In all parts of the World individuals and families are making the move to smaller homes and living environments and they are all doing this for different reasons. Some of their reasons are obvious, while others you might not have thought of. The first requirement of any living space is that you feel completely comfortable and enjoy its surroundings. BUT, do you really need all of the room that you have? You should evaluate where you reside to make sure every square foot you have (indoors or out) is necessary for you to live productively and happy.
Reasons to downsize:
1. To Save Money. This of course is a no-brainer. Everything about a smaller home or living space costs less. Smaller homes don’t cost as much to purchase, all of the utility bills are smaller and property taxes and insurance go down… that is if you move to a similarly priced city. This rule doesn’t apply if you move from a big house in Arkansas to a small home in London. The first being one of the cheapest places in the U.S. and the latter, one of the most expensive cities on the planet.
2. To Have a Smaller Environmental Footprint. This reason is of course the favorite of Little House. As mentioned before LESS UTILITIES mean less energy consumed and is a more environmentally conscious way to live. There are even residents who have pursued living completely “off-the -grid” and are creating their own energy sources using solar, wind and even left-over cooking oil. All of these earth-friendly options are much easier to obtain with a smaller property.
3. You Simply Don’t Need as Much Space as You Have. There might have been a time you needed a four bedroom home because your children were still at home. OR maybe you had a roommate or partner living with you and now you are living alone. If you’re not using all of the bedrooms you have or a huge yard that doesn’t get fully utilized you might want to consider a downsize.
4. Your Place is Wearing You Out. Larger living spaces bring a lot more work as well, whether it is a home with a large lawn that needs caring for, a three bedroom apartment with nothing important in one of them or a place with a lot of bathrooms. More living space means more cleaning, maintenance, and caring for and can be a little exhausting. If you have ever had that feeling you will understand this point entirely.
Moving in general is one of life’s major changes. For most people it is equivalent to getting a new job, buying a car or getting married. Moving is an event that uproots you and all of your possessions into a new environment. So it is important to keep in mind that if you are planning a downsize you don’t want to wait until you have to move. It should planned around you and everyone involved. It doesn’t matter if you move everything all by yourself or have help. You should only move when you are feeling healthy and fit and when you can best take on such a large endeavor successfully.
Also note, downsizing always means getting rid of things. Take a good look at all of your possessions and make 100% sure you need to keep them. Are there boxes in the garage or attic that you haven’t looked at in years? Do you still have your teenage son’s toys from when he was 3? Is there a corner in your bedroom with milk crates filled with books from college? Really determine what needs to stay in your life. Then toss the out-dated magazines, donate the old toys and sell or recycle what you can. Many people find getting all of this unneeded clutter extremely enriching and life improving.
Downsizing is going to mean selling your home or finding a smaller rental. There are thousands of online resources that are specifically designed to help you sell your home fast or find a new and smaller space. But don’t rush the decision on where you are moving to. Much thought must be put into how much room you truly need and where you can continue to thrive in your life.
Here Organize Anything has a nice video to get you thinking about your living space and what it includes:
Take your time and come up with a plan. You don’t want to make a quick decision about something so essential in your life as you would probably end up with a feeling of regret and disappointment. Have you recently downsized? Sharing your tips is a great resource for others who are about to embark on the same journey.
When we bought our home, it was oversized, but we purchased with the thought that we would have a family…which we now do. It’s the right size for us and I see no reason that’s going to change anytime soon.
@Money Beagle – I think that during the family years, you need a home that’s a little larger (though there are certainly families that make do with less). However, once the kids move on, something smaller might work, too. I love exploring smaller living options.
I downsized 16 years ago. I gave up a 5 bedroom house and bought a 2 bedroom townhouse. The biggest savings were in mortgage payment, taxes and utilities.
@Krantcents – Townhouses have been looking better and better in my mind. Though I’d like a small-ish yard or patio, I can see the benefits of a smaller unit.