Eight Tips for Downsizing in Your 50s
As you settle into your 50s, start to think about your life and your finances and what direction you want to take them in as you move into the next chapter of your life. It is not surprising that many people in their 50s—whose kids are leaving the nest—downsize to a smaller home to free up some money and give themselves more options.
If that sounds good to you and you are considering downsizing, here are a few things you should know.
Embrace the “Less Is More” Mantra
Accept that downsizing is not a downgrade; it's an upgrade to a simpler lifestyle. You're not losing space; you're gaining time and freedom from clutter. Imagine a home where you can find your favorite book or, dare I say, see the surface of your dining table again.
The Great Purge: Channel Your Inner Marie Kondo
Start by decluttering. And no, I don't mean just moving stuff from one room to another. Be ruthless. If you haven't used it in a year, do you really need it? This might mean saying “Goodbye” to that bread maker you used once in 1997 or the stack of magazines that's been collecting dust since the Bush administration.
Home Sweet (Smaller) Home
When looking for a new, smaller home, think about what truly matters to you. A cozy living space? A garden? Proximity to a good coffee shop? (Let’s face it, caffeine is important). Remember, “smaller” doesn’t mean “settling”—it means being selective.
The Financial Lowdown on Home Loans
In your 50s, you might be looking at mortgages differently. Maybe you’re seeking a shorter loan term, or perhaps you’re planning to buy outright from the sale of your current home. Shop around for the best rates and terms and look for reputable companies like Evolve Bank & Trust where possible. Consult with financial advisors because deciphering loan terms sometimes feels like reading an ancient, cryptic manuscript.
Sell, Donate, Gift—Spread the Love
What to do with all the extra stuff? Sell, donate, or gift. Those old vinyl records might be someone else’s treasure. That vintage chair? Perfect for your niece’s new apartment. It's like playing Santa, but all year round.
Digitize Memories: Because You Don’t Need Every Birthday Card
We all have those sentimental items we cling to, like every birthday card we’ve ever received. It’s time to digitize. Take photos of them or scan them. This way, you keep the memories without the physical clutter. It’s a win-win.
Get Creative with Storage
In a smaller space, storage is king. Think multifunctional furniture, like a bed with drawers or an ottoman that doubles as storage. It’s like playing Tetris with your furniture, but more rewarding.
The New Chapter: It's Not Just About Space
Remember, downsizing is more than just moving to a smaller space—it’s about starting a new chapter. It’s an opportunity to focus on hobbies, travel, or finally writing that novel about a 50-something superhero (Hey, we all have dreams).
Small can be beautiful and beneficial in your 50s, so whatever you decide to do, good luck, and have a blast!