Many people aspire to own a big house, work tirelessly to do so and are then left feeling encumbered by its associated bills, maintenance and up-keep. Downsizing is no longer the preserve of those approaching retirement but something considered by more and more people.
From a decluttering perspective, there are some real benefits too. It’s easy to assume that a larger property will solve all of your problems- finally allowing you to have the clutter-free, home of your dreams! In my experience however, more space equals more stuff! Handy loft spaces, extra cupboards and storage rooms can quickly become dumping grounds for the unwanted, unnecessary and unused.
One of the benefits of downsizing, is that it forces you to make decisions. Decisions that can’t be delayed by transferring them to a store room, to be dealt with at some other time. The decluttering process enables you to assess what is important to you, which of your possessions you really love and to let go of items that are no longer of use or value. The realisation that you can’t take everything to your new, smaller home can often provide the focus required to do this.
That’s not to say that it isn’t a challenge. Decluttering and packing-up a house that’s full of fond memories and possessions collected over a lifetime can be an overwhelming prospect for many people. There may be pieces of furniture that won’t fit into a smaller property, too many ornaments to display or furnishings that simply won’t suit another house.
As with almost anything, it’s better to look at downsizing from a “glass half-full” perspective. The process of decluttering and downsizing can be incredibly cathartic- possessions can often act as emotional baggage, weighing us down. These aren’t the only benefits either:
1. Time saving
Our lives are busier than ever and a bigger house means more cleaning and tidying, maintenance and time spent earning money to pay for its mortgage and bills. This freed-up time can give you greater freedom to pursue hobbies and spend time with family and friends.
2. Money saving
The increasing cost of living and economic uncertainties make the idea of reducing your financial obligations pretty appealing. It can also free-up income which can be invested elsewhere- perhaps travel more frequently or bolster your savings for retirement.
3. Mental space
The larger the property, the greater your obligations. Living in a smaller, well-organised home can simplify your life, giving you greater mental clarity and allowing you to focus on what really matters to you.