Maintaining Sustaining

The Joys (and Benefits) of Downsizing

tiny house

Sometimes less really is more especially when it comes to the way we live. You can satisfactorily “downsize” away from those leafy suburbs, thanks to a wide range of home choices. But when considering your next place of residence, first determine how much scaling back you’re comfortable with.

There are a few things to keep in mind when going from “big” to “small.” The smaller the home, the more manageable it is. There’s less cleaning required and things like lawn maintenance will likely decrease to very little (or no yard work) at all.

There are many intriguing, workable options for downsizing. For example, the owner of a trendy  “tiny home” not only has fewer household chores but — if theirs is a tiny-home-on-wheels — the freedom to pick up and go. Think of it as “have home, will travel,” driving around the countryside in a luxury camper. (Note – some folks are opting to live full-time in tricked-out RVs. That’s another fun option).

Related: “The Tiny House Movement (From Someone Living It)”

Condominium dwellers don’t worry about paying someone to fix cracks in their swimming pools. Some complexes have pools, a community clubhouse, fitness centers and are in close proximity to vibrant downtown areas. And there’s always apartment living which doesn’t require hefty property tax payments, lawn maintenance, or personal costs for repairs.

Starting a new chapter in life that involves living with less benefits others as well. The furniture you no longer need or clothes you no longer wear can be donated to someone else. Downsizing will force you to realize just how much “junk” you’ve been holding on to. Items like books, tools, and kitchenware sit around gathering dust and rust. Better that someone else puts them to good use.

Often, downsizing reveals to us that some excesses were never needed after all. If nothing else, reduction of monthly expenditures leads to lower debts. Of course, there are other factors to consider when pondering such a major change. Follow the real estate (sellers and buyers) market closely. If mortgage payments are becoming challenging, maybe it’s time to downsize your home. Trekking up and down stairs in a two-story house may be another motivator to seek something smaller with one level.

When the time comes, discover the joys of downsizing, ditch the space (and the stuff) that no longer suits, and free yourself up for the next chapter in your life.

-Sharon Oliver

Photo: Unsplash

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1 comment on “The Joys (and Benefits) of Downsizing

  1. Even though downsizing is not for everyone, I believe that we just get used to worrying too much about things we don’t have and become less aware of the abundance we have. I remember once Fumio Sasaki wrote in his book: we can always treat stores like our personal storage and the city is our floor plan–we are always welcome to maximalize everything around us!

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