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Downsizing Your Home Before Retirement

While this may sound like a feat, the benefits outweigh the cost. It’s important to consider downsizing your home as you approach retirement age for two reasons. The most important reason is reducing costs and conserving your income.

Transitioning to a smaller house typically yields lowers housing costs which frees up income for your retirement plan. This is especially beneficial if you’re looking to spend money on travel or have a sizable spending income during retirement. Another reason to downsize your home is to reduce the amount of maintenance needed to manage the upkeep of your house. Reducing time spent on house maintenance frees up time for other activities and hobbies.

The most efficient way to downsize your home is to start by reducing the amount of clutter or items you own. Consider asking yourself the following questions to make the process easier:

Have I used it in the last six months?
By asking yourself this question, you can determine whether not any given item is essential for your home. Without any use within the last six months, the likelihood of active use is slim to none. Outside of this timeframe, it’s safe to say you can afford to get rid of the item.

If you’re worried you might use in the next few months, store it in a box with similar items. In another 6 months, if you have not used that item, then you should definitely get rid of it.

Is there a duplicate?
It’s easy to pick up more than item that accomplishes the same task. Ask yourself if there is more than one of this item in your house or if there is another item that completes the same task. If the answer is yes for either question, get rid of that item.

Does it still work or serve a purpose?
It’s easy to hold onto items you’re accustomed to having around the house. Unless it still functions or actively serves a purpose in your home, consider getting rid of it. Otherwise, you’ll end up storing more items than necessary.

Even after successfully deciding to get rid of an item, there is often a hesitation. One of the difficult parts about letting go of an item is thinking you’ll lose out on it’s value. Curb this hesitation by opting to sell it, gift it, or donate it. Above all else, do not take on the task of downsizing your entire home at once. Instead, focus on one area and set small goals for yourself. Then you can create a fail-proof plan that will guarantee results.