The Simplest Life: Is Paring Down to the Minimum for You?

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Do you ever feel burdened by your possessions and the home you need to maintain in order to store them all? While there’s a lot we can do to declutter and simplify in our current homes, an even more hard-core and permanent solution to the “too-much-stuff” problem is to radically downsize to an extra-small space, like a Tiny House or a recreational vehicle.

Why downsize?

Potential reasons for wanting to downsize include:

  • Financial – Your present digs may cost you more than the value and appreciation you receive in return.
  • Eliminate unnecessary space – Your house may simply be too big for your needs.
  • Maintenance  – There may more work or expense involved in maintaining your home than you’re able or willing to expend.
  • Uncomplicate life – Fewer material possessions can mean less stress and a more streamlined existence.
  • Lessen environmental impact – You may want to live more naturally, creating a smaller environmental footprint.

Advantages of downsizing

Downsizing may be attractive to you for reasons like these:

  • Save money – Living in a smaller space will save you money on living expenses, including mortgage/rent, utilities, insurance and maintenance.
  • Enjoy mobility – Many small living solutions are actually mobile, so instead of being tied to a permanent address, you can park your home wherever you desire.
  • Lessen burdens of accumulated “stuff” – It’s easy to become inundated with material possessions, which tend to drag us down, rather than add value to life. Fewer possessions can mean greater life satisfaction.

Disadvantages of downsizing

Some elements to downsizing may not appeal to you, including:

  • Liquidating possessions – You must be willing to part with much what you’ve accumulated throughout the years. Some of those decisions will be easy and obvious; others heart-wrenching. That process will be time- and energy-consuming as well as emotionally draining.
  • Potential for being – or feeling – cramped for space – Living area will be at a premium which will make having room to move about freely or accommodate guests challenging.
  • Lack of storage – Like your day-to-day living area, storage space will be extremely limited. This is a far more disposable lifestyle than most people are accustomed to living – and is decidedly not for collectors or accumulators.
  • Lack of privacy – These living arrangements make privacy nearly impossible as there is no substantial distance you can put between yourself and anyone else in the residence.


It may sound like an ideal way to simplify your life – even a bit romantic to “chuck it all” and get down to the basics. Consider your personality and the personality of others concerned, however, before becoming carried away by a fanciful notion. Will you ultimately be happy without much of what you now own? Don’t sacrifice a sense of self that your personal treasures and well-earned possessions may represent merely for a chance to live this lifestyle.

How to downsize

It’s a tremendous undertaking to pare down your possessions to the absolute minimum you’ll be satisfied living with. In general, it’s going to take these steps:

  • Take a complete, current household inventory.
  • Assign the items in your inventory to one of three lists:
    1. Must Keep
    2. May Keep
    3. Will Dispose Of
  • Decide where in your smaller household the items you keep will go well before moving day.
  • Work on adjusting your mindset to fully embrace the concept that living with less is still living with enough.

It’s challenging to think of being satisfied with less, rather than acquiring more. Living with fewer possessions can be a valid, frugal and rewarding lifestyle for some, however. Downsizing: it’s not just for empty nesters anymore.

Could you downsize and live with substantially less than you currently do?

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