Over 50 life

Why Downsizing Will Change Your Life for the Better

Updated October 30, 2023


How Downsizing Changes Your Life

Here’s why downsizing is such a game changer.

Getting rid of stuff adds to our life it doesn’t take away from it. Making a conscious choice to live for experiences instead of possessions means we live in the moment, the present – instead of the past.

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s fun to live in the past or “the good old days”. There’s nothing wrong with reminiscing about happy times or wishing life could be as simple as it was when we were kids.

Living in the present world can seem harsh and unforgiving especially as we age. The older we get the less we like to get bumped around by change or surprises.

But the present is all we have and it’s too precious to waste.

Focusing on experiences we can have now instead of the possessions that defined our past can be liberating. What have you got to lose?

There’ll be more time to have fun and less time managing our stuff. Oh and cleaning it.

Moving to a smaller home means we can enjoy lower utility bills and mortgage payments. Or perhaps no payment at all if you’re lucky.

What Does Downsizing Mean?

Downsizing after kids leave home may mean moving into a smaller home. Getting rid of possessions that won’t fit in your new space. It may mean deliberately choosing to live with less, both materially and physically. Either way it’s a choice to live differently.

If you’ve always lived in a large home, you know what that entails. It’s a lot of work. When you’re over fifty, doesn’t our focus shift to working less and enjoying our time more?

A smaller home is easier to manage and can be made more energy efficient. Who wants to clean 5 bedrooms and baths when you’re only using 1 or 2?

Susan Susanka wrote a transformative book “The No So Big House” in 2009 which made a persuasive argument in favor of smaller homes vs MacMansions. Her book asked the question, is “more” really better or can we “have it all” just in a small package?

Obviously there’s intentional downsizing and unintentional downsizing (which isn’t much fun). It’s no surprise “The Not So Big House” was written during the economic crash when a lot of unintentional downsizing happened.

Downsizing is clearly a state of mind first before it’s a state of being.

Choosing to downsize is more powerful than having it thrust upon you, but I believe either situation can be a catalyst for changing our lives for the better.

There’s nothing more powerful than realizing your true home resides within you not outside you.

You don’t really need the walls, the sofa, the paintings or the brick. Of course aesthetics are important and I fully appreciate a beautiful building and lush garden space. It’s understood having a roof over your head falls under the category of basic human need for shelter. But.

What kind of roof? Does it matter if it covers 10,000 square feet or 1,000? Does one truly offer more shelter than another, or is it just our perception.

Downsizing Changes Your Life for the Better

Understanding we hold the key to our safety and security helps us to let go and need less. When we know we can easily be happy in a smaller space we lighten our load. When we feel secure we may realize we don’t need things to make us feel complete.

Change your life by thinking about what is really most important to you. Can it be contained in 1500 sq ft or less?

I went through a period of transition where everything I owned lived in a storage space. My big aha was realizing I didn’t really miss any of it! Minimalism saved my life and freed me to make my experiences more important than my possessions.

Downsizing will change your life for the better when you take the opportunity to reassess your life and possessions. Call it mindful decluttering. Once you realize your stuff doesn’t define you, the sky’s the limit. When it comes to what fits your needs, size doesn’t matter does it? All that matters is how you feel and you can feel powerful, protected and perfectly happy in an Airstream, a flat, a houseboat or a cottage if that’s what you choose.

Visualize your downsizing goals and stay positive with this journal.


About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.