Downsizing your lifestyle can get you to your dream life quicker, at least that is the case for me. Realizing you don’t have to keep up with the Jones’ lifestyle to live your best life is FREEING! Having less to worry with so that you can focus on the things that make you and your family happy is immeasurable.
You see so many people decide to downsize because their mortgage payment is crazy high, they never spend time together as a family, and/or the children are moving out and becoming adults. Downsizing seems like the biggest trend across the world right now.
There is a reason for that. You see, the Baby Boomer generation was taught to work and accumulate things to be successful, because they did not have much as children. Then they taught their children to do the same.
Their children [Gen X] then wanted to give their children everything they did not have as a child, which ultimately can be very overwhelming. So now, there is my generation, Gen Y, and we use that ‘Y’ in every aspect of our lives.
Why do we need this? Why do I have to go to college? What does success really mean?
We seriously question EVERYTHING! So naturally, we question why we have so much stuff? I know that minimalism is not new, but my generation really brought it into the biggest trend of this century so far. The best part is all generations are catching onto the trend with us.
Since we no longer allow possessions to own us, we let go of things more easily. By not hoarding a lot of things, we have more space. More space can open your eyes to not needing as big of a home or create a new sense of peace that was not there before now.
This mindset shift in society allows us to see that we do not need a lot of what society thinks we need. We are creating a lifestyle that works for what we want in life without the pressure society can have. We are breaking away from the norm to have the life we intended.
Does any of that make sense?? I hope it does!
Downsizing Your Lifestyle; How I Downsized to Get to My Dream Life
Today, I get to share with you my personal downsizing story that way you can see a perfect example of how much your life can change by downsizing your lifestyle. We are going to walk step-by-step through the whys and hows of what we did.
I talked with the hubby about is why for downsizing, because it is a family decision. However, you may not have the same ‘why’, so I wanted to make sure I shared with you both of our whys.
1 // We wanted several acres of land to build our homestead
The hubby and I both dream about having about hundred acres of land one day, but in the mean time, we wanted somewhere between 20-40 acres. At the time, we had 2 acres and it was not enough to live the lifestyle we dreamed about.
Having a starting point of 20-40 acres of land enabled us to begin searching for our next home. At this time, we had not determined if we would purchase land with or without a house on it.
We were open to both ideas at the time, but the more we searched, the more we came to the realization that we wanted to build our next home.
2 // Purchasing only land meant a smaller mortgage
After searching for a few months, we found a piece of land. It did not have a house on it, so we had to come up with a plan to build one, which really excited us!
However, that excitement was short lived after we talked with the banks. We could have afforded to take the leap, but the bank wanted all the little details of what house we were building and materials we planted to use. We were no where near ready to make those decisions.
So instead, we purchased land with a few different options brewing. Of course, purchasing just land meant that our mortgage was significantly lower than purchasing land with a house.
In fact, this particular piece of land would reduce our current monthly payment by a good bit! The fun part was figuring how we were going to live on this land.
3 // Purchasing just land meant sacrifice
With how quickly the time between us finding land and selling our home, a big sacrifice had to be made. We were almost without a home, and no idea on what to do next.
We talked about several ideas from purchasing a mobile home and selling it once we built our home to purchasing a camper. But neither one of those appealed to us once we started writing out a pro and con list.
The only idea that made any sense was building a shop with temporary living quarters. So we downsized our square footage by more than half! Of course, this meant decluttering our home was inevitable.
We were going to have to decide what was essential versus excess.
4 // Downsizing our lifestyle
While I was so happy to remove all of the excess, it was difficult. The memories that many things sparked made it hard to remember that our memories are not in the things we own, but in our mind and heart.
When we prepared our home for staging, I decluttered about 3 car loads of things. We sold several pieces of furniture, and then started packing. We ran out of time in our home to declutter, which I believe made it easier in the long run.
Once we moved into our shop, I felt a fresh start. The only memories attached to this place were the days of building the shop. The memories each item held did not seem as heart stricken, as it did in our previous home. The attachment to our things lessened as I continued to declutter.
It took a full year to get fully decluttered, but the work was worth it. Since then, I have noticed big changes within my husband and myself.
You see, my husband is not a minimalist, so this downsizing and decluttering journey was more solo than a joint effort. He never opposed my efforts, as long as I did not declutter his personal things, such as clothing or tools.
But now that I feel we are intentional with what we have, I have noticed that he is starting to declutter a bit. So maybe one day, he will consider himself a minimalist, too.
Related Post: 6 Tips for Living with Someone Who Isn’t a Minimalist
5 // Gaining focus on our dreams
Now that we have lived in our shop apartment for nearly two years, our focus on what we want for our lives is clear. We still want to build a home, have a small homestead, and enjoy our life together.
We turned our big picture plan into smaller plans that seem easier to achieve faster. With the momentum we are gaining from this experience, we feel the journey to our dream life is going to be far greater than anything we could imagine.
The joy our animals bring us provide a consistent reminder that we are on the right path.
For once in my life, I feel like I am living with intention and purpose.
My days seem longer, which is strange, but I will take it!
The biggest thing both of us have gained is a stronger mental health. With all we have been through these past few years, it is nice to be able to focus on our mental health. We finally have the clarity and ability to see things for what they are, and choose how they are going to alter our lives, if at all.
I do think downsizing was the only way we got to this point. I do not think decluttering our lives in our previous home would have us where we are today.
We would still be the same people we used to be, and not nearly as happy and focused on living our lives with intention, purpose, and simplicity.
So what are your dreams? How are you turning them into goals? Does downsizing your lifestyle seem like a fitting option after hearing about our journey?
This honestly isn’t the path for everyone, but I do know that it works for most of the people who intentionally work towards their goals with a simpler strategy.
The hardest part about downsizing your lifestyle is finding your new normal, adjusting to a new space, and making sure you have a purposeful home. I highly recommend you sign up for my free Tidy Home Challenge [sign-up form below for you] to help set you up for success before you make any major life changes. [You’ll thank me later!]
Also, if you want to surround yourself with like-minded women, please be sure to join The Tannehill Homestead Facebook Community!