Less is More: Ways to Make Your Living Space Fit Your Life

Amanda Flitter

miniature houseEarth Day isn’t just about the outdoors – our indoor environments have an impact on sustainability too. Beyond the products you use and the food you eat, what about your living space itself? Is it the right size for your needs, or do you have too much space? Do you want a different or more compact lifestyle than the one you have now? According to insurance company The Hartford, there are multiple reasons why someone may want to either move to a smaller home or repurpose their existing space to better suit their priorities, especially later in life.

Here are some ways you can simplify your home and give your home and lifestyle a sustainable makeover.

  • Purge and declutter: Getting rid of the extra items you don’t use or need is a good starting point to simplify your lifestyle and make it more sustainable, but sometimes the idea can be overwhelming – especially if you’ve been living in a home for years. Consider setting aside a morning or afternoon and schedule it in your calendar, just like you would with any other appointment. Narrow your efforts to a single closet, room, or section of a storage area to make it more manageable. You may even want to enlist the help of friends or family who can act as neutral, outside eyes when you come across items that are hard to let go of but have outlived their use. If you have items that you don’t use but are still in good condition, donate them so they don’t end up in a landfill. If going the DIY route for decluttering is too much, you can hire someone who specializes in professional organization or downsizing to help.
  • Think about the quality of your space rather than quantity: Take some time to think about how you’re currently using your space and if it matches your priorities. If it doesn’t, it’s probably time to right-size, which is making better use of the space you have. (Read more about rightsizing here.)For example, if your home has a large formal dining room, that might be great if your family eats together often; but if it’s just two of you, a formal dining room might be used a handful of times a year. Think about how you use your rooms rather than their formal “title” and repurpose accordingly. Maybe you replace your large dining room set with something smaller and repurpose half of the room as an office or hobby space. Go for quality and set up each room so it can be used to its full potential.
  • If you’re not using all of your space, consider downsizing: Downsizing doesn’t have to be perceived as a negative thing. Moving into a smaller home can mean a smaller mortgage payment, lower taxes, and less maintenance. However, when leaving behind a home that you have lived in for years, it can be an emotional decision. There are professionals who specialize in managing these types of moves, especially for seniors. Check out this article for advice and tips for seniors looking to move into something smaller.

Ready to make a change? Search for a Verani agent who can help you find the right space for your next chapter.

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