If you listen to the opinions of many people who have downsized, there must be truth to the saying, ‘less is more’. It’s interesting that we are almost expected to buy a bigger house each time we move. There’s even a term for it: ‘upsizing’, which is the anticipated next step after being a first homebuyer. Another common fallacy is that you must be nearing retirement to be a downsizer. But the reality is, there are no rules when it comes to the way we live and what makes us happy as individuals. And if that includes living with less in a smaller home, no matter what stage of life you’re at, then that is your choice.
Here are 12 reasons why living in a smaller home could make you happier:
1. Downsize the to-do list
Smaller homes are easier to maintain, inside and out, leaving you with more time to do the things you love.
2. Less ‘stuff’ and clutter
If you’re moving from a large home to a smaller one it is highly likely that you will need to declutter first. And that can be extremely liberating. And once you’re in your smaller home, you may never have to declutter again because the space won’t allow you to accumulate stuff you just don’t need in the first place.
3. More money in your pocket
Not only are smaller homes generally less expensive to buy, but they are also cheaper to run, from heating, cooling and lighting to insurances and maintenance.
4. Less debt and risk
Online calculators for how much you can afford to spend on a property are based on mortgage payments being a percentage of your net income. Imagine how much happier and financially comfortable you would be if you only had to pay about half of what these calculators suggest you can afford?
5. Living small is mentally freeing
The saying, ‘the more possessions we own, the more they own us’ is true. It takes a lot of mental energy to hold onto material possessions, including our largest financial asset – our home.
6. Less impact on the planet
Because smaller homes require fewer resources to build and maintain and less energy to run, they reduce our footprint on the planet, and this benefits us all.
7. Family bonding is encouraged
Most large homes these days boast two or three living areas. Smaller homes usually only have one living area, which encourages spending time together as a family rather than apart.
8. Less temptation to buy things you don’t need
If you don’t have space for the rowing machine or treadmill (or whatever it may be), you will be less tempted to buy it.
9. Smaller homes are easier and cheaper to decorate
When we move to a new home, it is in our nature to want to style it and make it our own. A smaller home is much quicker, easier and cheaper to style to your personal taste.
10. Smaller homes are often located in lifestyle areas with a sense of community
So many suburbs these days lack a sense of community spirit. Often downsizing allows you to upsize your lifestyle and sense of connectivity with your local community. And this can’t help but make you feel happier.
Naturally the size of someone’s home is a personal choice. This article merely offers a different perspective on why bigger isn’t always better.