Tips For Downsizing

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Real Estate

Forget supersizing! Many homeowners, whether they're ready for retirement or looking to simplify their lives, are turning to downsizing. Downsizing your home and your life can be therapeutic as well as uplifting. Living a simpler life can lead to less stress, bills, and chores. Here are some simple tips to start downsizing your things and possibly upsizing your life.

The Big House
Even if your home is already paid for, there are still significant costs in owning more space than you really need, including taxes, utilities, insurance and repairs. Plus, it will force you to downsize other belongings, too.

Debt
Over the course of a lifetime, the average American today will pay more than $250,000 in interest on all the money he or she borrows, according to Credit.com. Pay off debt as quickly as possible. Definitely pay it off before you retire. Live by this old-school rule: If you can't afford to pay for it now, you simply can't afford it.

Clothes
My favorite rule is is you haven't worn it in a year, ditch it. Purge any clothing that doesn't fit and doesn't get worn on a regular basis. Try a yard sale, or by donating items to charity.

 

Off-Site Storage
Why are you paying storage fees for things you don't need and/or just don't fit into your home? Save the money and perhaps make a little cash selling your items collecting dust in storage.

Exercise Equipment
I am all about exercising. It's great stress relief and keeps you healthy. But if your equipment has turned into a clothes rack, donate it or sell it so someone who will get good use out of it.

Gadgets
Seriously? Do you need that bread maker you haven't used in 2-years? How about the mis-matched tableware collecting dust? Obviously you don't need it so ditch away.

Car
According to AAA, it costs an average of $8,558 annually to own and operate a vehicle. If you're a two-car family, getting rid of one set of wheels might make sense once one or both partners are no longer working. You might be able to get by with public transportation or a car-share program, or at least downgrade to less-expensive vehicles.

Childhood Memorabilia
Unless it is a precious memento that brings you joy, it's time to let go of little Bobby's pee-wee hockey participation award. Digitize images of awards, artwork, etc. You could make a photo album of them all if needed.

Furniture
You'd be surprised how much more spacious a room can feel once you eliminate unneeded furniture. Unless it's an antique, the only use some things may have is for dust collecting.

Books, Magazines, DVDs
It's time to go digital. Books, movies, music, and so much more can live digitally in the palm of your hand. Unless a book has sentimental value or you're going to read it again, put it back into circulation via a yard sale, thrift store or donate it to your library.

Files
Consumer Reports advises organizing your important files into four categories: "papers that you need to keep for the calendar year or less; ones that can be destroyed when you no longer own the items they cover; tax records, which you should save for seven years; and papers to keep indefinitely." You can access copies of many documents via online accounts. Consider storing digitized documents on a Web-based storage service or an external drive.

Decorations
While holiday decor has some sentimental value, consider getting rid of the decorations you haven't used in the past five years, particularly bulkier items such as outdoor decorations and holiday tableware you use just once a year. Try limiting each holiday to one storage bit max.

As always, your Straight Up Realtor is here for you for all of your home needs. Buying or selling, give me a call. 267243-6434