4 Unexpected Benefits of Downsizing in Our Later Years
The phrase “less is more” may not apply to all aspects of our lives, but downsizing to reduce living space and personal possessions can have a wonderful effect. Here are four unexpected ways that less really is more when it comes to downsizing in our later years of life.
New Jersey has famously high property taxes. Because downsizing reduces living space, the cost of living in the space is often reduced as well. Not only do monthly housing costs and utilities go down, but there is another financial consequence of having less space. With less space to fill, people actually tend to be more mindful of new purchases. Less cabinet space may mean we second-guess an impulse buy of new pots and pans. Fewer bedrooms to maintain mean skipping the bedding and linens sales. Also, the process of reducing clutter makes a person much more aware when it returns.
Less backbreaking housework
With fewer rooms and fewer possessions to fill them, there is less cleaning and general housework to manage. Reducing the time spent cleaning and maintaining a home may help reduce back and joint pain. It also frees up time to enjoy a home and guests. Less housework and responsibilities also frees up time. Would you rather scrub extra toilets or visit your friends or grandchildren?
Less to leave
Fewer possessions may also lead to less complicated estate planning documents. Downsizing can save hours going through possessions to decide who gets what. Having a more manageable amount of possessions can also reduce quarrels after death, by way of having a neat and tidy list accompanying a Will. It may sound counterintuitive, but if we leave less, we also leave less to fight over. I noticed this most directly when a friend's parents recently moved from the house where they raised 6 children to a smaller house in another state. As a natural result of this, they gave away many of their possessions, including furniture and artwork, to their children. These are items that their children will not be fighting over in the future.
Less painful to move later
Downsizing by choice now can make future moves, such as with family members or to an assisted living facility, much easier. Any of these options will involve downsizing substantially for most adults, and some moves may happen when we are not in a condition to help much.
Downsizing before a crisis makes later transitions less taxing whether or not they take place in emergency circumstances. Not only will there be less to go through later, but there will be fewer difficult decisions regarding the remaining items. Archer Law Office can both provide assistance with general moves and downsizing, and provide contacts with professional organizers throughout New Jersey if needed.
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