Downsizing is a National Trend

Market Trends

Addition​ ​by​ ​subtraction:​ ​Better​ ​living​ ​through​ ​downsizing
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has made it official - downsizing is a
national trend. A 2017 NAHB report indicated that the typical size of new homes is expected to
decline for the foreseeable future, a projection that covers everything from town homes to
full-size, single-family homes. Americans are choosing to reduce the size of their physical living
space, which also means getting rid of old belongings, recycling, and donating everything from
clothing to cars.
Baby boomers, that segment of the population born between 1946 and 1964, are leading the
way: a 2017 poll revealed that three out of four baby boomers indicated a desire to downsize if it
meant reducing costs; 67 percent said they’d be willing to move to a less expensive locale. The
younger generation, concerned about waste and a sustainable future, has joined in
enthusiastically. Clearly, there’s more to downsizing than miniature novelty homes.
Choosing to live “smaller” means embracing a major lifestyle change. It can be a difficult
adjustment to begin with - after all, we’ve been indoctrinated in the grand American
“bigger-is-better” ethos, but there are many benefits to eliminating excess. Downsizing is a
freeing act, a willful decision to live a life with minimal encumbrances.
Getting​ ​started
Begin by paring down collections and objects that accumulate over time, stuff that’s just taking
up space. If you’ve piled up a lot of books and DVDs (not to mention those clunky video
cassettes), take the time to go through it all. If you’ve read it or viewed it, sell it to a used book
store or donate to a charitable organization that will see it gets to people who can’t afford to buy
their own. Ridding yourself of excess objects doesn’t necessarily mean parting with them
forever - you can always find and check them out at your local library whenever you want. If you
have an extraordinarily large book collection, think about selling it online through eBay. Be sure
to keep an eye out for any unusually old book editions - they could have considerable value.
Dig​ ​deep
If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your closets are more than just storage space. They’re hiding
places for all that stuff you don’t know what to do with, but don’t want to just throw away. A
careful examination of exactly what’s in there will surely show you’ve got a lot of stuff that can
be cleaned out. Old clothes, whether hung up or in boxes, either don’t fit anymore (or are way
out of style) and can be donated to charity, a sensible option if you’re dedicated to the concept
of renewability. A cleaned-out closet can open up new storage possibilities. You can add
shelves and boxes that help you declutter other parts of your home.
Virtual​ ​storage
Use your computer as a new age filing system by digitizing old photographs, CDs, your
children’s artwork, and much more. Loose papers and documents add considerably to the
clutter in your home. Fortunately, virtual storage makes it easier than ever to declutter your
home. Whether they’re important or last month’s grocery lists, you should go through any loose
papers and throw away what you don’t need. If you come across anything you need to hang
onto, scan and save it to your computer. You may be amazed at how much space you can free
up just by getting rid of paper clutter.
New​ ​space
Committing to a minimalist lifestyle takes some work and organization, but it’s well worth the
time and effort. You can open up useful new space in your home or prepare for a move into a
smaller, more economical living space. It’s a responsible way of com