Downsizing Mandatory

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Happy Thursday everyone!  It’s almost the weekend, YAY!  Jim is almost home (from a 5 day conference). Thank God since I’ve been doing attempting to do everything myself, which I’m doing a piss poor job at. At least the dogs are happy! I’ve been sleeping downstairs on a pop up twin, since one of the older dogs cannot make it upstairs without someone carrying her, and I cannot do that what so ever.  We do not have a fenced yard, which makes for a need to schedule the dogs to go to the bathroom and forces me to walk them. While it’s good to get moving, instead of sitting all day, it’s very difficult on the back right now.

What this week has made me do, is realize is that we absolutely need to downsize. I’ve always thought that ‘bigger is better’, and while that is true in some instances, it’s best to do what is right for you. If that means becoming a part time minimalist, than you shouldn’t feel bad about that. I love our country home on the top of the hill, but getting older and in poor health precludes me from painlessly going upstairs and standing/walking too long. Too much house here and stairs everywhere – we actually have two sets of stairs (front and back, both inside). Jim is looking at a hip replacement sometime in the near future. All those years of body punishing baseball playing in college and younger adult years for him…wait, who am I kidding, he played hard through his 50’s in his church leagues too. They are catching up with him.

I’ve started looking at smaller, less expensive homes, that would be good for us. There is a lot out there, almost overwhelming. Only have three criteria – single story, fenced yard for the dogs, and turnkey. As we get older, our brains do NOT match our minds. Minds are still young and believe we can do anything, my body is no where near that.

I found an article about 12 reasons why you should think about Downsizing. It gets you thinking!  You have to consider these and see if you’ll actually be happier in a smaller home.

  1. Easier to maintain. Anyone who has owned a house knows the amount of time, energy, and effort to maintain it. All things being equal, a smaller home requires less of your time, energy, and effort to accomplish that task.
  2. Less time spent cleaning. And that should be reason enough…
  3. Less expensive. Smaller homes are less expensive to purchase and less expensive to keep (insurance, taxes, heating, cooling, electricity, etc.).
  4. Less debt and less risk. Dozens of on-line calculators will help you determine “how much house you can afford.” These formulas are based on net income, savings, current debt, and monthly mortgage payments. They are also based on the premise that we should spend “28% of our net income on our monthly mortgage payments.” But if we can be more financially stable and happier by only spending 15%… then why would we ever choose to spend 28?
  5. Mentally Freeing. As is the case with all of our possessions, the more we own, the more they own us. And the more stuff we own, the more mental energy is held hostage by them. The same is absolutely true with our largest, most valuable asset. Buy small and free your mind.
  6. Less environmental impact. A smaller home requires less resources to build and less resources to maintain. And that benefits all of us.
  7. More time. Many of the benefits above (less cleaning, less maintaining, mental freedom) result in the freeing up of our schedule to pursue the things in life that really matter – whatever you want that to be.
  8. Encourages family bonding. A smaller home results in more social interaction among the members of the family. And while this may be the reason that some people purchase bigger homes, I think just the opposite should be true.
  9. Forces you to remove baggage. Moving into a smaller home forces you to intentionally pare down your belongings.
  10. Less temptation to accumulate. If you don’t have any room in your house for that new treadmill, you’ll be less tempted to buy it in the first place (no offense to those of you who own a treadmill… and actually use it).
  11. Less decorating. While some people love the idea of choosing wall color, carpet color, furniture, window treatments, decorations, and light fixtures for dozens of rooms, I don’t.
  12. Wider market to sell. By its very definition, a smaller, more affordable house is affordable to a larger percentage of the population than a more expensive, less affordable one.
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