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An Essential Guide to Downsizing With a Family

Updated on:
June 7, 2024
Guide to Downsizing With a Family

Image Source: Canva

Is your family against downsizing your home? Or are you worried about the friction a reduction in space will cause? For some families, downsizing just doesn't make sense. But for others, it can be a necessity. Luckily, downsizing when you have a family does not have to be stressful and it can turn out much better for you all. Below, we give our essential guide to downsizing with a family.

The Emotional Connection to the Family Home

If you are lucky, the home you are downsizing from may have been temporary. Most people will find that downsizing means leaving behind the family home. This place can have a very strong emotional connection and can be where a lot of the heartache will stem from. It can be made worse if the need to move is an emergency. Ideally, you want to start the discussion about leaving the family home way well in advance.  

Never underestimate the connection people will have to the home, be it young family members or older ones. When you start this discussion, make it a general conversation that includes the positives. Inevitably, negative aspects will arise. Make sure you address these and don't try to brush over them. They are real and viable so will need a solution presented.  

Finally, emphasize that all the memories made in the house will remain. A building is only bricks and mortar. The family will still retain all the good times, all the happy moments and life's trials and tribulations. It will carry on in videos, photographs, and even the pictures and ornaments that come with you.  

Advantages of Downsizing With a Family

To help your family understand why you must downsize, particularly young children and teenagers, share the benefits with them. Discuss them in practical terms and emphasize how it could be better for them.  

Provides Money

Selling a larger home should release equity. When you sell a larger home for a smaller one, you will usually be left with excess funds. They can be used to clear debts, or just provide a general bank of cash to be used for the family. This is where you should reinforce how it will benefit them. With more money and disposable income, will they be able to have more holidays or get perks such as new clothes and toys?

You may be surprised at how much money can be released and how fast it can be done. If you need money quickly, then there are online estate agents like Sold which will provide immediate cash offers. Money is usually in the sellers account in as little as seven days, which means they can carry on with the downsizing and even treat their family in the process.

Cheaper Upkeep

Smaller financial upkeep comes from two main areas. The first is the reduction in bills and utility costs. A smaller house means fewer energy costs. In addition, the general upkeep of the property is less. If you own it, you have less to fix and repair. All of this is more disposable income.  

Better Location

In many instances, people choose to downsize so they can move to a more suitable location. It may be closer to a school or place of work. This frees up something different to money: Time. Discuss how it will be spent and how you can see more of each other.  

Finally, you may be moving for family reasons. Perhaps you are closer to a relative or loved one. Once again., inform the family about how this is a positive step and the benefits for all involved.  

Image Source: Canva

Issues to Address When Downsizing With a Family

Aside from the standard issues faced by those downsizing, people with families have a few additional worries. With careful planning and support, these are all easy to overcome.  

The Space Issue

The obvious issue and the one most likely to cause problems is the issue of space. When downsizing, you will have to declutter and get rid of a lot of items. Unless the space has plenty of storage options, you won't have anywhere to put them.  

People can often overlook how serious this problem is. It won't just be an issue of asking children to sort out their toys. You may have to get rid of whole pieces of furniture that do not fit, downsize television screens and get rid of garden and yard items. This can be akin to a depersonalization of the self and family, which can be hard to take.  

Make sure family members have ownership of this. Explain to them that only certain items can remain and let them pick which ones. In this way, you won't get rid of anything that has an emotional connection to them.  

Is It Feasible to Grow the Family Any More?

The natural trajectory is for the house to grow as a family does. A couple will have a child while they are living in a smaller place. As they have more children, they gradually upsize to a place with more room and bedrooms.

However, life's rich tapestry means it does not always work out like that.  When you downsize and are planning on growing the family, you need to talk with your partner. A new baby in the house, let alone a new family member, can be a trying time, especially when space is limited. You may decide the family is as big as it is going to get or put off children for a few more years if you are able.  

Keeping Memories

A positive action to take when preparing for the downsize is to collect memories of the house in a box or album. This is something the family can do together and creates a bond over something that could otherwise be polarising. You may choose to keep ornaments, photographs and pictures for a keepsake in the new property.  

Any house move is not easy, but moving to a smaller one with a family can seem even tougher. Plan, and prepare emotionally, and the move should go smoothly. You may even you and your family are happier at the end of it.  

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