Are there rooms in your house you never seem to use? Closets full of junk so old, outdated, or unused that you don't even remember where it all came from? Or maybe your nest is empty – your children have moved out and you don't need all those bedrooms and bathrooms anymore.
Maybe it's time to "rightsize" your living space by buying smaller – and perhaps upgrading your surroundings in the process.
Location, location, location. Everyone's heard it; it's the age-old axiom tossed around by anyone checking out the real estate market. For families with young children, a good school district is important, and large yards can be appealing. Singles young and old might seek a home in an area with a vibrant social scene. Some people are tempted by the convenience of being able to walk to the shopping, arts venues, and public transportation in a more urban setting where smaller residences are the standard. In some cases, trading square footage for a more suitable environment makes a world of sense.
But location isn't always the biggest draw when searching for a new home. Interests and hobbies change over the years. Perhaps a gourmet kitchen suits your current needs better than the game room you don't use anymore. Maybe you don't need all that home office space and could trade in your filing cabinets for a sunny breakfast nook. It can be liberating to exchange large, seldom-used spaces for charm and convenience, especially if you're spending more time away from home traveling or pursuing your interests.
Rightsizing doesn't mean you have to get rid of everything. Maybe it makes more sense to store a few of your seldom-used possessions offsite in a storage unit in case you need them in the future. But maybe your hobbies and interests have changed and you no longer need that badminton set or the tangle of old hockey skates taking up space in the bottom of the coat closet. Perhaps you're driving a smaller car – or your family has fewer cars – and you no longer need all of the garage space that once seemed so crucial.
In the end, it all comes down to lifestyle. If you pause to reevaluate your needs, you may realize you'd be happier living a little leaner and taking advantage of something new.