Lately, Rebel Retiree and I have been thinking about moving to a smaller house. Before going any further, let me add that we love the home we’re in, particularly its rural location and the abundance of wildlife we get to see in our yard.
And with its big, roomy floor plan, each of us has plenty of personal space for working and working out.
There are other perks to living in this wonderful larger home. To name one, our utilities are absurdly low.
Our water comes from a well, summer temperatures are comfortable – eliminating the need for air conditioning. Our wood burning stove is economical to use and we really appreciate the warm even heat that it provides. Electricity is our only utility bill to speak of, and it totals about $1,700 a year.
With all of these advantages, you may be wondering why we’re contemplating a move to a smaller home.
To put it simply, we’re renting. Taking that into account, it may be time to move on to our next adventure. With that said, it just doesn’t make sense to move to a house that’s bigger than we need.
Admittedly though, the smaller home discussion is something that I’m struggling with. Not because I have stuff that I don’t want to part with, we’ve already done that and live fairly minimally.
It’s because Rebel Retiree has his study, and I have a nice room that functions as my office, project space, and yoga zone. In addition, I like my personal space. I’m a bit reluctant to lose it.
If we do conclude that we value the smaller home route, Rebel Retiree suggests that I get a she-shed. I believe in being in the flow when it comes to houses, but I would love to have a she-shed like Julia Roberts’ teacherage.
Now that I’ve given a few reasons why I’m hesitant about moving to a smaller home, I’ll list a few objections that I think you may have.
- Downsizing – The word has negative connotations. When we hear the term, we generally think of reducing the size of something due to poor economic conditions.
- It’s your dream home – It may have taken a lot of hard work and many years to afford the big house of your dreams. Selling it and moving to a smaller home may feel like moving backward. Our culture says to move up, not down.
- Your kid’s memories – We all cherish the memories we’ve made with our children. And every nook and cranny of your home may shout out sweet reminders of raising your children. And sometimes, adult children can make you feel guilty for wanting to sell their childhood home.
- What will people think? – Many Americans judge success by the size of a person’s home. And peer pressure can make you reluctant to follow your heart because of what friends and family will think if you move to a smaller home. You don’t want them to think you can’t afford the upkeep of your house.
Next, let’s explore 7 smart reasons to move to a smaller home.
1. Moving opens a new chapter to your life.
As one door closes, another one opens. While moving to a smaller home can be a huge change, it shouldn’t be viewed as a defeat. It opens the door to new and exciting opportunities. Imagine exploring new places and meeting interesting people. Getting the most out of life is about attitude, and as long as you move with a good one, life will reflect that back to you.
2. Moving to a smaller home will help you de-clutter.
I’ve been into de-cluttering long before it became popular. There’s freedom to de-cluttering. It allows positive energy to flow through your surroundings. I feel more in harmony when my space is clear. Clean up your inside by de-cluttering your outside. Also it’s becoming more common to hear people of our generation say they don’t want to leave their children with a lot of junk to sort through. Moving to a smaller house will force you to de-clutter.
3. Do what you value. A move to a smaller home could be part of your continuous improvement mindset.
Any move has challenges. However, moving to a smaller house because you value the results can have excellent advantages. Instead of stagnating and worrying about money, you use your money to its best advantage.
4. Selling a smaller home is easier than selling a larger one.
It’s no secret that Baby Boomers have difficulty selling their big houses to Millenials. If, when the opportunity arises, you trade in your big house for a smaller house, it should be easier to sell the smaller one if and when you decide to move again.
5. A smaller home in an exciting location is better than a larger one where you are unhappy.
A big house can put you under a lot of pressure to uphold a certain lifestyle. Moving to a smaller home can be a tremendous relief. The overall maintenance costs of a smaller home should be less. Therefore, what you save on utilities, taxes, and so on could be used for something else that brings you happiness.
6. Moving is a great motivator.
In general, moving is a great motivator. It gets you to reevaluate your life and take a serious look at what you value. Value is different than having an attachment to something. Value has worth and is useful while attachment is having affection. Instead of stagnating in place, a move to a smaller home may motivate you to complete an item on your bucket list, or inspire you to take your life in a whole new direction.
7. It’s not about the size of the home, or it’s amenities, it’s about the people inside.
As the saying goes, “A house is not a home”. It’s merely a building waiting for inhabitants to make it a home. In essence,” home” is a feeling. It isn’t defined by square footage or elegant furnishings. It’s your retreat. A safe haven where you feel safe and comfortable from the outside world. It’s your warmth and personality that give it life.
I cannot tell you that you should retire and move to a smaller home. That’s a personal decision that only you and your spouse can make. Nevertheless, I hope that I have given you some encouragement and food for thought.
Are you considering moving to a smaller home? Let me know in the comments below.