3 Tips to Downsize Your Home and Your Life

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So you’ve been thinking about downsizing and getting a fresh new start.

Great! For empty nesters, retirees, and people who just need a certain level of change, downsizing can often be a wonderful way to initiate the process. It can provide you with a sense of freedom, because often when you transform one area of your life, all the other areas are transformed in the process.

You know how it goes. Paul and Miranda decide that they really want to embark upon a more exciting lifestyle. Their friends, Damon and Ashanti, always have great travel stories over dinner and they want some of that mobile, global juice in their glass, too. The thought of downsizing crossed Miranda’s mind, but it wasn’t until after another inspiring dinner with their friends that she decided to ask Paul his thoughts about it. She was starting to feel a bit restless since their daughter, Kaitlyn, had gone off to college at Bowling Green. And since Paul was on the brink of retirement from his 20 year role as an advertising consultant, it actually made sense to him, too.

For most people, downsizing isn’t just about purchasing a smaller home. It’s about following your imagination into a world of less waste, clutter, confusion, and every part of your lifestyle that isn’t what you envision for yourself.

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Here are 3 tips to consider in making a transition to a home environment that suits your changing lifestyle. And if you stick around, you’ll learn about an interesting economic opportunity to downsize and supplement your retirement income in the process.

Tip 1: First downsize your mind.

In today’s world of global, technological expansion, we as humans have more access to information than at any time in human history. Our ability to make new, like minded friends in far away countries, heal people with amazing new medical technology, and even gain access to innovative productivity solutions at the tap of a button prove that the information age has been of huge benefit to modern society.

However, the flip side of this progress is information overload! Social media gives us access to so many people with so many opinions, rational or otherwise. Thousands of television channels provide us not only with a variety of entertainment choices, but also the dueling narratives of the corporations that control the media. In a 1 mile stretch down streets like Broad or Main, we’re bombarded with advertising billboards, political bumper stickers, and so many restaurant choices that your taste buds dry up before you even sit down to eat.

To downsize your mind is to take back your clarity and sanity, and to decide what information is productive, necessary even, to your life experience. Are there social media applications that seem to consume your day and drain you of positivity and focused performance? Yes, knowing what’s happening around the world is important, but is watching national and international unrest on a nightly basis taking away from things you could be learning, like how to speak Portuguese or how to play the didgeridoo?

For some, the downsizing of your mind isn’t even about technology. Are there people in your life that you could really take a break from, even eliminate from your inner circle? What about that job that you despise. Isn’t it time to finally find something that fulfills you and employs your talents and passions?

Moreover, for all of us, some of the downsizing needs to be self reflective. Our own beliefs and habits can hinder our efficiency and creativity more than the ugly faced troll that insulted your heartfelt Facebook post. Are you harboring negative beliefs about yourself or others that are clearly no longer serving you? Do you have unhealthy habits that affect your health, relationships and finances?

Begin to take inventory of the information you are processing through technology, relationships and entertainment and decide which things really empower you and toss out those that don’t.

Tip 2: Downsize your clutter.

Let’s talk about that “catch all” drawer in your kitchen with the pens, business cards, sticky ketchup packets, bandaids, maroon lipstick, hammers, and the M.C. Hammer cassette tape “collectible” from ‘91 that you plan to play for your future grandchildren. You might even be more like the author of this article that thinks Architectural Digest magazines are as important as vegetables, and has to resell half her book collection back to Half Priced Books every year. Or maybe you think that all those slacks from the Men’s Warehouse that you bought on sale, two years ago, will fit you after you drop 15 pounds!

Unless you are the neatest most organized person on this side of the Erie, its possible that you have some clutter that you need to let go of. I get it. This is also a mind thing. We keep extra trinkets, gadgets, doohickeys and whatchamacallits, because we think we’ll actually need them or use them again. In other cases, subconsciously, it’s a connection, or even a protection mechanism, associated with our pasts. Either way, we have to know when enough is enough.

Clearing out the spaces and places in our homes can be such a rich, rewarding feeling. Healthy energy can flow freely throughout the crevices, corners and closets leaving us with a sense of calm. As well, when our home is clutter free, our clarity is heightened, as well as our ability to feel at peace in a home that isn’t nagging for this or that to constantly be done.

Consider going through your closet to eliminate extra items that you don’t need any longer. Think about those drawers that when emptied could house a new pair of nice cooking utensils. Throw out all of those old things in the garage that collect dust and cobwebs. Clear out the bathroom cabinets of those outdated hair products and toiletries. Hair spritz! Really? We need to stop it. By the way, I promise you don’t need to hold on to all those “magazines”. Your wife really hates them.

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Overhaul your home and then just watch how much more alive you feel knowing that your house is less congested.

Tip 3: Downsize your home.

Did you know that the FHA (Federal Housing Authority) has a program for people who are looking to downsize that could potentially eliminate having to making a monthly payment at all? For people who are 62 or older, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program (or HECM for short) is a reverse mortgage solution that enables you to use the equity in your new home as monthly mortgage payments. For some people, this is an excellent source of supplemental retirement income and a smooth downsizing transition into a home that suits your life better.

There are certain rules and guidelines that must be met to qualify for this program. But as long as you do, this could potentially be a perfect fresh start to a new, exciting and stress free chapter of your life.

Reach out to Theresa Cray, broker with Take a Look Real Estate. She’ll give you all of the information that you need in order to understand the program, find out if its the solution to your downsizing needs and shepherd you through the process successfully. She’s been in the real estate industry for over two decades and can boast a vast array of experience, knowledge, education, and compassion. Her passion is for the people and she uses every amazing tool in her collection to fulfill her client’s real estate needs and to make sure that their lifestyles and livelihoods are markedly improved through working with her.

If you would like to have an inspiring conversation with her about all of the resources available to you so that can downsize your lifestyle with ease and success, complete the form below. We will also make sure to send you our monthly newsletter so that you can get the inside scoop on Columbus real estate. Besides you can impress your friends at the cocktail party with all your newfound economic knowledge. As well, tune in to the Take A Look Real Estate Brokers Facebook page by clicking here and check out the “Ask Theresa” real estate live stream every Wednesday at noon. She might even be able to answer your questions live!

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