How to Downsize to a Smaller Home: The Painless Way to Live a Minimalist Lifestyle

Downsizing to a smaller home appeals to many people for many different reasons.  If you are dreaming of a smaller home, you are not alone and it might be easier than you think.  A smaller home definitely has its benefits from lower costs, less to clean, and overall forces you to become a minimalist and focus on what is actually important.  If you have wondered if downsizing to a smaller home is in your future, you are in the right place.

Benefits to Downsizing to a Smaller Home

How To Downsize To A Smaller Home: The Painless Way To Live A Minimalist Lifestyle

Downsizing to a smaller home most likely has more benefits than you may think.  There are many reasons to downsize to a smaller home and benefits that you can get from downsizing your home to a smaller home.  Of course, this may not be possible just yet due to young children in the home, but at the same time, you might be surprised at what you can do with a smaller home.

Reduce mortgage-Smaller homes are generally way expensive, if you have enough capital you might even be able to not have a mortgage payment, in addition, property taxes and electricity bills will be considerably less.  Basically, you will be saving overall in a smaller home, from your biggest bills to your smallest ones.

Minimalist lifestyle-A minimalist lifestyle does not mean that you have to only have a couple of shirts and one pair of pants.  Moreso it means looking at what you really need and use on a weekly and monthly basis. Getting rid of the clutter and only keeping what you really love and use often.

Less to clean-Ever wonder how much time you spend cleaning and what you could be doing with that time otherwise? You probably spend at least 30-60 minutes a day cleaning your home, sure maybe it is spread out over the week or month, but that is valuable time that could be spent doing something else, or maybe nothing at all!

Learn to live with the less-The modern world is fast-paced, consumer-driven and you probably have less that you care about in your house than you realize.  Think about it this way, if you had to evacuate your house for any reason right now, what would you actually have to take with you? Deep down the “stuff” you actually really care about is way less than what you think you care about.

Forced to spend more time outdoors-If you live in a small home you are definitely going to want to spend more time outside of your home.  This means more activity outside, fresh air, and exploring more than you would if you had more space to hide inside. More vitamin D is good for you and something that most of us are lacking, forcing you to be outside more is a positive all around!

More savings-Ideally moving to a smaller home will mean fewer bills and more disposable income, this could also mean more money in savings, more money for retirement, and even better if it helps you retire sooner and more time to spend doing the stuff you really want to do! 

Read More: 7 Tips for Maximizing your Space with Baby

How to Downsize to a Smaller Home

How To Downsize To A Smaller Home: The Painless Way To Live A Minimalist Lifestyle

The biggest obstacle to overcome while downsizing to a smaller home is really looking at what you have and what you want vs. what you need.  Of course, there are plenty of things you need, but most of what is in your house, you don’t actually need to live, you just want it.   So, you will need to really be honest with what you need and start to get rid of stuff.  It is best to start with items that you have the least attachment to, if you don’t care about clothes-start there, if your clothes and shoes are your things tackle that slowly after you warm up.

As you start to declutter your house, go from room to room and start with a bag of stuff to throw away, a box of items to sell, a box of items to donate, and leave the rest in the room.  You most likely will need to repeat this process a few times, as you enter the rooms you will realize what really matters to you and what you can part with as you prepare to move into a smaller home.  

How To Downsize To A Smaller Home: The Painless Way To Live A Minimalist Lifestyle

Get rid of baby stuff you don’t need-You are probably hanging on to way more baby stuff than you actually need or will ever use again.  Most stuff can be donated or even sold locally to other new moms.  If you are sentimental and have a hard time getting rid of your children’s items, take a small box or bag and allow yourself to keep only that for your children’s keepsakes.  

Reduce the 3 Cs – Clutter, clothing, and coffee mugs (and much more)-knick knacks are fun and cute, but if you don’t have any attachment to them, put them aside to donate or sell.  Keep only your favorite 1-2 coffee mugs and when you get to your closet, put aside anything you haven’t worn for the past year and start with what you have actually worn.

Reduce printed materials (old books, outdated college materials, old receipts, etc)-Most of these items you can just recycle, if you really need receipts for tax purposes you can easily scan and upload them for the future.

Tackle the kitchen-How many wooden spoons do you really need!. At the end of the day, you really only need one of the major utensils and a few extra of the ones you always use (spatulas, cooking spoon, etc.)

Donate-Old hangers, especially those dry cleaning wire ones – thrift stores always need them, old jewelry (jewelry sells well at thrift stores), and old costumes (schools, for example, often thrift for them for plays, performances, and other needs). 

Bathroom purge-Take everything out of your cabinets, drawers, and under your sink, and first toss anything that is expired, you didn’t know you had or haven’t used in 6+ months.  Most likely you use the same products every day and few other ones occasionally.  No need to keep green eyeshadow just in case you ever need it for a costume party that you haven’t gone to in a decade. 

Read More: Mastering Kitchen Clutter

Maintaining a Minimalist Lifestyle 

How To Downsize To A Smaller Home: The Painless Way To Live A Minimalist Lifestyle

As you are planning your move and ready to begin your new life in a smaller home, it is imperative that you don’t start to try to fill the space you won’t have once you move.  A smaller home will feel bigger with less clutter and as much open space as possible.  

You will probably have less space in the kitchen in your new smaller home, so as you meal plan and go grocery shopping do a full inventory of what you have on hand.  Instead of getting multiple items for that recipe, you want to test out, try to finish what you have on hand first, or figure out if you can substitute.  There is no need to have five different salad dressings on hand, maybe 1-2 at a time, and then you buy another one as you need it. 

Only buy more body products (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, make-up, etc.) when you need them and are running out.  If you realize how much you can get rid of, you will be more cognizant of what you actually need. With less space, you will quickly realize what you actually and need on a daily and weekly basis. You might notice what clothes you actually wear and which ones you are saving for that random themed party or house painting, neither are worth taking up precious space for.

Read More: 5 Life-Changing Interior Design Ideas for Small Spaces

A smaller home doesn’t mean a smaller life, if anything it actually means the opposite as you will have more disposable income and time on your hands.  There are steps to take if you want to downsize to a smaller home, things you can start doing now to help minimize the work down the road. Even tackling one of our tips a month or even a quarter will help you for the next move no matter how big or small it might be!

Check out this article on The Effects of Clutter (and how to manage it).

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How To Downsize To A Smaller Home: The Painless Way To Live A Minimalist Lifestyle
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Sabra Ritter
Sabra Ritter
Part event planner and marketing guru, part stay-at-home mom, and part blogger. Mom of two toddler girls, who are always keeping her on her toes. On the weekends you can find her at Southern California beaches or hiking with her family. Sabra loves to cook and is always creating something new!

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