One of the joys in life comes when discovering something that really fits you and becomes an extension of your personality and values. This can occur with finding a best friend, a new hobby, or discovering a style of clothes where you feel confident. And it can even occur with finding a style of home that fits you and your lifestyle.
More people today are finding their lifestyles and that home fit for them is trending smaller. All ends of the home buyer spectrums, first time buyers, growing families, and empty nesters, seem to be discovering new ways of ‘fit’ as they do more with less space.
The once-regarded benefits of having a lot of space seem to be overshadowed by the added costs and maintenance of a large home. And the growing awareness of carbon footprints with energy and water consumption make those mansions and private yards seem obsolete and outdated.
Having lived in both ends of the spectrum, from a large suburbia home of nearly 8,000 sq ft and a small New York City apartment of nearly 1,000 sq ft, I would like to share three lesser known upsides I have discovered of downsizing my home. This has also created a better ‘fit’ with my personality and values.
The first upside of downsizing your home is you spend less time worrying about ‘stuff’. With less space you buy and keep less stuff. Less time is spent filling various rooms and more time is spent on activities that you enjoy. The time spent shopping for furniture and cabinets are replaced by other activities that might be more appreciated.
The second upside of downsizing your home is you are free to travel and explore this beautiful planet. When you spend less money and when you spend less time on your home, your wallet and mind open and you are free to explore. And for me, this has resulted in a combination of pursuing additional education and travelling the world. This learning and exploring mentality are much easier to do when your living space does not consume your time and wallet.
And the third upside of downsizing your home is you are taking steps to be sustainably minded and planet friendly. Average homes are responsible for more of the CO2 emissions than passenger vehicles (7.2 vs 4.6 CO2 tons per year) and much of this is due to heating and cooling and running utilities. Smaller spaces are more energy efficient than larger spaces and urban homes are more efficient than the high energy consumption of the suburbs.
The ideal home size for each person might vary just as our taste for fashion or hobbies. And the ideal fit will likely change over time with the changes to the household responsibilities. And what fits my household may not fit other households. And my choices will vary over time similar to how my choice of fashion evolves over time. But from my observations and set of experiences, I have discovered plenty of upsides of downsizing a home.