For many people, the word downsizing conjures up images of retirees and empty nesters, eager to free up cash for a blissful retirement and spend less time maintaining a family home that no longer serves its purpose.

And while this demographic is without doubt the main downsizers, Ben Trager Homes have found that a growing number of young people and young families are also choosing to economise their lifestyles, so they can spend more time doing the things they love and less time feeling encumbered by the upkeep of a large home.

So where do you start if you’re in the downsizing frame of mind? We think that the best way to get the ball rolling is to start de-cluttering your existing home to work out what you would and wouldn’t want to take with you to the next house. You can then visualise where in a new house you would place the furniture and belongings you wish to hold on to, and this will give you a good idea of just how much space you will need to have in your new home.

If you hope to build a considerably smaller home, for instance moving from a double story home to a single-story dwelling, then you may have to be ruthless when de-cluttering your belongings or find a storage solution for items you simply can’t let go of.

Now that you’ve established what needs to stay and what will go, approach Ben Trager Homes to start planning. This is where you will work out what rooms and amenities will be non-negotiable in your new home, for example, if you would like to be able to do some work at home you might need a separate study. Many retirees also like to ensure there’s room for children and grandchildren to stay, or visiting friends and family, so a guest bedroom and possibly bathroom will be a must in this situation.

Don’t forget to future proof your investment by ensuring that the design of your new home will suit you in the years to come, for example, retirees might want to consider building a single storey home instead of double story, in case of future mobility issues with stairs. Similarly, if you are a retiree you should consider wide hallways, large bathrooms and shower recesses in case walking frames or wheelchairs are needed in your latter years, as well as ensuring that cabinets and appliances are at a comfortable height and garden space is manageable, especially if you plan to travel and want to be able to simply lock up and leave your home whenever the urge takes you.

Downsizing doesn’t mean you need to run off and join the tiny house movement, it just means condensing how you live, and when it’s done well, downsizing will allow you to live a lifestyle you enjoy without sacrificing the home comforts you’ve come to expect.