If you’re moving from your parents’ house into your first apartment, or if your kids have moved out and you no longer want or need a big house, chances are you’re going to downsize at some point in your life – maybe more than once. The good news is this: Going smaller is good for you! Here are five reasons bigger isn’t always better:
1. You’ll save money.
This one’s obvious: In general, smaller spaces are less expensive. Downsizing to a smaller house or apartment is good for your wallet:
- Cheaper monthly payments for mortgage or rent
- Lower heating and cooling costs
- Less space to fill means less money spent on furniture and decorations
- Fewer things to fix around the home
- Lower property taxes (or none at all, if you rent)
Housing costs take up most of our income. Lowering your monthly expenses leaves you more money for saving, investing or spending on things you enjoy.
2. It’ll re-energize you.
Downsizing forces you to start a new chapter in your life – one that’s simpler and less cluttered. You could think of yourself as a potted plant: If you leave it in the same pot for a long time, it becomes root-bound and stops growing. A smaller living space means a change in lifestyle, which keeps life from getting stagnant and reduces your stress level. And think of the peace of mind you’ll gain from not having to worry about monthly bills.
3. You’ll have more time for fun stuff.
According to IKEA data, Americans spend an average of 55 minutes per day looking for things. If your home is smaller and less cluttered, imagine what you could do with all that extra time! Taking care of a big home occupies a big chunk of your life, but if you move to a smaller abode, all that time spent cleaning and fixing things can be spent on hobbies, spending time with loved ones, getting creative with DIY storage projects, or curling up with a good book.
Wondering what to do with a small closet? Check out our Pinterest board: Small Closet? No Problem
4. Purging unwanted stuff will remind you of what’s really important.
It’s no secret that we spend a lot of our lives accumulating possessions. How many of these things do you really want or need anymore? It can be therapeutic to go through your mountains of things – it’ll remind you of where you’ve been and where you want to go from here. And once you get rid of the things that aren’t useful or sentimental to you, you’ll feel as though a giant weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Wondering what kind of housewarming present a small-space friend would enjoy? We’ve got 10 ideas here.
5. It’s better for the environment.
Smaller homes require fewer materials to build and less energy to heat and cool, which puts less stress on our planet. So chalk up some karma points for yourself on that front.
Have you downsized recently? How did it improve your life? Share in the comments below.
Photo credits: The Preserve at Deerfield, Alpharetta, GA; Flickr / EvelynGiggles