One of the many good things about this site is that you get both ends of the minimalist lifestyle spectrum. You get my “wiser” perspective in that it’s taken me about 30 years to get to where I currently am and you get my girl’s perspective and how they have embraced this lifestyle from a very young age. Aly, as you know, introduced me to this lifestyle and now together we write this blog.
I envy my girls. They are 25 and 21 and already leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at their age. Aly has launched her business and purchased her home at 24. Her house is small about 1000 square feet and that is all she feels she will ever need. Jess is in transition moving to be closer to her sister and heading back to college. She is looking at apartments that are about 500 – 700 square feet that she can easily manage both financially and as far as maintenance. Again on the small side and she’s very happy with that. Me? I’m on the other end of the spectrum. About to turn 52 in September and thinking about downsizing in the near future to enhance my minimalist lifestyle. If I had started 25+ years ago where my girls are now, imagine where I would be right now? I believe I would be at least partially retired and traveling much more. Gives you something to think about doesn’t it especially if you are on the younger side for your journey.
For me, I am currently in a house that is too large for my husband and myself. There are rooms we NEVER enter. Then there are rooms that are only entered when guests come to visit. I can literally cut off half of my house and we would never miss that space. Downsizing is on our agenda in about 10 years or so when we either sell or hand off the day to day operations of our business. For us it all works RIGHT NOW because everything is in one location – home and business. In the future, this will not work for us but for now it supports our lifestyle both personally and professionally.
If I had to do it over? I would have made do with a much smaller house knowing what I do now that eventually the “empty nest” would happen and we would have too much house left over. But my generation didn’t think like that. We had “starter” homes then we moved up to more expensive, larger homes and that is exactly what my husband and I did. You know they say hindsight is 20/20. Looking back now we could have survived in our small bungalow but that’s not what we did. We upgraded several times to larger homes.
So now I am looking forward to downsizing in the future and I have already determined I can cut the number of bedrooms in half – from four to two. Two bedrooms are currently never used in our home unless guests come to stay with us. I have also determined we can go from 2.5 bathrooms to 1.5 easily.
One thing I do love about our current house is the open concept of kitchen, living room, dining room. I have an area that I currently use for an office in this open concept and I have a small laundry room. These main rooms would definitely be on my keep list and are used daily versus the rooms I would get rid of that are used seldomly. So in terms of square footage? I can easily downsize 50% of my current home and not feel like I am losing anything because the space I am getting rid of is never used anyway.
Are you in a similar position as myself? Kids are out of the house and you have too much home left over? You too may want to think seriously about downsizing starting with looking at which rooms you use constantly and which rooms you hardly use. Many times you can sell your current house and purchase a much smaller house for cash or have a very small easily managed mortgage for a short time frame. Imagine the freedom you can have not only in maintaining your home but in a smaller or no mortgage lifestyle. Definitely the direction I am heading in.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).