When we downsized our house a little over 2 years ago we also did it with the desire to begin living a more intentional life. Up to that point in our lives we lived without a budget or any real purpose for our money. We took vacations when we had extra money and had hardly anything in savings. Downsizing for us also meant upsizing our money. It meant building a savings and making a conscious decision to tell our money where to go (just like Dave Ramsey told us to.) So many people find themselves in the same boat as we did. Spending too much on useless things, spending too much money and time maintaining a house and all the things inside. So, I’m here to spread the word that it is possible to downsize your house and debt at the same time. You can totally transform the direction of your life and while it won’t be easy, it will totally be worth it.
Two years ago we moved into a whole new house. A house with 2,000 less finished square feet than our previous house. Our plan was for a new beginning, a fresh start and a more simpler way of living. We never could have imagined the big time changes that were about to take place in our home and in our lives. In the midst of this massive minimalist movement, a lot of people are asking themselves, “Is it worth it?” “Will I regret it?” These are thoughts I can’t even pretend like I had. I craved a downsized life, but, was it worth it? Do I regret it? Let’s talk downsized and how our family of 5 is doing after 2 years.
When my husband and I talked about our dream home, we envisioned many things, like a log house, old farm plantation house, your typical suburban house, etc. The idea to downsize your home never came to mind. In fact, it is only due to a stepping stone in our plan of building our dream home that we ended up living in a 600 square foot shop apartment. Our previous home was just over 1,400 square feet; perfect for raising a few children, one day.
I will be honest. Downsizing seemed like the WORST idea! I fought and fought for a different plan, but when we put pen to paper, it was the best option for us. It took us two months to build our shop and add our apartment into it. I dreaded the day we moved into it, because I knew it meant I really had to downsize our things. I had already began that process, but a lot more had to go for us to fit into our new home.
It was not until I finished decluttering all of the excess we owned that I saw the value in downsizing. The eye opening process of recognizing what was actually excess and causing a lot of unnecessary stress in our lives was unfathomable! It took several months to declutter it all, but for the first time in my life, I felt free! The burden of our possessions no longer existed, and both of our lives changed dramatically!
More and more stories are popping up of people moving from big houses to smaller, more modestly sized homes. Our family made the big downsize almost 2 years ago now and have never looked back. Since then, we have continued to downsize. So if you are someone who has been dreaming of a downsized life but the idea of a big move is overwhelming, I’ve got some solutions for you! It’s actually very easy to plan a big downsize without moving. I have some personal tips and tricks that I have used as well as some ideas from the biggest downsizers out there.
We’ve all seen them: those amazing articles about the families who ditched the traditional lifestyle in favor of experiences and life on the road. Whether it’s an RV or a tiny house, the message behind those articles is that downsizing can bring with it an almost ethereal bliss and, while there might be some “growing pains,” the family ends up stronger, happier, and more
Often times when people hear that I’m a minimalist they assume I am a hippy who lives entirely off the earth in a corn fueled van and I have renounced all my possessions. I have tried to be quite clear that minimalism to me is about simply clearing the clutter to get back to what’s really important. Despite my efforts, some people will never understand; and I’m ok with that. Beyond clutter and possessions, there is something much deeper that is plaguing the entire world now more than ever: depression. Minimalism for me has never been solely about stuff or what I own. It runs deeper than that, to a place that no one can see. After our family moved from a townhouse into a large 3,400 square foot home we never could have imagined that this big upgrade in life would actually start tearing us apart. You can read the full story about our downsize here: How Downsizing Changed Our Family. I touch a bit on why we decided to downsize and what went down to make it happen. Today I want to reflect after a year and a half, get really honest and break down for you exactly what has changed in our lives for the better since the day we ditched the big house for a tiny “starter home.” Basically how downsizing helped our family overcome depression, avoid divorce and reunite us as a whole.