Although millions of Americans have incorporated the word “downsizing” into their vocabularies, the concept has been a little bit harder to embrace, particularly when considering the idea of traditional family gatherings.
In the real estate world, “downsizing” as a movement has gained popularity among the Baby Boomer generation, as more and more individuals recognize the desire to unburden themselves from the cost and maintenance of a large family home and discover the joys of a low- or no-maintenance home that is closer to family, provides health and lifestyle amenities, and is attractive inside and out in a desirable community.
For more than a decade, author and cultural visionary Sarah Susanka has been popularizing the “Not-So-Big” Movement, with books, articles and speeches about the “Not So Big House,” “Not So Big Remodeling” and “The Not So Big Life,” among others.
Her philosophy includes making decisions about possessions, home style and more using the “better, not bigger” ideal.
“Home has almost nothing to do with quantity, and everything to do with quality,” Susanka states. “We feel at home in our houses when where we live reflects who we are in our hearts.”
When purchasing a new, smaller home, home buyers may feel anxious about those things they find important but are now being “downsized.” These might include uniforms or trophies from now-grown children’s sports or academic interests, books accumulated over a lifetime, multiple sets of dishes (or those only for use on a particular holiday or occasion), even formal furniture.
If you have found a house that makes your heart race, in a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle, by a builder whose quality and attention to detail set the standard for the industry, don’t write it off because it is lacking a “formal dining room” or “formal living room” or a “three-car garage.”
Remember that you are simplifying your life. How many days each year will you actually use the formal dining room as a dining room? With the holidays around the corner, perhaps you’re thinking two or three – but what if your adult child is looking forward to the opportunity to host Thanksgiving this year? Or, perhaps the clubhouse kitchen is available for a large family gathering.
Is hosting a large group one or two days each year worth the hassle of keeping that room dust-free for the other 363 or 364 days?
Think “flexible space” rather than “sacrificing space.”
When designing the homes for Windsong Properties, flexible space was the goal. Perhaps the house has a den or office with French doors (or no doors) that can be used as a dining room. Another option is placing temporary tables in the large, open floorplan – using the kitchen, even the living room – for the family meal.
Better yet, re-create the first Thanksgiving, and share a meal in the luxurious private courtyard, where it won’t matter if bread is broken, spilled or scattered on the patio!
Fed up with owning more house than they could keep up with, homeowners Logan and Tammy Strobel – authors of the blog, “Rowdy Kittens: go small, think big & be happy,” write, “we changed our lifestyle when we redefined our values and prioritized needs versus wants.”
Like the Strobels, you may find that downsizing sets the stage for a happier, healthier, more meaningful life.
Each Windsong active retirement community was designed with Boomers in mind, with home designs that maximize accessibility, minimize hassles and provide opportunities for homeowners to simplify, enrich and enjoy their lives. Attractive floor plans, low-maintenance exteriors, accessibility and natural light abound, as do neighbors with similar life-stage experience.
We’re the experts at simplifying your life, which is why we say at Windsong, Life’s a Breeze!