THIRTEEN BENEFITS TO DOWNSIZING
Now is as good a time as any to jump right in and address the whole idea of downsizing.
Before we do that, let me just say that I love our small house. I mean love love. As in it’s one of my best friends. And because I love it so much, I have this thing that happens when people talk about downsizing and getting rid of excess stuff – I want to hear all about their experience and help them with ideas and suggestions. Hence, the blog. I get to share all the goodies I want.
But if you are not in love with the idea of downsizing just yet, you can still be a part of the conversation. The things I plan to share can be used no matter what size your house is. And maybe you don’t even have a house yet, but still are interested in the idea of keeping things simple. I’m on board with that, too.
What I’m trying to say is, everyone is welcome to this party!
I already shared with you why we scaled back on the size of our house and the resulting scaling back on the things inside of it in our introduction posts. Let me give you a quick, but by no means comprehensive, list of benefits that we noticed in no particular order:
1. There is less house to clean. Obviously.
I actually don’t mind cleaning the house. Of course there are some jobs I would rather farm out (I’m looking at you bathroom floor, especially behind the toilet), but I find a certain satisfaction that comes from cleaning and caring for our home. But I do not want to do it all day long! I like being able to do a good job in a short amount of time and then moving on.
2. There is less yard to mow.
I confess, I don’t cut the grass at my house. But from what I hear from Darren, to be able to mow and edge the yard in an hour is pretty dreamy.
3. Lower utility bills.
Less space = less to heat and cool and light. I know this is another one that is probably pretty apparent, but the numbers for us were significant.
4. A smaller mortgage.
For us this was also huge. Like half the mortgage. Like there is actually a chance we can pay this thing off. This may not always be a benefit for others, depending on where you live, but it is definitely something to look into.
5. Less maintenance.
Again – not as much stuff, not as much to maintain. We get to save money, energy, and time because there is not as much to take care of.
6. More coziness.
This may be a positive spin on saying it’s smaller. But we don’t see it that way. In the big house, everyone scattered to their spaces and we may not see them for days. In the small house, we still have our private spaces, but the closeness we notice by not having 17 different hangout places is a bonus for us. And it really does feel cozy.
7. Easier to decorate for holidays.
I love to decorate! Really love it. I love having our home festive for holidays and celebrations. The thing with smaller, is it doesn’t take as much to make it feel special, so we use only the things we really love. And if I get a notion to add more, I can, but I don’t feel the pressure of filling things up because we already have our favorites out and being enjoyed.
8. We feel less desire to keep up with others.
This was one I didn’t really expect. It was hard at first – we felt like we were giving up on an identity. But as we came to appreciate the blessings of having a small home, we really started to lose the desire to keep up with others. We like being true to what is important to us, and that does not include an image.
9. We feel more satisfaction with less.
Connected to feeling less desire to keep up with others, this one slowly crept into our awareness. We will often see people getting more and bigger things, and we just aren’t feeling any of the vibes to grab them for ourselves. Not that we don’t have things we would love to have, but small house living has tamed the consumer impulse to shop, shop, shop.
10. We have a greater desire to get out and explore.
With more time and energy on our hands, we are often on the lookout for adventure. We have found some really fun things that our community offers that get us out exploring. Festivals, nature, small towns – just a few of the adventures we have had fun with.
11. More time to use how I want.
Can we ever have enough time? I like using making the most of my time (I don’t always). Sometimes the most means caring for my home and stuff. But I just don’t want to do that all the time. I can think of a bunch of other things I can use my time for, like entertainment, service and napping
12. More energy.
Speaking of napping, having less to manage means we are saving physical as well as mental energy. I love to have downtime! And having that time to regroup means more energy all around.
13. Not so much wasted space.
In our big house, we had rooms that rarely saw a human in it. So we would close off the vents and draw the blinds and keep it dark, which didn’t really make it inviting to ever go in there. Also, as spaces get filled up with stuff, it’s not a usable space anymore, it becomes a storage unit for things that soon get forgotten. No thanks.
These are some of the big things we have noticed as we have unburdened our home and life, and we get to fill them up with what is most important to us. There are lots of small details that also help us exchange consumerism and stress for satisfaction and calm.
We love our journey. It’s not always easy, but it has been and continues to be enlightening and valuable.
Do you think you would like some of these great benefits in your life? Do you have room for them?
Let me know!