5 Amazing Benefits To Downsizing BY HALF

benefits of downsizing

For years, my husband and I daydreamed about moving into a bigger home. We talked about an extra guest room to host friends and family. My husband talked about a bigger yard. We pictured space for our family to grow into. Our family planned for a living room, a dining room, a playroom and an office. After all, isn’t that the American dream?

We sold our starter home last springs after 9 years to move into a bigger and better space. And we thought we finally found exactly what we were looking for.  Our new house was a Spanish mission-style house with over 2,700 square feet inside and a 1,200 square foot interior courtyard. That totaled almost 4,000 square feet within the fort walls! It was our forever home.

benefits to downsizing

Or so we thought. After we renovated the entire home, we decided it wasn’t the right fit for our family. There were many reasons why we came to this conclusion (you can read Why We Sold Our Forever Home here at AndThenWeSaved.com), but it all boiled down to the fact that we weren’t happy. So we sold it!

Even though we earned enough money from our home sale to buy again, we decided to do something we hadn’t done in our entire adult lives – we became renters. After two home sales and a renovation in one year, a year of rest seemed like the right option for our tired family.

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However, the only house in the same school district area within our rental price range was slightly over 1,300 square feet. Instead of feeling squished, we were surprised to find that it was comfortable for our family. Since we moved from a house double the size, I wanted to give you my unique perspective of the beauty in cutting living space down by half.

5 Amazing Benefits To Downsizing To A Smaller Home

1. You spend less time cleaning.

This may seem obvious, but I had to include it on the list. It is so true. I spent all day, every day moving stuff from one room to the next in the old house. No matter what routine I set up, I couldn’t stay ahead of the mess. 2,700 was just too much space for my family with 2 small kids. (Spoiler alert: This playroom was clean like this 1 time…for our open house!)

benefits to downsizing

In stark contrast, I can clean up our small house in 30 minutes, even from a seemingly dire condition. I don’t feel bound to the house for all day cleaning sessions and everyone in my family loves the simpler lifestyle.

2. It forces you to organize.

We purged so much stuff. (And I’m STILL purging stuff.) We fell victim to the mentality that you need things in every room of your house. I love decorating so I spent a lot of time and energy decorating all 4,000 square feet on the compound (courtyard included). But I never organized the space properly. Everything did not have a place to go and it was evident. I spent hours looking for things that I knew we had. And I also spent hundreds of dollars buying things we already owned. (I must have found 20 rolls of scotch tape when we moved. See all the drawers around the fireplace? Every single one of them had at least one roll of tape. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.)

benefits to downsizing

In a tight space, you have to assign everything a place. I loved listening to The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up for free on YouTube while I purged and organized. Marie Kondo’s method of one place for all like items is very important if you are living in a smaller space.  (Or you can buy The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing on Amazon.)

benefits to downsizing

3. Your family will be closer – physically and emotionally.

The closer proximity of living space leads to more family time. Our rental has one comfortable family room. That means everyone is together. In our other house, we had two family rooms, a formal dining room, eat-in kitchen area, front porch, courtyard and 4 separate bedrooms. We had tons of space, but the truth was, I hated it. I had no idea where my kids were! I would walk back and forth trying to keep an eye on them while doing chores at the same time. I love being able to keep tabs on my kids and hear their conversations from any room of the house.

benefits to downsizing

4. Small living quarters makes you get outside in nature and explore the world.

The world is my oyster in this small rental. (Whatever that saying means!) Instead of hanging out inside, we spend more time outside. Our rental is next to a big park with swings, a playground, and soccer fields. My husband and I say that it’s like we have a huge yard that we don’t have to mow. Or pay property taxes on.

benefits to downsizing

5. Your wallet will thank you. (Lower monthly bills all around. Woot!)

Believe it or not, but we pay about the same for our rental home as we paid for both of our previous mortgages. But a mortgage payment is just the beginning of anyone’s monthly housing expenses. We’re saving hundreds a month right now in utilities. Our power bill is a third of what is used to be and our water is half. We are enjoying the smaller bills.

Plus, if you’re like us and love a good DIY project, you’ll spend more money fixing up a larger space. You pay for materials per square foot so double the square footage equals double the cost. For example, we had to pay for 1000 square feet of tile just for the kitchen, dining room and hallways in the fixer upper! (Hundreds and hundreds of square feet of hallways! It was crazy!)

benefits to downsizing (Although, that’s a huge benefit of renting right now. We couldn’t spend money on house projects even if we wanted to!)

Have you ever had to downsize by half? Would you be willing to do it?! I hope this article helps you see the benefits in small living when the rest of society is telling you to go big. I believe contentment is the key to dealing with debt forever and starting with happiness in your home right now is so important. 🙂

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