How to save money by downsizing in and around your house

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Have you ever considered downsizing? Ditching some unnecessary items in your life and home will keep you sane and save you big money.

Have you ever considered downsizing? Ditching some unnecessary items in your life and home will keep you sane and save you big money.

First, you might want to get rid of the big house. Consider making this decision as soon as the kids are grown up and out of the house rather than when you're ready to retire.

Even if your home is already paid for, there are still significant costs in owning more space than you really need, including taxes, utilities, insurance and repairs. Plus, it will force you to downsize other belongings. And you'll have an excuse for why the kids can't move back in with you later.

Vow to eliminate storage fees by getting rid of enough stuff so that all your possessions fit in your own home. According to the Self Storage Association, there are about 50,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. That's more than five times the number of Starbucks.

If the exercise bike or treadmill in your bedroom has morphed into a permanent clothes rack, donate it to a local thrift store or charity.

Do you have an old cell phone, cables and remote controllers in one of your drawers? It's just clouding your mind. And other items in your kitchen like the fondue set or juice that you thought you would use but didn't, are just collecting dust. Chunk it out or give it away.

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