Downsizing is more than a trend – it’s becoming a way of life for people who want to simplify their lives and live more minimally. In fact, it’s hard to believe that downsizing used to be associated with seniors who sold their family homes and moved in with family or relocated to senior living facilities. Today, people of all ages and walks of life reap the benefits of downsizing.
Mental health benefits
While you may not realize it, living in a cluttered home takes a toll on your mental health. Researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) found that clutter causes stress and anxiety in women; specifically, women experience more stress when they live with more clutter because they associate messy homes with failure.
But, it is not only women affected by clutter. According to Psychology Today, clutter makes people feel anxious, helpless and overwhelmed because it overstimulates the mind and makes it difficult to relax. People also feel guilty and embarrassed by clutter, and it is much more difficult to be creative in a cluttered space.
Removing the clutter
Downsizing is not just about moving to a smaller home; it’s about removing the excess from our lives, which is where decluttering comes in. There are several ways that you can declutter from simple daily tasks to more involved processes that will prepare you to move to a new, smaller home.
First, focus on the area of your home that makes you feel the most anxious. For many people, the area is their kitchen counters. All members of the family view the counters as a catch-all for their stuff, and you need to tackle this area as a family. Designate a space for mail and bills and start getting in the habit of throwing away junk mail as soon as you carry it inside. Clear your counters by adding floating shelves (purchasable for under $20), hooks and racks to your existing walls and cabinetry. With a few simple hacks, you can find a place for everything and finally find your counters.
If downsizing is too overwhelming for you, call in a professional to get organized. Professional home and office organizers are available around the country and can save you a ton of time when it comes to downsizing. Though organizers charge $485 on average nationally, many homeowners find the price of a professional organizer worth it because they have help getting rid of their stuff and then more accurately can determine the appropriate size of a new, smaller home based on what they keep.
Downsizing Helps Save You Money
Decluttering can help you save money by finding things you didn’t realize you have and selling stuff you really don’t need. For example, if you have a pile of mail and bills somewhere in your home, you likely owe late fees. You also probably have multiples of kitchen utensils, toys, and other items without realizing it. As you declutter, take inventory of your belongings. When you find multiples, keep the one that is in the best condition and trash, donate, or sell the extras.
You can reap even greater savings by downsizing. For example, when you move to a smaller place, you will have a lower monthly rent or house payment. Less space also translates to lower utility bills, insurance bills, and taxes. You’ll also save money on cleaning supplies or a housecleaning service. Maintenance and upkeep of your new, smaller place will cost less, too, because there is less home to care for.
Another way that downsizing saves money that people don’t typically consider is the health care savings. When you live in a home that is less cluttered, there is less dust, dirt and germs. You also will be less stressed, which helps improve your physical and mental health.
Downsizing benefits your physical and mental health and finances. When you downsize, you lead a less stressful life. Less clutter also means you can relax and be more creative.