Downsizing has become a trend for people at every stage of life, not just for people thinking about retirement. In fact, new homes are smaller than in the past and there is an increased demand for townhomes and other smaller footprints, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Even in Australia, recent surveys show people over 50 moving to smaller dwellings, not just as a cost-saving measure, but as an affirmative lifestyle choice. There’s even a new movie called Downsizing, where a character actually becomes physically smaller, in an attempt to escape their current lifestyle.
What’s all of this about?
Quality over Quantity
People are realizing that their quality of life is not all about square footage. Smaller homes may have smaller mortgages and tax burdens as well, making the change financially attractive for many. There are also economies of scale to be had- less area to heat, cool and keep clean, just for starters. Many smaller homes and townhomes often have less outdoor space as well, reducing or eliminating upkeep requirements and freeing up time for more enjoyable activities. Not many people seem to miss spending a whole afternoon mowing the lawn each weekend.
Simplification- by Design
Part of the trend in downsizing is about simplification. Sarah Susanka, a well-known architect, started writing books including “The Not So Big House” back in 1998, talking about designing homes that were space-efficient and designed for how people lived every day. Her premise was to eliminate the rooms in a home that ended up being empty and unused, and design a home, made to be lived in every day. This trend has gone even further with the Tiny House movement, where people are building homes between 100 and 400 square feet.
While the extremely tiny homes you may see on shows like “Tiny House, Big Living” on HGTV may not be for everyone, there are benefits to living in relatively smaller spaces. By constraining the physical space, people are making more conscious choices about what’s important to them, not only in terms of furnishings, but other belongings as well. By getting rid of things that are underused, you not only save space, but you save in upkeep and maintenance at the same time!
Clearing Out To Simplify
Cleaning out closets and storage spaces has great benefits as well. It can help you keep the things you really love, and let the items you’re not as attached to be appreciated by someone else! Getting rid of clothing and things that just sit in storage for years feels good, and it prevents those things that you don’t use from becoming a problem later on, when you have to decide if these things are worth moving again or not. It’s much better to make decisions about these things at your own pace, in an overall move to streamline and downsize.
More and more people across the age spectrum are choosing efficient designs in furniture and in belongings. Space saving furniture with added storage or even drop-leaf tables can help you have the space you want when you need it. Many of the Tiny Home blogs and websites feature great ideas for efficient use of space, regardless of the size of your home. Whether it’s small but powerful speakers for your music or nesting kitchen bowls and measuring cups, there are many more options to have everything you need- but have it in a size that’s just more manageable.
Less is More- for Everyone
Let’s face it- we all have things in our home that are taking up space and are underused, and many people find that having a yard sale or donating these items frees up space while also passing these items on where they can have a second life where they’re really needed.
Cheryl Therrien on the Sixty & Me blog writes about how you can downsize and recycle at the same time, finding that reusing and repurposing things has a benefit to herself and the wider community as well. For example, giving away clothes that you no longer wear frees up your own closet space and makes it easier to stay organized, while benefiting others in the process.
Here at Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands, our residents find they live differently than they did in their previous homes. With the dining venues, library, wellness center, art studios, fitness center and more, many people spend more time outside of their homes than in, enjoying everything there is to do.
Whether you are looking at retirement options or are just looking to streamline your life, downsizing has become a long-standing trend for people at every stage of life. Downsizing is made easy here at Kendal-Crosslands Communities with our vetted move managers, accredited by the National Association of Move Managers, who are ready and able to assist you with every step along the way.
Call us today to learn more about Kendal-Crosslands Communities at (610) 388-1441 or click here to learn more about the cozy cottages and currently available living options at Kendal and Crosslands. We have right-sized options that can be customized to meet all your needs!