By Kim Diamond of Clutterfly Inc.
Homeowners are realizing that “living large” doesn’t always mean bigger is better. In fact there are many benefits to downsizing to a smaller home. Whether the decision is voluntary, you are forced to move for job relocation, or some other life event, rest assured there’s a benefit to decreasing your home size. Just a few of the benefits associated with downsizing are listed below:
1. Save money on frivolous living
Let’s face it, the more space you have, the more area you feel like you need to fill! One of the beauties of downsizing your home is the ability to stop wasting money on furniture, electronics, appliances, and other home items that are used to fill space rather than to fulfill a function. Downsizing into a smaller home will you help you to prioritize your life and only bring what is necessary into your home.
2. Enjoy the benefits of smaller living
Many homeowners agree that living in a larger home leads to greater stress and upkeep. From cleaning, maintenance, furnishing, outdoor home upkeep and the cost to run all of these can lead to a home that is stressful to maintain. Downsizing your home can be the first step to a more simple and stream-lined life. You will be surprised how reducing your daily chores and maintenance will free up your time for leisure activities, spending time with your family, getting more rest, and maybe loving your home more than loathing it.
3. A smaller home often leads to a happier home
While your home lifestyle varies from your neighbours, many homeowners agree that smaller homes enable the family to bond and work together as opposed to large homes with spread-out floor plans. Smaller homes create an environment where family members/roommates interact and can compromise over living arrangements, sharing closets, and making a small home feel cozy instead of cramped. Instead of looking at a smaller home as a down-grade, look at it as a way to a happier domicile.
4. Save energy when downsizing to a smaller abode
If you have ever lived in a large home you know one of the downsides is energy costs. From heating and cooling costs to water use in your bathrooms and kitchens, it costs a lot to run a large home. Smaller homes will give you the added benefit of reducing your family’s carbon footprint. Meanwhile, you will enjoy a lower energy bill in both the warmer and cooler months. If you are curious to find out how a smaller home and energy efficient appliances and systems could work in your home, contact your local home energy provider. They often can give you an audit of your current usage and estimate how you can save.
5. Downsizing can free up your lifestyle for traveling
You may not have considered it previously, but your house requires a lot of work when you leave town. From ensuring security systems, doors and windows are properly monitored to monitoring exterior lighting and keeping your grounds up, traveling can often be a burden when you have a large home. If you decide to downsize, traveling can be less of a hassle when you need to leave your home for extended amounts of time, especially if you downsize to an apartment or condominium unit from a stand-alone house.
6. Downsizing to a new home can help you open a new chapter
For many homeowners, downsizing your home can be a new chapter. From the empty-nester with older children who have moved out to those who have suffered from a death of a spouse or roommate, downsizing can represent a new life in a new home. Consider opting for a smaller home with less upkeep, the possibility of a homeowners association that can maintain the grounds, and other amenities to enjoy your home.
7. Small home living is enhanced in an urban city
Have you ever noticed a one room loft in a bustling urban city feels more cosmopolitan than a one room apartment with 5 times the space in the suburbs? There is something to be said about being amongst other city dwellers, where everyone is living in smaller homes. Make the most of your urban abode with color, creative multifunction furniture and plenty of light. While you may not have the penthouse of your dreams, you can play up your small home living with urban wall art, colorful home decor and lighting.
8. Splurge on a few key furniture pieces in a smaller home
While many people consider a downsize to mean they can't make their home look fabulous, think again! Some of the greatest dwellings are ones that have style and creative uses of space and proportions. Look to your favorite home designers who specialize in bringing color and life to small spaces. Splurge on a few key pieces, like a dynamic colored couch that draws attention to the room's decor and not the size of the room itself. Beautiful design is about how to functionally use a space, while still being inspired to enjoy the room. Size shouldn’t be a hindrance!
9. Creative organization is key to small home living
Wake up your interiors with creative organization. Bookshelves that are built-in to what normally would be a bare wall can make any space into an instant library. Vertical organization in a small closet can be enhanced with split areas for folded, hung, and drawer wardrobe storage. Downsizing your home will help you to get rid of the clutter and organize only what is essential.
10. A pared down lifestyle will help keep you out of debt
While this won’t be true for every homeowner, pairing down your small living lifestyle can help you from over-spending, over-charging, and over-buying. A smaller home will help you to keep on budget - shopping sprees will be curbed because there isn’t enough space to house too many new additions! If you are trying to save money, consider downsizing your home – your future will thank you for it.
Kim Diamond of Clutterfly Inc.
excerpted from the POC Post newsletter