The Benefits of Downsizing

Leighton Lindstrom |

Modern advertising tells us, and the Joneses next door make us feel like we NEED a bigger home, nicer clothes, fancier vacations, luxury vehicles, and a fatter paycheck to pay for it all. In a society where bigger is better and more is more, can we find the benefit and contentment in simplifying? In particular, can the “less is more” theory apply to our home?

The answer is yes, it can. While it may not be for everybody, there are certainly several potential benefits of downsizing your home:

  1. Increased cash flow – I think the most obvious benefit to downsizing is the increased cash flow. If you purchase a home with a smaller mortgage, you’ll have more money leftover at the end of each month to save or spend on other needs or desires. If you make a hefty profit on the sale of your current home, you could use that money to buy a home with cash and not have a debt payment. You’ll likely save on some utilities as well because you’ll have less square footage to heat and cool. In addition, depending on your circumstances, you might have lower property taxes or insurance.
  2. More time – Less square footage means you’ll have less upkeep. You’ll have fewer rooms to clean, less furniture to repair and replace and less storage to accumulate items over time, which you then have to go through and declutter and organize. Smaller homes take up less time during the day to maintain, so you’ll have more time to spend on other enjoyable activities.
  3. Reduced consumption – If you have less space, you won’t need to keep purchasing items to fill it. You might think twice before buying a new winter wardrobe that you might not need because there’s no extra room in the closet. You also won’t be buying new furniture or household items to fill extra space.
  4. Minimized stress – The less you have, the less there is to maintain. This can mean less responsibility, a smaller workload, and greater flexibility. Homeowners who have downsized successfully no longer have to answer to the demands of a larger home, which can relieve stress and lead to greater happiness in the long-run.

As with all things, there are pros and cons. If you downsize, you’ll certainly be dealing with fewer belongings, space restrictions and possibly less “perceived prestige.” You need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of downsizing your home in the context of your personal situation and what brings you the most joy and contentment.

-Leighton Lindstrom