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Home Truths: Advice on downsizing

PUBLISHED: 10:01 30 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:40 03 November 2015

Downsizing gives an opportunity to assess your real needs

Downsizing gives an opportunity to assess your real needs

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How to free up cash, declutter and make life that bit simpler

It may feel like only yesterday that you were expecting your first child and setting up a home for a growing family. All too soon though, the kids will fly the nest and while property owners don’t typically daydream about buying a smaller home, there comes a point where it makes sense.

There are a number of benefits to limiting living space. Minimal maintenance is definitely an upside to not living large, and a move to a less-expensive property frees up funds that can go towards maintaining a lifestyle rather than a home. Choosing less space is often paired with living simpler, whether the homeowner is an empty-nester, retiring or just seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle.

With the abundance of apartments, cottages and bungalows available, there are plenty of options for downsizing. The trick is to consider it as a positive step. Many of us have adopted a ‘bigger-is-better’ mentality, but there are numerous benefits to economising on space. Smaller homes tend to require less cleaning, less gardening and fewer repairs, not to mention lower running costs. Many can just be locked up and left at the drop of a hat, giving you the freedom to take that holiday you’ve always wanted. With the children moved on to their own lives you can focus on yours, so make your home work for you rather than rattling around in a space designed for many people.

Remember that when downsizing, your belongings will need reducing too. See the move as an opportunity to declutter. Think carefully about what you really need and take the time to plan your new space before transporting furniture that may be too large or too overbearing.

Take care too not to leave your current property looking empty during viewings. Declutter rationally; sort your belongings, make lists and discard unnecessary items, but don’t turn your home into an empty shell quite yet. Save your big decluttering for after a sale is agreed, when you are ready to fly to your neat new property.

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