Monday, August 6, 2018

Why It's Never Too Early to Downsize

Downsizing, for some over 50 it is an act filled with dread as it seen as a harbinger of old age. But for others, the act of letting go is a sort of new-found liberty and therefore more and more people in their pre-retirement years are actively downsizing. If this interests you, then read on as there are some reasons why it is never too early to downsize.

The Case Against Procrastination

As mentioned, the act of downsizing is seen by many as a sign of aging and for that reason is it largely put off. Let’s face it, most of in our 50’s feel no different than we did in our 40’s or 30’s. Sure, we might not be as full of youthful exuberance as we were in our teens, but it's not like we feel that much older.

This is the reason why most of us put off letting go of the things we have accumulated over the years. But this procrastination can have consequences. Not only does putting off downsizing risk letting others handle the task for you, it also means that you end up spending your life in a sort of museum, instead of freeing yourself and enjoying your golden years.

Given this, it is better to go through your things and start to decide what to keep and what to let go of. Beyond this, you might even decide that some of the items you want to keep might better leave in storage for your grandchildren or some other occasion. For example, if you live in New England, then you might want to make use of a storage company in Boston to hold those items you don’t need but aren’t quite ready to let go of.

Beyond this, let’s look at how downsizing can help you enjoy your life.

Starting Early Allows You to Take Your Time

Sifting through a life’s worth of knick-knacks can be time-consuming. As such, you are better served by breaking the task into smaller bits, by starting with one room and then taking a short break before moving onto the next.

Two questions you should ask yourself along the way is whether you have used the article you are considering letting go of in the past six months, or if you will need if over the next year. Doing so will help to give you some perspective on what you need to keep around.

Beyond this, starting early means that you can have discussions with your loved ones on what you want them to do with the items you are leaving to them. This could include family photos, books, and heirloom items – some of which might have been in your family for generations.

Another bonus to downsizing in short bursts is that you can time these activities to when family members come to visit as this is a perfect time to handover items you don’t need but you want to keep in the family. Granted, you might not want to involve your guests in this ‘chore’ but prepping for a visit can give you a much-needed deadline to work towards.

Eliminate Bickering

In some cases, your kids, or grandkids, might want some of your stuff, but in other cases, they might not. As such, starting early can help you do better determine who gets what. This will eliminate the family quarrels which are bound to crop up when someone decides it is time to downsize.

The same is true when you are holding onto mementos from when your children were younger. This can lead to more winging as your kids probably don’t want 3rd place medals from their 5th-grade spelling bee. As such, letting go of these items can eliminate bickering over who gets, or wants, what.

A Little Perspective

There is nothing like rummaging through all the stuff you have accumulated over the years to help put your life in perspective. For starters, you might find things that you forgot about or you might find something that you have been looking for. As such, think of the exercise not as a waste of time but as a way to save money.

That’s right downsizing can help you save money. Not only can it stop you from buying other ‘things’ but it can also open the door to getting a smaller home and this could mean you are spending less each month on your rent or mortgage. The added plus is that you will have less space to buy even more things and this leads to saving even more money.

Embrace Your Freedom

Living a life without clutter can lead to a sense of freedom. It’s not as if you are letting go of relationships; instead, it is the clutter which ties up all the space in your home. When it comes to downsizing, remember it is never too early to start; doing so will help you to enjoy your life without worrying about what to do with all this stuff.

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