A couple of days ago I wrote Part 1 titled The Downside of Downsizing, so today I am discussing the “upside” of downsizing. For baby
boomers rolling into their 60’s and beyond, downsizing is a big deal. Many feel compelled to sell their houses and everything they have spent
a lifetime working for in order to downsize.
I have already discussed some of the misery of this process, so today I will struggle to mention the benefits of this major
When you give up a lot of square footage, you find yourself forced to redefine your life from a new perspective. You no longer have the
big fancy house or the lovely trappings that once identified who you were, so you start with almost nothing when you make the move. A lot of
what you did keep doesn’t work anymore, so you find yourself having to buy new furniture. In this process you start to cast off the “old you”
and everything that presented your former life.
Downsizing is an opportunity to reassess your life and identify true priorities.
When you settle in and come to terms with your new reality, you may experience anger, frustration, and disappointment with
your decision. Many lament the loss of a front porch, back deck, bonus room, big kitchen, etc. when coming to terms with the new limited
space. You are forced to look at life and live in a new way. To be honest as I sit and write this post, I am struggling to find the benefits of
Maybe I can dig deep within and find wisdom from my five-year experience.
Benefits of Downsizing
Downsizing forces you to get rid of the “old”—old everything. You must make an assessment of everything in your home
that does not give you life. You get rid of things that have no relevance to your “now life.” You go through a deep purge of
belongings that are worn out, old, useless and things that no longer represent where you are in your life journey.
You ask the question: Who may I now? We get so lost in stuff that we don’t really know who we are and where we are
going. A smaller house is easier to clean and organize, and you must keep personal belongings to a minimum because
you have little storage space.
You have more time to engage in new hobbies and activities because your life is not consumed with a house.
A new neighborhood gives opportunities for new friendships, but you have to make effort. We live in a great
neighborhood, but I have invested a lot of time in cultivating relationships. New friendships can be life-giving, but you
have a responsibility to make it happen.
You have much less expense. Taxes, utility bills, yard care and cost of home are much less than living in the big house.
There is more time for reading, introspection, and quiet time with the Lord, and artistic endeavors.
A simple space makes living a simple life easier. With a simple life comes the shedding of time wasters, preoccupation
with the insignificant, and the chance to do deep emotional and spiritual work.
These are a few of the benefits of downsizing. Proceed with caution and much thought and planning before you make a downsize. Do
not go into this major life transition without doing your homework and research.
I now have the time to paint, write, read and focus on things and people who matter. I love my new life, but it has not been without
some regrets. If you carefully plan your downsize, you will have fewer regrets and frustrations with the process.
I needed to hear both parts, Brenda, although Old Hon does not appear to be moveable even if I did have time to get serious about the early stages of “Declutter.”
I have a friend who cared for her aging mother with Alzheimer’s and later his aging father — in her home. She had to sort through their homes and their many decades of “stuff.” In addition, she had several adult children who shared their home for various times during various transitions.
I read her post on Facebook a couple of years ago when she informed all her family members that her birthday/anniversary present to each one each each year would be that she would clean out a closet, bookcase, chest of drawers, or box in the attic in their honor on their day — so they would not have that huge chore when she was unable to do it or was gone.
I thought this was a wonderful idea.