When you go from a larger home to a smaller one (no matter how big the size difference), it has a big impact on the way you live. You usually can't fit as many things in the smaller home, and the way you physically move in and use the smaller space might change, too. These folks recently relocated to smaller homes for lots of different reasons, but they all agree there are both benefits to downsizing — as well as a few downsides, too.
"Downsizing is a great reminder that we don't need as much as we think we do."
Good: You'll realize you don't need as much as you think.
Allison Crawford writes:
"Downsizing is a great reminder that we don't need as much as we think we do. My life is so much simpler living in a smaller space. Now the building management takes care of all the maintenance for my space. At my larger home I had to tend to the yard, the pool, and any issues with a 1940s house. I have so much more time to focus on my work and spending time with loved ones now."
Good: You'll say goodbye to frivolous shopping.
"The biggest benefit of living in a smaller home is that you pretty much stop any / all frivolous shopping. When we lived in an apartment before, it was easy to make a trip to Target and walk out with household odds and ends that I didn't really need. After living tiny, my mind is now geared toward thinking "do I really need this or not?" I can say that we didn't purchase a single household item last year that didn't have an immediate and positive impact on our lives. I'm sure it saved us both a lot of time and money, and we'll definitely continue that practice into our next home, too."
Not so Good: You might sometimes wish for more room to stretch out.
"The things I miss sound sort of silly, but fellow tiny dwellers can probably relate. I miss sitting on a couch or working at a full-size table. I miss dishwashers and not having to clean every single dish immediately after I use it. I miss having our own washer and dryer, and I miss a full-size bathroom. While ours is 100% functional and great, there's no replacing being able to blow dry your hair without hitting your elbow on the ceiling(!)."
"You can clean a smaller house much more easily, but it gets messy faster, too."
Good: Downsizing might mean living in your favorite zip code
"Living in a smaller place allows us to afford living in a neighborhood we love. We roughly pay the same amount every month we did in the suburbs with our two parking spaces in downtown, but we would rather spend that money this way.
And it is so much easier to clean! We don't have any dead space in the house — every inch gets used. That seems like a more efficient way of living for us. Plus, not having the room to put something is a good preemptive for unnecessary purchases (which doesn't stop me entirely, but I am more conscious about it.)
This is weird, but I also love that I see all my cats more now. There is no office or space under the bed to hide now — and I love seeing their fuzzy faces when I am watching TV."
Not So Good: Every item needs a home.
"The biggest downside is we have to find a specific place for EVERY LITTLE THING. That's sometimes hard. You can clean a smaller house much more easily, but it gets messy faster, too. We are kind of operating at capacity right now; we can fit everything we own somewhere but one more thing will tip the scale. We still have too much stuff for the space we have so there is not a lot of wiggle room. You have to purge regularly.
The one thing we miss is having an extra room when our parents visit — but we figured they visit twice a year and that having a guest bedroom all year is a bigger investment than providing them with a hotel room when they do."
More downsizing advice from real people.
*These responses have been edited for length and clarity.