We're hearing so much talk about "down-sizing" these days. People are finding ways to step back from quantity and focus on quality. Simplify. Get rid of the excess. Prioritize your living space.
But is "down-sizing" really the right term? Maybe "right-sizing" is more accurate. Find the lifestyle that provides a better fit to your current priorities. Ten or twenty years ago, living in a suburb, for example, might have been the right choice, and the commute was worth it because your kids were in a great school district. Now, you might be yearning for a more walkable way of life. Conversely, your "right-size" lifestyle could include a stronger sense of community that comes with living in a non-urban neighborhood.
Are you ready to right-size your home and your life? Here are some clues that it's time to consider that shift.
Your home feels cluttered.
Are you tired of navigating around the furnishings or spending too much time dusting all the items you've collected over the years? Is your closet overflowing with clothes you haven't worn for a year or more? Has your attic or garage grown into a stash for things you really shouldn't hold on to?
When the walls start closing in from the clutter, treat yourself to a good purge. Put sentiment aside. You don't need all your kids' homework papers and artwork. And just because that chair is comfortable, be honest--it's an eyesore.
Donate usable items that have outlived their life in your home, but could be valuable to others. As you sort through what's worth keeping, ask yourself, "Would I miss this?" When you're truthful with yourself, you'll discover you've been cluttering your life with things that have lost their meaning.
Your home feels larger than it used to.
Have you become tired of traipsing up and down the stairs? Do you have rooms that you're not using regularly? Has it become more of a chore than a joy to maintain your yard?
It's almost inevitable for a spacious home that was the right size for your life a few years ago to seem to grow as you reach a point when bigger isn't better. Do you need extra bedrooms or that extra bathroom that is rarely used? You just might be ready to move to a right-sized home.
You want to lower your expenses.
When you're in a home that doesn't fit quite right, you'll notice that certain household costs don't feel right either. Your utility bill seems high for your current household. You might not feel that paying a monthly HOA is worthwhile now. Possibly, maintaining things like a pool aren't delivering an appreciable return on investment. And you're seeing the expense of costly replacements, like a new roof, furnace, air conditioning system, or other feature that is seeing the end of its life.
You're more actively browsing home and interior designs.
You find yourself poking around HGTV, Pinterest, and home improvement shows, magazines, and websites for ideas to spark change--interior, exterior, or both. The fact that you're straying this way shows you're not satisfied with your home. Maybe you can make cosmetic changes, but ask yourself if that's enough to fit your lifestyle in the years ahead. Consider your needs today, not in the past. Determine what your right-size life and home would look like. Then take action to reshape it!