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 begun 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!
Since the feeling of freedom washed over my husband and me, I have become an advocate for living smaller. It is not that you need to live small the rest of your life, but you should definitely try it at least once! Today, I am going to share with you a few reasons to downsize your home in hopes that it will open your mind to the possibility of trying something new.
Other posts you’ll love:
- How to Downsize with a Family
- Plan a Big Downsize Without Moving
- How to Downsize Your Life But Keep Your Stuff
- I Stopped Buying Clothes for 3 Years and It Changed My Life
1. Removing the excess
This one should seem rather obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people shove all of their things into a smaller space. My husband wanted to be one of them, but he quickly realized that he that our home would never be tidy without decluttering some things. (He is a “just in case” kind of man, who hold onto things he knows he will never use.)
For many, this is a chance to look at what you own and identify why you have it. Is it something you use all of the time, some of the time, or just wishful thinking? Realizing that you have limited space seems to make it easier to identify why you have something. The “just in case” and “one-day” items will be put to the test to see if you will do something now or not at all.
2. Reduced Cleaning Time
While cleaning is something that is a never-ending cycle, living in a small home will reduce the time you spend doing it. This means less time cleaning the kitchen, scrubbing the bathroom, mopping/vacuuming floors, dusting, etc. It also means that you have more time to start a new hobby, going on new adventures, and/or more time for self-care.
3. Improved Mental Health
This was the best benefit for me personally. You never realize the toll things take on your mind and body until they are no longer present. Take a moment to think of an area that you dread looking at or dealing with at all. That agonizing feeling is what I felt for such a long time. By having a smaller home, it is hard to have a space that clutters your mind. Not to say that you will not ever have a space like this again, but it does not feel like the same. The pressure to tidy it up is minimal compared to before downsizing.
The dread of dealing with cluttered spaces or cleaning all day is reduced, which means you are able to transform what you think about. Instead of thinking about what all you have to clean or tidy up in your home, you can think about what activities you are going to partake in for the day. You get to choose to think positively and look forward to doing what makes you happy, which is a lot easier when less is weighing you down constantly.
4. Test Your Limits
You never realize how much you can take, until you challenge yourself. As I said earlier, I did not want to downsize. By doing it anyways, I have tested my ability to live with less, mental strength, and creativity. While these tests were not easy, they taught me a lot about what I could endure, which is actually a lot more than I thought. I never knew how creative I was until I downsized. The fear of trying new things no longer exists due to this experience.
What can you test about yourself? What will you learn from downsizing? How will you ever know, unless you try?
5. Changed Perspective on Life
You cannot imagine how much your life will change by downsizing your home. The way you think about space transforms completely. Suddenly you see creative ways to organize things, increase in the quality of your relationship(s), and much more. The idea of increasing your home’s size one day may give you the fear that downsizing your home once did. You may also decide to live smaller for the rest of your days, which is amazing!
6. Saving Money
Of course, when you downsize your home, you save money! The electric, gas, and possibly the water bill all decrease due to not needing so much to heat, cool, or wash. Now, decreasing your home by half does not necessarily mean your bills will decrease by that much, but anything counts right?
Our electric bill decreased by roughly $25-50/month, which is amazing! However, we do have a water bill now; whereas before, we had a well (which is free, besides maintenance). So you may save with one, and add a bill for another reason. Just something to consider. Overall, we do save money with our utility bills.
Another way to save is by reducing your cable costs. Before downsizing, we had satellite TV, and switched to Netflix after we moved. Due to the decreased time spent inside our home, we decided that Netflix is all we really need. This switch is saving us over $75 per month!
The last way we are saving is by having a reduced mortgage payment. The land we purchased was at a much lower price than our previous mortgage, so our monthly payment reduced, as well as real estate taxes!! I will not go into specifics on how much we save overall with this switch, but it is substantial!
If you are thinking about downsizing your home, I hope the information I shared with you helps you decide to just go for it! Downsizing is something everyone should try at least once. Having a fresh perspective on life through living small is something that can transform your life for the better!
Living small, removing the excess from your life, and getting your mental health in check are all things I love to share. Thank you, Renee, for the opportunity to share with your community!
About the author:
Hi! I am Erin, owner of A Welder’s Wife, a wife, fur baby momma, small farmer, and kombucha obsessed! I love sharing how simple living can change your life by getting back to the basics, removing the excess, and focusing on what is most important. You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and join my Facebook Group!