outright. As a result, you won’t have to worry about monthly mortgage payments, giving you much more spare cash that can be put in a savings account or spent on holidays or hobbies.

Even if you can’t quite afford to buy a smaller home, you’ll likely be able to put down a large down payment. As a result, you’ll enjoy lower interest rates, smaller monthly repayments, and more disposable cash in your pocket.

2.     Greater Ability to Diversify Your Assets

When it comes to real estate, the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is wise advice. For example, if all your cash is tied up in your home and the market takes a turn for the worse, you can find yourself struggling financially.

With a smaller home, you’ll likely have extra cash available. This can be used to invest in a broader array of assets. And, as a bonus, most of these assets are much more fluid than real estate, giving you easier access to your money when you need it.

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3.     More Energy Efficient

With less space to heat and light, you can expect your utility bills to drop considerably. Not only is this great for your wallet, it also enables you to drastically reduce your carbon footprint.

4.     Less Time Spent Cleaning

A large home takes time to clean, and even the rooms that aren’t used that frequently will soon get dusty. With a smaller home, you’ll naturally spend less time keeping on top of cleaning. And the time and effort that you save can be put to better use, such as enjoying hobbies, relaxing, or even working on your own side hustle.

5.     Cozy Atmosphere

In a large house, it’s easy to feel lonely. But a smaller home encourages you to forge closer relationships with those you live with, providing a superb opportunity to bond with loved ones.

Disadvantages of Downsizing

Despite the benefits, downsizing certainly isn’t the right choice for everyone. The various lifestyle changes might not be what you’re looking for, and even the financial benefits won’t necessarily apply to your situation:

1.     It Can Feel Cramped

If you’re a social person, who’s used to hosting parties for friends and family, moving to a small home can be challenging. In particular, those with large families may find it difficult to accommodate everyone over the holidays, so time spent with loved ones might actually be reduced.

Beyond social occasions, you might struggle with the everyday space issues of a smaller home. For example, if you value a little “me time,” it’s not always easy to accommodate as it is in a larger home. On top of that, you might also find you have less space for your hobbies.

inerior of tiny home

Image: inrainbows /

2.     Storage Issues

Smaller homes obviously have less space for storage, which means your new home can soon become cluttered if you’re used to having endless cabinets to keep your possessions in. If you struggle to get rid of many things, downsizing can be a tough change.

3.     Lifestyle Changes

Less storage space can result in you having to change the way you live. For example, with less room to store food, you might have to plan meals more carefully to ensure you make the most of your space and reduce waste. The same is true with clothes. You may lack the wardrobe space for all your various outfits.

In terms of free time, this may also be affected. For example, if you want to watch a movie in the lounge, you’ll likely need to check that you won’t disturb anyone else.

4.     The Financial Benefits Might Not Work Out

When it comes to selling your current home and buying something smaller, you might find that the profit margin isn’t as impressive as you had imagined. This is especially true if you plan to move to a more expensive neighborhood or city. So be sure to carry out your research and crunch the numbers before you make your decision.

5 Top Downsizing Tips

Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons, it’s time to tackle the daunting task of downsizing. Going through all your worldly possessions to see what you can take with you can be challenging. Fortunately, here are a few tips to help your downsizing endeavors run smoothly:

1.     Know the Space You’re Working With

When downsizing, it’s essential to accurately calculate the space you have to play with and see what furniture you can fit. So, get out your tape measure and sketch out some scale drawings to ensure you’ll get everything in properly.

2.     Give Yourself Time to Plan Ahead

You never want to rush into downsizing. Doing so can cause you to spend money on storing the furniture you didn’t have time to take care of before, as well as throwing things away in a panic. It takes time to go through all your worldly belongings, so plan well ahead and give yourself months rather than weeks to take care of everything.

3.     Work Efficiently With a List

Creating an itemized list of your belongings can help you visualize what you’re working with. The best way to proceed is to split it into three categories; things you’ll keep, give/throw away, and those things you’re unsure about.

Working room by room also helps make the task more manageable, starting with smaller rooms and less personal items, such as the laundry room. Then, as you go along and the picture becomes clearer, you can decide what to do with the unsure items.

4.     Save Space and Double Up

Storage can be a sticking point when downsizing, but there are ways around it. One of the best tips is to look for furniture, even decor, that can do double duty. Beds with underneath storage and fold-up tables are two great space-saving examples.

Meanwhile, when planning your kitchen, hang your pots and pans on the wall or beneath the cabinets. By creating a hanging space above the sink, you won’t need a draining tray and will save precious counter space.

5.     Only Keep What You Need

It can be tricky to pare down your possessions, so if you’re struggling, try taking things like tools and utensils from their usual place and instead keep them in a box. Then, whenever you use something, return it to its usual place. Whatever is left in the box after a month obviously doesn’t see much use, so it should be easier to decide whether to keep it or not. You can do the same with furniture items by using sticky labels and removing them after they’ve been used.

What you don’t keep can quickly be sold or donated. Hold a yard sale, or simply leave items in front of your home with a “free” sign on them. You’ll soon find that most of your clutter has gone.

donate concept

Image: Black Salmon /

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