Things are rarely easy for a single parent. Raising and providing for kids when you're doing it all without a partner often creates a financial, emotional, and logistical strain that takes a toll. When the strain becomes too much, you need to take action — on behalf of your kids and yourself. One of the smartest moves you can make is to downsize, which involves shedding many of your burdens by choosing to live simply. You may find it a lot easier and more rewarding to walk away from square footage and a nice big yard than you'd expected.
Downsizing means less time spent cleaning, more free time with kids (and for yourself), a more manageable financial situation, and relief from the unrelenting stress of living with clutter. Taken as a whole, it means a new lease on life and renewed relationships with your children.
A Load Off Your Mind
Have you ever lost sleep wondering how you were going to make ends meet and provide your kids with a happy life? It's a common problem for a single parent struggling to make do with less of everything — less money, less time, less quality time with family, and fewer opportunities to alleviate the stress of being a single parent. Downsizing isn't an easy decision to make, but it can make a huge difference for all concerned. A smile on the face of a son or daughter who's missed spending time with you will be all the reward you need.
A Good Realtor
There's no substitute for an experienced real estate agent, especially if you're trying to get a home into ready-to-sell shape as quickly as you can while holding down all your other responsibilities. An agent can guide you through this process, showing what has to be done and what's not necessary so you can save a few bucks. Ask around to see if you can find a real estate agent who has experience working with single parents — you might be surprised at how many there are and how much they can help make things easier for you. Make it a priority to find a safe, clean neighborhood (always check crime statistics for the area) that's in a good school district — a knowledgeable agent can definitely help you there.
Making the Move
Moving into a cheaper, smaller home will take some doing, and it requires plenty of careful research, comparing home prices in areas where you'd like to move. Also, keep an eye on property values so you know whether you're getting the right house for the right price. Avoid buying a home that's approximately the same size as the one you're leaving because you think it'll keep your kids happy — that will defeat the entire purpose of downsizing.
Be as smart about finding and hiring a moving company as you are about finding a new house. Don't take it lightly: after all, it's your stuff they'll be packing, loading and unloading. Pay attention to customer reviews (the web's a good resource), and make sure your moving company is certified and adequately insured. Watch out for a company that requires a large deposit up front or adds fees for things that other movers will include as part of your bill.
You should see downsizing as an opportunity to make a positive new start, for you and your family. When done properly, you'll find that the rewards far outnumber any drawbacks. However, be aware that you'll need to spend some time preparing your children, who will be leaving behind friends, familiar surroundings, and possibly the only home they've ever known. Be resolute about decluttering and getting rid of anything you don't need to take with you; starting anew with fewer physical burdens is a major positive.
Alexis Hall - Singleparent.info
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