More Americans have been downsizing their living spaces in recent years. According to Realtor Magazine, people looking to downsize accounted for 28% of real estate transactions in 2020. Although most of those transactions involved buyers aged 55 or older, baby boomers and the Silent Generation are not the only demographics interested in smaller homes. Many young couples are competing for homes with 1,400 or fewer square feet.

At first blush, downsizing might sound like a bad thing. Because of how downsizing often plays out in the business world, many people associate the term with a sense of loss or limitation. Despite these negative connotations, the pros of downsizing can easily outweigh the cons—especially for savvy homeowners.

Many people downsize their homes because of retirement, divorce, or empty nests, but homeowners can do so at any life stage as their finances and priorities shift. Some people need to cut costs, while others find themselves drawn to minimalism.

Moving is always a major transition regardless of your motivation, so careful preparation is crucial. It’s important to understand how downsizing can impact your budget and lifestyle. This Old House has created a guide that covers the benefits of downsizing to a smaller home and offers tips for planning the move, decluttering, and maximizing your new space. Read the full story.