Are You Ready to Go Mini?September 30, 2013 - Author: Michy
How big is your home? Our last place was a split-level rental home with 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms. I wish I knew the exact square footage, but I’d estimate it at about 1500.
Now. Now, we’re full-timers. We live in a space around 250 square feet. Far less than that is actual free space that you can walk through. Again, how big did you say your home was? Are you ready to downsize? If so, this is for you.
Why Choose to Live in Such a Small Space?
Maybe you’re alone and considering a small studio apartment. Maybe you’re a married couple thinking of going to a smaller apartment or an RV. Maybe you have kids, but you’re considering a small home for your first purchase. Maybe you, like us, want a change, want freedom, want to get away from the “stuff” mentality, and want to save money.
- Money. Living in a smaller space saves you money. Payments are low. Can be very, very low. Energy consumption is considerably lower than in a large house, which means you save on utilities. Overall, you spend less on your living space – meaning that you can spend or save more on/for things that matter more.
- Time. I could put a ton of time into cleaning and maintaining a 1500+ sq ft home. I was once in a 5 bed, 2.5 bath house, and luckily we only used half of it because it would have taken all my free time to keep it clean! Now, though, there’s just only so much space for messes to collect. It can get overwhelmingly messy if you don’t keep up, but it takes a fraction of the time to clean.
- Stuff. We are too into our stuff. Or is that just me? Sometimes it seems as if all of my money, time, and energy either goes into my current stuff or into getting more stuff. I guess I’m just never satisfied. One thing we noticed when taking the RV for a test run (before deciding to move in) was that we spent much less time indoors playing with our stuff. Small spaces force you to get OUT, which is healthy for you both mentally and physically, and they take away some of the opportunity to collect more stuff because there’s just no place to put it!
- Freedom. This goes a bit hand-in-hand with all of the three aspects I mentioned above, but small-space living also gives you a bit of freedom. especially if your small space has wheels, but even if it’s stationary. For us, it means freedom to live a 10 minute walk from a beautiful Florida beach – something we could never do otherwise (not at this stage in our lives, at least).
Are you convinced? You can do it! It can be a challenge, but it will pay off in the end. (I keep telling myself this!) Set your mind, and be ready to learn and adapt as you grow into your new, smaller living space.
Six Things You Can Do to Prepare to Go Mini
Write down all your expenses and really crunch the numbers in advance to see exactly where you stand both currently as well as where you will stand after the move. Knowledge is power. I’ll be posting more about budgeting soon, so keep an eye out!
- Check out storage units.
If you have the money, you can get a self-storage unit to house extra sentimental stuff that won’t fit. We have some sentimental items in storage, including a dining room set from my husband’s father – which we will be able to use in our future home. Prices on these can range from around $30-100.
- Aggressive downsizing.
Be ruthless when you downsize right from the start. I’d recommend using the opportunity to really purge. Don’t keep things you don’t need or use. Be very realistic when it comes to the amount of storage available in your new living space and start 3-6 months in advance, especially if you work full time.
- Learn to live with less and consider the sacrifices you might be willing to make.
I got rid of my coffee-maker and my toaster. There is just no space for them in the RV! Are there any “essentials” you can do without? Time for some self-evaluation!
- Make some lists.
I’d suggest making a 3-part list for things to get rid of, things to keep, and things you’re not sure about. If you’re not sure about something, watch yourself over several weeks and see how much you really need/use it. Ask yourself : is it replaceable? And is there room for it? Prioritize your “not sure” list so you can see which things are more/less important for you to be able to keep. That way, if you discover some extra room, you’ll know which things should move from “maybe” to “definitely” keepers.
- Save up!!
There are always unexpected expenses during moves.If you’re able, it would be wise to skip eating out too much and skip those expensive date nights for a while to give yourself a little cushion. Spend more time outside. Find free or cheap things to do with your partner/kids. Save the money-spending for after you settle in to your new abode and and the hidden costs are behind you.