Living little. Would you downsize? 6 benefits of a smaller house.
At an age where everyone I know is looking to buy their “next house” and make it into their dream home, my husband and I decided to downsize.
Yes, like most people I have dabbled in the fantasy of simple living, slow life and tiny homes but most of my dreams involved a beach or some other idyllic location. Because that would make sense right, to pack up you comfortable home & all your belongings in pursuit of a life lived large in your dream location?
But that’s not what we were doing. Instead of moving somewhere that was our dream location (say the countryside with rolling hills & a creek, or a beach location) we were moving “closer to work” and not even my work now that you mention it.
This isn’t the full story though because there were also a number of other reasons for the move, including a desire to be closer to friends and to be living in a part of Melbourne that we loved.
So we packed up our very spacious house and property on a quiet street, and moved into our mid century designed minimalist home that we accidentally bought at auction.
I was nervous, so nervous.
Our first few weeks were spent negotiating the smaller bedrooms and tiny bathrooms and knocking our elbows on bedroom doors. There was also quite a bit of convincing myself: it’s ok, we will be alright, we did the right thing.
When the children would complain about lack of space or our missing back yard full of grass, I would remain optimistic but deep down my heart would drop. What had we done and how long would we have to put up with it?
But the truth of the matter is this. Yes our house is smaller, but it is not small. Yes our yard is greatly reduced, but we still have a great yard.
Plus there are benefits to living in a smaller house. Benefits that really are rich reward at this stage of my life.
- It doesn’t take me very long to clean the house.
- I was forced to give away a lot of things that were not really needed.
- It does not take long to put something away or find something because everything simply has to have its place.
- The house heats up really quickly and beautifully and cools quite well too.
- Smaller houses are reportedly great for building relationships and connections within families. Of particular note is the inability of teenagers to kind of just disappear.
- A smaller house meant a better location (for us) and a shorter commute and therefore more time spent doing what we love.
There are some downsizes too of course, the most prominent of which is lack of party space. We have always traditionally purchased a house with a great party room in my family. Our current new house has a lot less space for that. So sleepovers, and hangouts and parties and get togethers are all slightly less comfortable and if I’m honest, less likely to happen.
It is also sometimes quite tiring to be forced to tidy everything away immediately. There was a time where the washing could wait or school bags could be dumped without actually blocking the path of each new person that tried to enter the house. Those days are over because it really does just take up too much space.
So what do you think?
Would you downsize and how small would you go?
A yard and garden of some sort is really important to me so I think that would be one of the things that would always stop me from going much smaller. In fact I do nurse this lovely little fantasy of a one bedroom shack on the edge of a national park somewhere, nearly all “yard” and very little indoor space.
A couch, kettle and a book nook would be just about enough.
A friend recently lent me this excellent book on minimalism and decluttering.
I am loving it although I kind of wish I had read it before I got rid of a lot of my things. The process is definitely ongoing though and Kondo makes it seem inspirational.
Or you might like a little visual motivation?
You might like to read about gardening, grief or my growing family.