In America, we tend to like big things. Just ask any Texan. We like to supersize everything, including things that are not particularly good for us or the environment. Would you like a large Coke? Or should I just make that a gut buster? When was the last time you had a sit-down dining out experience that involved only one plate? There is a good chance that one of those plates would have been more accurately described as a platter. That 4-cylinder vehicle simply will not do. It’s the super 8 or bust. This is really how we think. It is ingrained in the culture. Relearning a different and better way will be difficult to say the least.
That said, we are living in 4,000 square foot McMansions that cost more to cool and heat than the totality of many people’s entire rent payment. We have houses with parts we have never touched. Just keeping the place clean is a chore so big that we have to hire someone else to do it. The care and upkeep of such a house is a burden that often catches people off guard. If you are starting to rethink the size of your home, here are a few suggestions that will help you decide whether downsizing is right for you:
Will a Sale Work out Favorably for You?
Not everyone will make out like a bandit when they sell their home. You might find yourself in a situation where you need to buy the new home before moving out of your old one. There are many creative home loan options to consider. One such option will allow you to sell your home while remaining in it via a leaseback option. You can stay in it for as long as you like before moving on. It might take you longer to downsize than you had anticipated. You might need to live in your current home while your new home is being built. The thing to remember is that you have options.
By downsizing, you will likely find that you will have more than enough money to purchase your new house outright with money left over for retirement and so much more. Downsizing can be a real, economic boon. When your house is smaller, all of your bills tend to also get smaller. That can be a real benefit if you find that your income gets smaller as well.
Will the Space Make More Sense?
If you walk in your vast, open living room and immediately feel you need more furniture, it could be that what you really need is less space. It is important that you make the best use of the space you have. Use every part of it, even the null space. Having blank space can artistically highlight features of the room. Clutter can actually detract from those features.
The important thing is that you recognize the difference between space that is serving you versus space you are serving. One of the worst things that happens when a person has too much space is that the space becomes home to massive collections of junk. Nature abhors a vacuum. How are you filling yours? If the space in your home has become your final frontier, it might be time to downsize.
Can You Morally Justify Your Carbon Footprint?
Not everything we do is a moral issue. You should not be made to feel guilty because you have done well in life and want to enjoy the fruits of your labor. But we live on this planet with other people. And the generation we leave behind will have to deal with the choices we made. At some point, we need to be able to justify to ourselves the things we chose to do in this life. Even now, new communities are being developed to address their carbon footprint. How many people need to ride in a Hummer before the size is justified? How many people need to live in a house before its size is justified? Don’t live in the Hummer of houses if you don’t have to. The next generation can’t afford it.
When possible, supersize your career options. Conversely, downsize your living options when it is financially beneficial, when the smaller space makes more sense, and when you can’t justify the carbon debt future generations will have to pay.