- No Doubt about Less House
Everyone knows that change is a constant in life.
But knowing and accepting can be two different things. As we move through our lives, most of us go from starter home or apartment to the need for more house as the kids come. Years later, we move from that rambling house where we raised our families to a more efficient home where empty rooms don’t gather dust and the garage isn’t large enough for your youngest to park his three partially re-built motorcycles.
Time is a funny thing. It seems like only yesterday you were making big plans, expanding your family and dreaming about the day you could buy new furniture. Today, your daughter is asking if she can take the spare refrigerator to her new apartment.
The natural course of affairs is that kids move on, and we tire of managing a home full of empty rooms. When this is the case, you know that your downsizing journey has begun. In our culture we are steeped in “Bigger is Better”. That pervasive message, on the surface, may seem to have an alternate ‘smaller is not better’ corollary, but does it? Thinking of large as good and small as less than good can often produce anxiety about facing the inevitable desire to scale down.
While we aren’t shown images of retirees pining for a smaller home, consider why anticipating with joy that part of life. After all, the increasingly precious time and money that are available to you when there is less home to manage, means what you used to spend on maintenance, cleaning and repair, is now available for the discretionary spending on your favorite fun things. Increasingly, baby-boomers are understanding that downsizing is not a dirty word. In fact it’s a step forward into a life of more freedom, more time and more choices. Finding the right size home with minimal maintenance is definitely an upside to not living large. If you’re thinking less home means more time, you’re not alone.
Luckily, today, smaller is getting good press. Everything from ‘mini’ hybrid cars to smaller plates of food are being heralded as choices which emphasis life over stuff. Living simpler, by taking more time and fewer packages, by walking instead of filling the spare room with treadmills and weights is getting its due. Whether you’re retiring or just want an eco-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle, downsizing is an important phase in conscious living.
When children grow up and move out of the family home, for example, Mom and Dad are left with an empty nest that’s too big for them. Many adults 55 and older are finding that they are young in body and heart and have a new opportunity to leave the suburbs behind and move downtown, closer to amenities and in a lifestyle that requires less gas and planning. Not only are these homes easier to maintain, moving into a condo downtown offers easier access to beach walks, coffee shops and music.
In life, there are many events that lead us to a new phase. This is the nature of time, and also the effect of a variety of circumstances. Some life events, such as a divorce or unemployment, are unexpected and force us to make changes, perhaps we need to find a smaller home for financial reasons or we need to move to a home in the same neighborhood where our mother is to be a caretaker. The challenge in these situations is to remain positive about our new path, and find the benefits that will come from choosing a smaller home. I call this process RightSizing. When too much house is forcing weekends to be spent on cleaning and maintenance, or when it makes financial sense to move from the suburban ranch home to an urban condo, we can see the big picture and say “Yes” to the elements and forces that are sending us down the downsizing road.
My job, and I love it, is to help people identify their needs, their wants and their circumstances. Then we go to work underscoring how you like to live in your home. While transitions take courage, knowing you have a partner who understands and will help can really take the sting out of change and allow the excitement of it to pour forth as you move into your new RightSized home.
Contact me for a Free Lifestyle Values Survey to gain insight into your true RightSized home values.