We’ve all heard the term ‘downsizing’ by now. Chances are, it’s associated with the idea of our elders forced by circumstance to give up the independence of long loved homes for a move to assisted living. Then, there are the empty-nesters, moving to be close to the grandkids or a warmer climate. A brighter prospect, often approached with healthy foresight as to considerations of aging and mobility in a smaller home. Still, downsizing often has a negative connotation. It smacks of sacrifice and compromise. But there’s another term buzzing about, which puts a much healthier perspective on the subject: Rightsizing is a conscious choice, a decision made at any age to simplify and organize our home life to best fit our material needs and desires.
Elena first heard the term from Mary, of California Closets in Warwick, RI, when attending the Rhode Island Home Builders convention in April. “I call it rightsizing,” she said when Elena told her about our work. And how appropriate, especially for us, as we develop language for sharing the principles we’ve applied to our own lives.
We call it enoughness: finding a balance in life where what we have in our homes truly suits us, serves us, and reflects who we are. Whether moving to a smaller home, or staying where we are, it’s about personally defining what’s right for our lifestyle. It’s about making our homes the functional and inviting spaces they ought to be - spaces which reflect our characters, interests and values. It’s about eliminating superfluities in our personal material world, which hinder us from being as creative, independent, and rich in time, energy and money as we wish to be. After all, our homes are one of our biggest investments, our lives precious, and time ever going by. In order to meet our own needs, we put serious consideration into whether our homes and what we keep and do in them suits us as best they can. It’s important to examine our lifestyles closely, and see how well they fit upon us these days.
In rightsizing, we reflect honestly on and personally define our needs and preferences - not only now, but with consideration for the future as our needs and interests change. When we think of home, what do we want most to do there and how much space do we truly need to do it in? When we think of our finite allotments of time, energy, attention and money (and they are finite), how do we really want to use them? How does our current lifestyle match up to our claims?
These are some foundational thoughts on rightsizing to ponder at any age. They are healthy reflections that can lead to a multitude of benefits. For instance, a smaller home leading to not only a smaller mortgage, but lower utility and maintenance costs, and easier housekeeping. This in turn then leading to less financial stress and more free time for family and fulfilling pursuits. There’s no doubt, making conscious and deliberate choices about our homes and lifestyles is freeing. It allows us to turn those precious finite allotments toward people, activities and interests which, through the rightsizing process, we’ve identified as most meaningful and important.
In upcoming posts, we’ll share more on making this healthy perspective shift, as well as tips, methods and advice for those ready to make such changes in their lives. Please stay tuned as we address challenges, considerations, and benefits of simplifying and rightsizing. These are many and varied, somewhat different for each family or individual, but the effort to rightsize can only improve our quality of life - both personally and for the world around us.