A Few Things to Consider When Downsizing and Simplifying Your Life in Chicago

August 7, 2023 | By Lauren Bozarth
Reading Time: 5 Minutes
Things to consider when downsizing

In the bustling city of Chicago, a growing trend is emerging – the art of downsizing. As the cost of living in the city continues to rise, many home dwellers are opting to downsize and simplify their lives. Whether embracing a minimalist lifestyle, enjoying the perks of a more manageable space, or capitalizing on the financial benefits, the downsizing wave is reshaping how Chicagoans envision their homes. Here, we’ll delve into how to downsize and simplify your life, along with things to consider when downsizing.

Why Chicagoans are Opting for Smaller Spaces

The allure of spacious suburban homes is gradually giving way to the appeal of compact urban living. With the escalating cost of living, many Chicago residents are finding it more practical and sustainable to downsize their homes. This trend isn’t limited to a specific demographic; empty nesters, retirees, young professionals, and remote workers are all finding reasons to embrace the concept of less is more.

One driving factor is the financial benefit of downsizing. Smaller homes often come with reduced mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance costs. This economic liberation can free up resources for other life goals and experiences. Additionally, with the rise of remote work, many individuals are finding the freedom to relocate closer to the city. They are opting for chic Chicago apartments that offer both convenience and style.

How to Downsize and Simplify Your Life

Transitioning from a spacious house to a more compact apartment requires careful planning and organization. Here are a few steps to facilitate a smooth downsizing process:

  • Assessment: Take stock of your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or sell. Consider the layout and size of your new apartment when making these decisions.
  • Space Optimization: Opt for multi-purpose furniture and smart storage solutions to maximize your living space.
  • Personalization: Curate your possessions to reflect your new lifestyle. Choose items that hold sentimental value and enhance your apartment’s ambiance.
  • Digital Transformation: Digitize important documents and photos to save physical space and reduce clutter.
  • Decorate Intentionally: Read up on professional advice and trends to maximize your space by arranging and beautifying each room in your place.

Consider the Costs of Renting in Chicago

If you are done with the responsibilities and costs of home ownership, renting may be the right move.

Determining affordable rent is a fundamental step in downsizing. As a general rule, your monthly rent should not exceed 33% of your monthly income. Consider using online rent affordability calculators to help you find a Chicago apartment that fits your budget comfortably.

It’s equally important to estimate the utility costs for your Chicago apartment. These expenses typically include electricity, gas, Internet, cable, water, and sewer/garbage. However, it’s worth noting that some apartments bundle these utilities or include them in the rent price. Be sure to confirm if this is the case before you sign your lease.

Car owners also need to budget for parking. Unlike single-family homes, which come with parking, apartment living requires exploring your parking options and likely paying an additional fee for this designated vehicle space.

Joining Social Groups in Chicago

Moving to a new place is an excellent opportunity to expand your social circle and engage in new experiences. Chicago offers various social groups catering to diverse interests, from art and culture to outdoor activities and food enthusiasts. Joining these groups can help you quickly connect with like-minded individuals and feel more at home in your new surroundings.

Chicago boasts plenty of resources to connect you to groups and an array of groups based on your interests, career, books, the outdoors, pets, and more.

Finding the Right Downtown Chicago Neighborhood

Chicago’s downtown is a tapestry of diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique blend of culture, dining, entertainment, and lifestyle.

If you want to immerse yourself in the heart of downtown, consider one of the seven downtown Chicago neighborhoods:

  • River North
  • Gold Coast
  • Streeterville
  • Lakeshore East
  • The Loop
  • West Loop
  • South Loop 

While each downsizer has their own preferences when it comes to neighborhoods, here are some of the top areas in the Windy City worth considering:

  • Lincoln Park: Known for its leafy streets, Lincoln Park boasts a mix of charming homes and upscale apartments. The neighborhood is home to the iconic Lincoln Park Zoo and offers a blend of cultural attractions and trendy boutiques.
  • West Loop: A mecca for foodies, West Loop is famous for its world-class restaurants and vibrant nightlife. The neighborhood’s industrial-chic vibe is complemented by art galleries and loft-style apartments.
  • Lakeview: Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, Lakeview offers a balance of natural beauty and urban convenience. Residents can enjoy lakeside strolls, diverse dining options, and a range of housing choices.

Top Apartment Views and Amenities

Chicago’s skyline is a masterpiece that’s best admired from the comfort of your apartment. When downsizing to a Chicago apartment, consider buildings that offer breathtaking views of the cityscape and its iconic landmarks, such as Millennium Park, the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan.

Here are a few stunning apartment buildings throughout the city that capture some of these stunning sights:

Along with impressive views, many modern Chicago apartments come with additional amenities that cater to your lifestyle needs., Here are just a few that can enhance your living experience and provide a sense of luxury and convenience:

  • State-of-the-art fitness centers
  • Rooftop terraces
  • Indoor and outdoor pools
  • Pet-friendly spaces (including grooming stations and dog walks)
  • Co-working space
  • Kitchens
  • Concierge services
  • Libraries

If you’re looking for specific amenities in your next home, use our apartment search tool to narrow down your options or connect directly with our team to do the work for you!

As the winds of change continue to sweep through Chicago, you may be one of the many wondering how to downsize and simplify your life. Not that you’re equipped with things to consider when downsizing, why not embrace the trend and take the plunge yourself?

If you’re thinking of making the move to Chicago, check out our relocation guide below. It includes information from the local experts at Luxury Living, including:

  • Key differences between neighborhoods
  • How much to budget for rent and utilities
  • What to bring when touring apartments
  • and more!

Search The Blog

Follow Us on Social

Apartment Experts

Spend less time apartment hunting, and more time living. Luxury Living is a complimentary service to make your apartment search easier, and even fun. Whether you’re new to the city or simply in need of a change, we are here to help.

Featured Apartments

Up Next

Retail Companies Headquartered in Chicago
read more

Top Retail Companies Headquartered in Chicago

The Windy City is not only known for its stunning architecture, deep-dish pizza, and vibrant arts scene but also for its bustling retail industry. […]

Downsizing in your 60s
read more

Downsizing in Your 60s? Explore 10 Benefits of Downsizing in Retirement in Chicago

Retirement is a time to embrace new adventures, explore hobbies, and focus on enjoying life to the fullest. For many seniors, downsizing from a […]

the row fulton market
read more

Introducing The Row Apartments— New to Fulton Market, Chicago

Are you in the market for a brand new apartment in one of the Windy City’s most happening neighborhoods? Look no further because Fulton […]

Apartment living after a house
read more

8 Things to Look for When Transitioning to Apartment Living After a House

Are you considering downsizing from a single-family home to an apartment? Transitioning to apartment living after a house can offer numerous benefits, including reduced […]