In January, I downsized from a three bedroom, single detached home in an established inner-city neighbourhood to a 720 sqaure foot loft in the up and coming neighbourhood of East Village in downtown Calgary. Most of my friends and family thought I was insane! Why am I selling my beautiful house in a desirable neighbourhood to move into a space that is more than 3 times as small?! Well, in short, I realized that living in the smallest space I possibly can is the most responsible thing I can do in order to live a more intentional life. It did not make sense to live in a home with four bathrooms and four living rooms. That’s more bathrooms than humans! I grew accustomed to buying things just to fill up all the space in the home which turned into a terrible habit of unintentional consumerism. It was also incredibly time intensive to clean and maintain a space that large, especially with three dogs that shed. When I first purchased my house, I never considered how my home and space should fit into my lifestyle. Instead, I designed my lifestyle around my home, which I’ve come to learn is quite backwards and limiting. The decision to downsize can be a difficult one so I’ve partnered up with Servus Credit Union to put together a few things to consider if downsizing has crossed your mind.
1. Consider what your best life looks like. Before you pick up the phone to call your realtor, take the time to think about what you value most and what the most meaningful version of your life would encompass. What aspects of your life would you change? How would your life benefit from living in a smaller space? If you had more time and money, what would you do with it?
2. Figure out how much space you actually need. Walk around your home. Map out and record the square footage you utilize in everyday life. Have you ever really had a meal in the dining room? How often do your friends and family stay in your guest room? Do you use your home gym frequently or does your elliptical sit there collecting dust and taking up space? How much space is used as storage for things you don’t actually use? This question leads me to my next point..
3. Decluttering is mandatory. As you walk around your current home, you will likely begin to notice how much space your belongings take up. If you are downsizing, you can’t take everything with you. Begin decluttering ASAP. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I use this item regularly? Have I used it in the past 3 months? Does it spark joy? If you answered no, then give yourself permission to donate or sell this item. Before I moved, I listed items that were over $20 on Kijiji, Facebook Market, and Let Go. I decided to donate or give away anything under $20 otherwise I would be spending hours making listings on buy and trade sites. It simply was not a good use of my time and energy. If you find the process of decluttering overwhelming and don’t know where to start, I highly recommend reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
4. Take a look into your financial situation. Sometimes we over-estimate how much cash we may gain by downsizing. If you own your home and you plan on selling it, don’t forget to factor in the cost of upgrades and repairs, a realtor, and lawyer fees in order to close the deal. You may even need a professional stager as well. If you are thinking about purchasing a condo, don’t forget that you still have to pay property taxes as well as condo fees. If you end up making money off the sale of your purchase, you need to consider what to do with it. Do you have debts to pay off? Will you invest your money?
Downsizing requires a lot of careful consideration and difficult decision-making. Which is why you will find me at Servus Credit Union getting some expert advice as I navigate the course of downsizing. Come check out the branch in Inglewood with me. Are you in the process of downsizing? It is something that has crossed your mind? Leave me a comment down below!