Why I Never Plan to Downsize

Update, 4.2018:  (Turning of the head, embarrassed look).  It happened.  This must be how politicians feel when they make promises!  Back in 2011, I wrote my original post.  Then I was childless.   Three kids later, I still agree with everything I wrote, but I’m also seven years older and have accepted that space was bought for the sake of more sanity.  We are in a townhouse though and while some days I want a bigger place, I am still not sold.  Posting this in remembrance of my younger days=). 

I’ve said it many times that I never want to move. I live in a two bedroom condo and I love it.  Despite how much I love our place, a considerable number of people have told me that ONE DAY I’m going to want to move into a house. Bigger family, bigger house?  Maybe it’s the culture we live in today that makes us believe that we need bigger houses and more space, but I tend to think the contrary.  Here are the reasons why I don’t plan on downsizing (meaning I don’t plan on upgrading to a bigger house at least for as long as I can bear).  Warning…much the following stems from my observations of aging and the older generation.

Reason #1 –  STRESS and SADNESS.  In your 20’s or 30’s, you might enjoy the spacious closets and the extra room, but in the long run, decades later, all that extra room will cause a lot more stress to your life.  I’ve heard so many stories from seniors who get to the point where living in a large house just isn’t safe or convenient anymore.  They move into a smaller home or condo and let me tell you, the consolidating and downsizing stories I’ve heard always sound like traumatizing life events which involve a lot of work, not to mention tears.  When a widow has to part with chairs that her husband built by hand years ago, there is a sense of loss and it hurts.   In all honesty, it is nice to have space and a huge house with a beautiful garden, yet my conclusion is that when people have beautiful big homes, they tend to blame and hate aging when their physical needs force to downsize.  “Being old sucks.”  It sounds valid, but in my opinion, aging can only take part of the blame. From my observations, older adults who have always lived in a small home or who are lower income and just never could afford the picket fences, tend to avoid the need downsize dramatically and are able to skip over this so called catastrophe.  Interestingly, I’ve also noticed that a lot of older people who are poorer seem to be grateful and less demanding.  If there’s ever been a case for not upgrading and living the simple life, this might be it.
Reason #2 – Spring cleaning can be fun, but when it becomes year round cleaning, it’s not fun anymore.  By never upgrading to a larger home I can use my time to enjoy other things.  I grew up in a fairly large house and it was a good thing there were three of us girls in the family because if there were less children, the cleaning would really have been endless.  The bigger house you’ve got, the more time you spend cleaning it.  Or the more time you spend living in a dirty junked up house that is no longer nice to live in.  My proposal to those of you out there starting a new home is to keep the place small.  Why spend Saturday and Sunday cleaning only to realize that during the week you still need to rake the leaves? There’s a world out there and we can’t spend our whole life cleaning.

Reason #3 – No Community.  A baby is on the way and many people have asked me, “Are you going to move to a new place?”  One would think that I’d want a separate play room, a nice study, and a basement to store things.  Here’s my case.  If I keep my small beautiful condo, I might not have room to make my own craft room, exerciseroom and more, but I will learn or be forced to learn to mingle more in the community.  Noone wants to be cooper up inside anyways.  I can go to the library or Panera to read and work. I can use the gym for exercise and TV.  And I can walk the trails for some mother nature time.  If we need a bigger space to play with the new baby, what better place to play than at grandma’s?  I might want more of my own space at home, but consider how visits to parents and grandparents can prevent isolation that often occurs in aging.   The little space I have may force me to make needed visits to the elderly who need it the most.

Reason  #4 – More money for other things.  With a smaller space, the mortgage and utilities will be much lower than in a possible larger home.  Bottom line is that by never upgrading (and never downsizing) I save mucho money.  If I cramp all my children (all twoor three I plan to have) in a condo, just like they happen to do in cities like Hong Kong and New York, my family will be more financially able to take family trips internationally, more likely to be able to send all our children to college, and less likely to be in debt. The truth is that none of us need all the gadgets and room that we have.

Something to consider!