When we talk about minimalism, it’s often in the context of downsizing your life. Getting rid of old clothes, reducing waste, casting off clutter, etc. However, there’s another BIG part of your life that you can downsize: your living space.
It’s definitely easier to donate a few bags of clothing and clear out those closets than to find a new place to live. However, if you’re on board with downsizing your life (and who isn’t?), downsizing your living space is a logical step.
We’re not going to lie. This one requires some heavy lifting. You have to find a new place, make plans to move, get your finances in order, etc. So yeah, it’s not the same thing as taking a few garbage bags of clothing down to the local shelter. However, it can be an important and freeing step in your minimalism journey.
Let’s take a walk through downsizing your living space.
Okay, Why Should I Do It?
Have you ever walked into an empty, unfurnished apartment or home? Even the small rooms seem huge. Why then, do we always fall into the same old routine of cluttering them up with unnecessary furniture, furnishings, and let’s be honest: junk?
It’s easy to do. And before you know it, you’ve got a bunch of clutter in those perfectly sized spaces. The truth is that many of us simply don’t need all the space that we have but we feel compelled to fill it.
If you downsize your home, you’ll have less space. That’s true. But you’re also a lot less likely to stock up on unnecessary items if space is at a premium. You’re less likely to clutter your space, and more apt to be selective with your furniture and decor.
And here’s the thing to really, really consider. Stop for a moment and really think about this question: How much space do you really need? If you really think about it, the answer is probably a lot less than you have right now.
Let’s Talk Finances
Downsizing your home; whether moving into a smaller apartment or selling your house in favor of smaller accommodations, is a big step. However, it can also be a smart financial decision. In most circumstances, the size of any space has a direct impact on the cost (rent, mortgage, etc). And as you well know, smaller usually equals less expensive.
Simply downsizing a few hundred square feet can save you an extra $100 or more in rent each month. Now ask yourself again how much space do you really need?
Choosing The Right Place
Whether or not downsizing your living space is the right move is up to you. However, if you think it over and truly do find that you don’t need all the space you currently have, it may be time to think about other options.
You don’t need to make a drastic move, however. There’s no need to go from a 5,000 square foot home to a 300 square foot studio unless that truly makes sense for you to do. It probably doesn’t. However, if you have a 2-bedroom apartment when a one bedroom will do just fine, consider making that switch. You’ll save space, money, and more.
Start searching the local real estate listings and go online to see what’s available in your area.
But Is It The Right Move?
We’re not gonna lie, downsizing your space is a big step. It’s not as easy as just de-cluttering the kitchen. It takes time, planning, and a little bit of money too if you’re making a big move. It’s important to make sure you’re doing this for the right reasons and not just because a blog on the internet told you “hey, this is a good idea!”
Ask yourself the following:
- Do I have too much space?
- Given that I’m downsizing elsewhere, do I still need all the space I have?
- Where will my new home be? If you’re moving, make sure you’re moving to a place that works for you. Is your new digs closer to your work? Closer to family? A nicer neighborhood? Move with a purpose. Don’t just do it to do it.
Minimalism is a fine thing. But it isn’t just about “getting rid of stuff” or “living with less.” Properly understood, these are aspects of minimalism which are aimed at enriching your life, helping you to live with less clutter and indecision.
Picking up and moving to a smaller house can be a very rewarding experience on your minimalism journey. However, it may not be for everyone so be sure to thoroughly explore and weigh your options before taking the plunge.
Remember, downsizing your home isn’t about just moving to a smaller space. It’s about finding a living space that works best for you and your lifestyle without excess space or clutter.