Less Is More: A Different Take On Downsizing

Posted January 10, 2021 in Special Features

Downsizing, Clark County WA real estate agent

The term “downsizing” has become popular lately as more people age into retirement and require less living space. Yet, the concept of downsizing has a growing appeal across a wider age range as some families are realizing that having less stuff leads to a more satisfying and less hectic life. Perhaps this new trend toward minimalism comes from pandemic times and spending so much time at home with our own stuff. Maybe some of us are beginning to place more value on experiences and quality relationships. We could even be approaching a new era of consumer culture fatigue. During lockdown phases it was fun for awhile to shop online and have packages arriving to our doorsteps like every day is Christmas. But at a certain point we run out of room for stuff and even begin to feel weary of it. Even with extra closets for storage, the more stuff you have the harder it seems to be to find.

When we have less stuff then it is reasonable to assume we need less space. Also, less space means less upkeep which frees up time for more important things. This is something today’s homebuyer may consider: how much space do we really need? A larger house means more need for furnishings so that it doesn’t look so empty. This may be great for people with a lot of heirloom family furniture to display or for those who love the thrill of the hunt for the perfect tables and chairs—yet another hidden cost of having more space is filling it.

While some home buyers are shopping for bigger spaces in order to make their home their castle, others are actually thinking smaller. Local Realtor® Lauren Aldous has noticed an increase in the number of home buyers looking to downsize.

“Many people are really trying to simplify. There’s more of an interest in smaller living spaces,” she said.

For some, it means reducing the size of their urban home while keeping a larger vacation house at the beach. For others, it means moving into a smaller ADU-style cottage on their property and then renting out their standard-sized house. Of course many others will take the more traditional approach of moving out of the larger family home and into a retirement community with bungalows or patio homes. It depends on the ages, family size, and needs of the homeowners. It’s also a lot about priorities. Families can enjoy spending quality time together in smaller spaces rather than spread out all over the place with everyone communicating only through electronic devices.

“If you’re home shopping right now, this is a good time to reflect on your priorities about how you want to use your time, in addition to finances and cost,” Lauren said.

A larger house and property mean more time spent on cleaning, maintenance, and renovations, which some people actually enjoy while others may feel burdened with every weekend being filled with home projects. Smaller living spaces can cost less which frees up finances for vacations and weekend activities away from home.

Downsizing space and embracing a minimalist lifestyle doesn’t have to be extreme like in a monastic order. It can just simply mean the choice of quality over quantity. By having less, you can actually add a lot more to your life.