I recently spent a few days staying with my Mum who at a spritely 87 years of age still lives in a home which many might consider excessive to her needs.
As my imagined relaxing mini break started to turn into a "Bob-a-Job" extravaganza with my dear old mum proudly ticked off her list of jobs she had lined up for me since my last visit my thoughts soon turned to the idea that it might be time for her to downsize.
I guess for many baby boomers with their kids finally off their hands and potentially more disposable income the thought of trading in the old family home on a new one is definitely worth consideration - heck why not downsize on something more manageable and less expensive and stick the extra cash away for those much anticipated and well earned retirement holidays.
Downsizing into a smaller new home for many can be a daunting contemplation yet for others it may seem like the ideal time to make a fresh start. For those that do take the plunge there is the opportunity to create a unique and functional new home which is relevant to their needs moving forward into another chapter of their lives. In addition the opportunity to create an environmentally clean and energy efficient home which will save costs in the long run is also appealing.
Downsizing doesn’t need to be about living in a one bedroom shoe box, it can be a carefully considered exercise in prioritising your needs. Some rooms could serve a multi purpose. For example a well designed home theatre room might incorporate some clever cabinetry which opens to serve as a home office during the day yet incorporates a wall bed (Wall beds Australia - Desk Bed Product) which folds out to a double bed for unexpected visitors. By utilising one room in such a fashion savings can be made so that other areas such as kitchens and outdoor alfresco areas can be upgraded to a higher specification without blowing the budget; the concept of quality over quantity comes to mind. Of course there are also other more practical benefits of the downsizing pathway with a smaller and more efficient property requiring less time and effort to maintain not to mention reduced running costs.
A couple in their late fifties who I recently helped design a new home and downsize commented that they wish they had done it years ago…"to clean out cupboards full of years of accumulated possessions which no longer served a purpose was rather cathartic… its like a new start and has spring cleaned our whole life" mused Sarah. Laughing husband Ray said "yeah and there's no room for those cash guzzling kids to return home when they realise what it’s like flatting away from Mums home cooked meals and freshly laundered clothes".
All in all downsizing seems to make good sense for some yet like my mum, many choose to remain in the original family home despite the fact that it might be surplus to their needs which is fine too. Looks like my handy man "Mr fix it" holiday visits will continue…