When the kiddos grow up and head off to school and homes of their own, many people choose downsizing to save money. And doing so makes solid financial sense. Smaller spaces cost less to heat and cool. Thankfully, newer appliances prove more energy-efficient and today’s communities offer a host of attractive amenities, like on-site fitness facilities.
If you’re going to start downsizing, I HIGHLY recommend this guide and please don’t judge the book by the cover or the sales page. This decluttering guide is one of the only ones that taught me strategies that I actually stuck with. Being chronically ill makes decluttering an absolute nightmare. So the four pass strategy was an absolute saviour to me.
Enjoy Post Decluttering Bliss
AKA - ridding you of your attachment to 'stuff'. Did you know owning a lot of stuff can prove stressful? It can! Belongings cost a significant amount of money to maintain — for example, if you're a clothes horse, upgrading your wardrobe every season can drain your wallet and clutter your closet.
Downsizing forces you to consider which items truly bring you joy and which ones stress you out. You don't need to keep every old postcard, for example — take photos you can store electronically. Practice one-in-one-out living — every time you bring home a new purchase, donate an old item to charity.
Save Money on Appliances
One of the most significant advantages to downsizing to an apartment is the money you save. Not only will your monthly housing payment generally cost less, choosing the right home means paying much less in overall electrical costs.
Have older appliances in your previous home? Today, every appliance comes with an Energy Star rating that tells you how much energy the device consumes. As a result, engineers now design appliances with this rating system in mind, meaning today's models often rank at double or more the efficiency of earlier appliance models.
Maintain Your Comfort
Do you endure sweating all summer long and wear more than one sweater in winter? When you downsize to an apartment, you can kiss sky-high heating and cooling bills goodbye. In some parts of the country, such as the Northeast, many single-family dwellings lack central air, but newer apartment, townhouse and condo designs contain this amenity.
And that isn't all — many apartment communities feature areas like hot tubs and swimming pools. If you've never enjoyed a night dip in the hot tub while the snow gently falls around you, you're missing a rare treat. Apartment living offers fun amenities without all the maintenance.
Take Advantage Of Local Ammenities
Both millennials and empty nesters often opt for apartment living over single-family homes. Why? These groups love the low-maintenance lifestyle such community arrangements offer. Still in the workforce? Urban living provides enviable proximity to various workplaces, so even if you don't telecommute, you can cut drive time significantly. You can also walk to shops and restaurants — and if your previous residence was in the sticks, you will adore the ability to order Chinese delivery at midnight, something few rural establishments offer.
Walk & Bike
Another advantage to urban apartment living over single-family dwellings is your ability to walk or bike nearly anywhere you need to go. Add public transportation options like light rail and bus stations, and you may not need a car at all — you can sell the family vehicle to help finance your move, pad your retirement fund or take a well-deserved vacation. Even if you downsize from two cars to one, you can save nearly $9,000 per year.
When your kids leave the nest, it's natural to feel lonely, but urban apartment living allows you ample opportunities to form new friendships. Many communities geared toward members of specific generations host regular mixers and potlucks for residents to meet their neighbors and chat.
Not only that, the proximity to shops and restaurants encourages you to mix and mingle. You can meet friends for afternoon tea, or enjoy a pub crawl with your workmates for a fun twist on Friday happy hour.
Become An Explorer
When you raised your children, doubtless your world revolved around them — now, at long last, it's your turn to do exactly what you want. If you've always dreamed of living in Paris, for example, why not make that fantasy a reality?
While it may take time to sort your belongings and decide what to keep, once you have, picking up and moving again proves easier. If you've always wanted to become a snowbird, you can rent an apartment in Vancouver during the summer months and one in Miami over the winter.
People Watching = Mindfulness
Finally, apartment living leaves you plenty of opportunities to people-watch. Imagine sipping tea on your front porch stoop while neighbors stop by to chat for a few. Or, relax on your balcony and bask in the hustle and bustle of the city. There's something charming about cities like New York that never sleep — it's crazy what you see at 3 a.m. sometimes!
Downsizing Makes the Right Choice
When you’re an empty nester, downsizing to apartment living makes financial sense. Try keeping a laser focus on decluttering when you’re in this painful empty-nester stage of life. The amount of money that you will end up saving and also making from items that you sell, will make it all worth it! Pinky promise.
If you decide to start downsizing to save money and decluttering to make money, don’t rush. Unless there is a real reason to do so. When we moved home, we paid for an additional month rent so I didn’t have to rush myself. Focus on one area at a time. When you start throwing things out here and there and not actually focusing on one area, it can get discouraging when you don’t see results.
Doing this is a real challenge, but it should be obvious that it makes financial sense. Thus making it worthwhile.
And with so many other benefits to downsizing, what are you waiting for?
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