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How to Embrace the Small Things After Downsizing

Tiny house with living room visible through windows
Mireya Acierto / Getty Images

Let’s face it: “enjoying the small things in life” is probably easier for someone who didn’t just downsize their home. If you’ve recently transitioned from a spacious home to a petite studio, you could be struggling to find the “enjoyment” in downsizing. Is this hitting home for you? A little too much? 🙂

Whether this move was one you wanted or not, embracing an optimistic outlook by focusing on what you’ve gained — rather than given up — can help dramatically in this new adventure. What are the upsides of a downsize? Here are eight “less is more” reasons to celebrate your small digs.

Less Maintenance

A little hard work never hurt anybody, but a little less didn’t either! The gift of less upkeep after downsizing is one that keeps on giving the longer you live in your space. You may be freed of the outdoor yardwork you were burdened with before. Or maybe it’s two fewer bathrooms to clean. Less surface area and floors to clean means more time (or money saved from cleaning services) spent on what fulfills you. There’s an optimistic outlook that’s easy to maintain.

Less Responsibility

Less maintenance translates into less responsibility — a burden that takes a toll on many residents of larger spaces. If you thrived off some of the responsibilities required of you in your last place, consider alternatives you can pursue. For example, if you enjoyed gardening and no longer have a backyard, see if you can assist with your neighborhood’s landscaping (who’s going to say “no” to free help?) or try your green thumb out on indoor plants.

Lower Utility Bills

No surprise here, considering less space to cool and heat means lower charges from your utility company. But have you considered what other bills you can shrink now that you have less square footage? You may be able to implement additional money and energy-saving updates that weren’t financially feasible in your large space. Think solar panels, windows, and insulation. A small upfront cost could save you some serious cash in the long run.

Lower Mortgage and Less Debt

You knew you’d be inheriting a lower mortgage or lease when you signed the dotted line, but just how impactful is this on your future savings? According to Investopedia, monthly mortgage payments are generally the largest single expense that homeowners face-accounting for 30% or more of gross (often 50% of net) income. Imagine how quickly you’ll be able to reduce debt and skyrocket savings. Renowned financial expert Dave Ramsey agrees: downsizing is a sure-fire way to reduce debt on a mortgage or lease.

Lower Property Tax and Insurance Premium

We snuck two-in-one here, too. Beyond utility and mortgage bills, there are two more areas you’ll see savings in: Property taxes and your monthly home insurance premium. While the square footage of a home isn’t the only factor in property tax cost, it plays a big role in the overall assessed property value that determines what you owe each year. Monthly insurance premium cost also increases or decreases based on square footage.

Lower Renovation Costs

This is where “less is more” gets exciting. Less square footage can work in your favor for luxury renovations that were once out of reach. Can you finally swing for that marble counter finish since you’re working with a quarter of the surface area you once had? Can the downsize in cabinets afford you the opportunity to have them professionally painted?

Less Environmental Impact

If going green hasn’t been a natural habit of yours, celebrate the fact you’re wreaking less havoc on the environment just from downsizing. Smaller homes require less lumber, water, electricity and gas-so naturally, you’ve become less wasteful and more supportive of the environment outside your four walls. Bonus points if you now live closer to your workplace, and are reducing emissions through less driving, and more walking and biking.

Less Nonessential Items

Avoid thinking negatively of beloved items you had to get rid of prior to the move. Chances are, that forced purge from downsizing gave you a good mental cleanse as well. Unnecessary clutter can inhibit your pleasure — but sometimes it takes a nudge to push us over the purging edge. Use the fact that you don’t physically have space for “stuff” as ammunition for avoiding impulse buys. You’ll save more money and become less fixated on material things — a great way to embrace the “life is about the small things” mentality you were struggling with before!

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