When we consider the benefits of downsizing, we need to go far beyond the idea that the term “downsizing” simply refers to just moving into smaller living quarters. That’s not a fair definition for homeowners to go by.
What Is Downsizing?
Downsizing can be defined as an intentional reduction in size. This could be as simple as the amount of belongings you own or the size house you live in.
However, we would suggest that it is larger than that. Downsizing is a complete overhaul in your lifestyle. It’s more than just a smaller home, it’s a move towards the simple life.
For the purposes of this article, we will be examining all the reasons why your average homeowner should consider this change in mindset, the benefits of downsizing and how the simple life can bring happiness to your front door.
The Benefits You Should Expect by Downsizing
Once we focus on the totality of downsizing, the benefits increase exponentially. From the testimonials of many who have discovered the wonders of downsizing, here are nine benefits that they smile about.
1. Less Stress, More Happiness
This is a huge benefit that cannot be overestimated. From losing a large mortgage on an oversized house to not running around an urban area trying to have the family involved in so many different activities, downsizing brings less stress, which means more serenity and a much greater chance of actually enjoying life.
You may also will find yourself arriving early for appointments, not always being late. In short, you will be more on top of your weekly schedule, not sweating bullets as you pull up to the dentist 20 minutes late. Another related perk is the ability to find lost items more quickly. With less stuff to clutter your living room, you can locate your keys and purse much faster. Who can put a price tag on that stress-buster?
2. Saving Money on Monthly Expenses
When possessions are jettisoned, one has to spend far less on maintaining them. When the McMansion is left behind, so is the monster mortgage payment.
It is almost impossible to downsize and not be in a better position financially. Many people who have downsized have experienced an immediate windfall as they have money left over from the sale of their previous home.
Others see a better balance each month even if they don’t move, as one car needs regular maintenance, not three, as the gasoline bill dips precipitously when the family’s schedule is de-cluttered.
Whether you see this improved picture clearly during Day One of downsizing or after six months, it will be clear at one time or another. Enjoy the view.
3. Better for the Environment
Smaller house equals fewer trees felled. Less driving equals less CO2 that you put into the air. Fewer or smaller appliances equal less electricity consumed. The list can go on and on. You will be the “green” person you’ve always aspired to be without even trying!
4. More Energy to Focus on What Matters
Someone once wrote that the opposite of happiness is boredom. That statement can be debated, but the weariness that comes with routine is well known by many. Downsizing your life could very well push you out of your comfort zone. That change very well may energize you as you re-create your life and become a happier, less stressful person.
As you see the benefits on this list take shape, you will become even more excited about the possibilities of your new minimalistic lifestyle, and rather than sleeping away your precious spare time, you will want to be spending your new free time in constructive ways.
5. More Time to Do What You Want
Do you have any idea how much time you will gain every Saturday when you don’t have to clean so many rooms? You can easily add another hour or two instantly to the weekend!
You will have more time to pursue the passions you’ve always wanted to develop, from painting to reading, from traveling to tennis. Less time cleaning, less time driving, less time shopping — the hours add up rapidly and you will find new joy as you are able to spend more time on pursuits that bring you joy.
6. Fewer Temptations to Buy Stuff
This might not sound like a benefit, but when you really think about it, it does have many upsides.
Less space means less temptation to buy new items and clutter your living space. Downsizing your living space also means less cleaning.
In another benefit that apartment dwellers have long understood, it can also cause you to spend more time outside, which always equates to better health.
7. Opportunity to Get To Know Your Neighbors
It has been said that when people live on top of each other, they tend to keep to themselves. That necessary social distance in urban areas is true, but it is also true that the opportunities to get to know your neighbors and local shopkeepers multiply when you live in smaller spaces.
Many Americans, in particular, have traditionally sought to live on large lots, separated from other human beings. They have ended up with huge yards to mow, mortgages to pay and a gnawing sense of loneliness.
Of course, not all apartment dwellers revel in community spirit, but don’t be surprised if you see the same people again and again and begin to build a relationship with them. It’s much easier in an apartment or condo building, or in townhouses that adjoin without giant lots in between.
8. More Control On Your Everyday Life
This benefit comes up again and again as veteran downsizers talk about their new way of life.
They offer perspectives such as, “My stuff used to run me. Now, I control my stuff,” or “I was a slave to my possessions. Now, I’m free.” A more open schedule, a less cluttered living space and life, and a realignment that puts you in the driver’s seat–not your things–can surprise you with a far greater sense of control than you’ve previously experienced in life.
9. The Freedom to Live Simple
Whether that freedom comes from you dictating your schedule, not the other way around, or simply feeling liberated by getting rid of junk that has cluttered your mind and life, downsizers all revel in the new freedom that they feel.
Add to this list as you downsize. Fill in the gaps that we may have missed in the list above. Begin the great adventure of living with less and gaining far more in return than you anticipated.
Have you downsized your life? What benefits did you experience? Let’s hear them in the comments below.