Downsizing? Here are Six Things to Consider First

Housing costs are becoming more expensive every day, and people all around the country are downsizing into smaller homes. This can be an excellent way to cut your housing costs and simplify your life at the same time. However, it’s not as easy to downsize as you might think. From deciding how much space you need to learning how to estimate self storage unit costs, there are quite a few things you need to consider before moving into your new place. Here are 6 of the most important considerations when downsizing.

Why Are You Downsizing?

For many people, the decision to downsize is either made because they need to save money or because they want a smaller house to take care of as they age. Of course, there are many other reasons to downsize, including the desire to live a simpler life. Before you take the leap to actually finding a new house and getting rid of or storing your belongings, really think about why you’re downsizing. The clarity will help you make difficult choices in the future.

You’ll also want to think about your plans down the road as well. Do you think you’ll stay in your new, smaller house as you age, or do you plan to go bigger again later? This consideration may determine whether you buy your new house or rent until you find your forever home.

How Many People Will Be Living in the Home?

This is probably the single most important thing you’ll need to consider before downsizing as it determines how small you can really go. If it’s just you, the plan becomes much simpler, but if it’s you and a partner or you and your kids, or an entire family, you’ll want to prepare carefully before making a final decision on house size.

For instance, do you and your spouse need separate rooms for alone time? Will your kids share a bedroom? How many bathrooms are absolutely necessary? Is there room for your kids to play? Once you get an idea of how much room you need, you can start looking for houses with your minimum square footage requirement.

Do You Plan to Have Guests?

Entertaining and hosting become much more challenging when you have fewer rooms and space in your house. If you’re an avid entertainer and love to have people over for dinner, parties, or vacations, you’ll need to take that into account when downsizing. Will you need a spare bedroom for your guests? How about a separate bathroom? Are you okay with an intimate dinner for four instead of a large party? Many times, we only think about our own space needs when we downsize, but if you like to entertain or have people stay at your home overnight or for longer periods of time, your guests’ needs will need to be considered as well.

Are You Going to Need Storage?

You may not be ready to purge yourself of all your possessions quite yet, even if you do want to simplify your life. In this case, you’re probably going to need to rent a storage unit to house some of your belongings until you either find a place for them in your home or decide to sell or donate them. You can calculate the approximate size and cost of a storage unit for your needs by using an online calculator or by determining the square footage of the belongings you’re going to store and choosing a corresponding unit. 

Do You Want to Share a Wall With Your Neighbors?

When most people downsize, they consider a townhouse or condominium as an alternative to a single-family house. However, they don’t always think about the walls they will share with their neighbors. This can be a huge problem after you move in, especially if you aren’t used to having another person or family live right next to you (or above or below you). Are you okay with some noise coming from these units, or do you expect your home to be quiet on your schedule? The answer to this question may determine the type of housing you eventually choose.

What Kinds of Amenities Do You Want?

People who are looking to downsize are also often hoping to gain access to amenities that they may not have had with their larger property. For example, many older people decide to downsize to an apartment or condo so they don’t have to worry about lawn care anymore. Other people want access to community amenities like swimming pools, clubhouses, and fitness equipment. Consider what you hope to gain from your decision to downsize. Even if you just want to live near a park or within walking distance to work, this is a critical consideration.


Sometimes, bigger isn’t always better. If you’re thinking about downsizing your house, it can be a great way to gain amenities while ridding yourself of cumbersome household chores. However, it is also a decision that can’t be taken lightly if you want it to be successful. Create a plan and you’ll be able to really enjoy your smaller space.

For additional tips and advice, be sure to check out our post on HOAs – Big Yes Or Big No? for more great tips!

Downsizing? Here are Six Things to Consider First

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