In this article, we will cover why and how downsizing our belongings and expenses helped us in so many ways.
SELLING THE HOUSE
Selling our house was the first step.
Or maybe the very first step was to take the decision to sell the house… Our big dreamy 3 storey house that we looked for for quite a while just 3 years before. At that point, we didn’t know anything about financial, location and time freedom. We actually didn’t even think that there were other options than going to work, getting your paycheck and spending it!
In 2019, we understood that if we changed things up and acted differently with our money we could hope not to have to exchange our time for money for the rest of our life! So we could quit our 9 to 5 jobs and focus on building generational wealth through investments and entrepreneurship, we had to reorganize our life and budget. Read more on How to create a Household Budget and Save Money.
I hear you from here “but, we are in a buyers market right now, it is not a good time to sell”. We were in this situation and we decided to do it anyway. We think that taking actions that are aligned with our goals and our projects is key. Without selling the house, Kevin couldn’t have left his job to spend time on real estate or to research stock market opportunities. Without selling the house, we couldn’t have bought 2 cashflowing rental properties, invested in our education and started creating passive income. Sometimes, it is better to “take a hit” if it allows you to move forward on something that will help you in the future. You need to see the bigger picture and believe that you are making the best choice at the time with the knowledge you have.
Now you may ask why selling the house was an important step in our downsizing journey and that is a great question!
REDUCING OUR EXPENSES
For us, selling the house meant reducing our expenses drastically. Mortgage, maintenance, repairs, taxes… a big percentage of our spendings was going towards our house.
At that time in our journey, renting made more sense. When you rent, you pay your rent every month, your utilities (if not included) and that’s pretty much it (housing wise of course!). You know in advance how much your housing is going to cost you, there is no surprise and you can set your housing budget when you are deciding on the house.
Plus, when moving from owning to renting, you can decide to downsize. Having a smaller space will reduce your expenses, think heating, lighting, cleaning…
BEING LOCATION FREE
One of our goals was also to be “location free”. We wanted to travel and not have a place to take care of when we were away. To be location free, you can’t own a property that doesn’t generate money when you are away. Renting a house brings you the flexibility to leave when an opportunity presents itself (making sure that your rental contract allows you to leave with short notice).
HAVING MORE TIME
Downsizing your home and belongings will free up a lot of time. Less stuff to maintain means more time for yourself and fun activities. You can spend this extra time to learn something new that will help you reach new goals, connect more with people or take time to relax and enjoy your new way of life.
Selling our house and moving to a smaller one also made us realize how much stuff we had. And let me tell you, we weren’t happier because of it! When we started to get everything out of the closets and sell what we didn’t really need, we felt overwhelmed at first but it was so freeing at the same time! We sold for over $7000 of stuff in the first 3 months!
We also donated a lot of things to charity. You can easily find a non-profit that accepts donations or choose to donate on Facebook or Kijiji. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
Decluttering is also a great solution if you feel overwhelmed. I’ve read once that all the small objects that you see in your house are talking to you. The candle on the shelf is telling you “light me up now”. This decor piece is telling you “I am dusty, clean me now”. This basket full of random stuff on your kitchen countertop is telling you “you should empty me, now”. We are not aware of it but it adds up in our unconscious brain and doesn’t help the feeling of overwhelm.
I just wanted to touch a bit on minimalism here. Downsizing doesn’t mean you have to become a minimalist and get rid of everything you own and cherish. You don’t have to sell your house to go live in an RV. You can choose to downsize to reduce your expenses, simplify your life, reduce stress, have less stuff to maintain but still keep what brings you joy. Be careful though, you have to be aware of your reasons for keeping the said stuff!
Overall, downsizing is not easy, it takes work and commitment. Be ready for some emotional moments and to make some sacrifices but, in the end, it is so worth it. I can assure you that once you start, you’ll be unstoppable! You will be amazed by the feeling of freedom and satisfaction once you are done!
Here is what we took away from downsizing:
- Selling our house meant more freedom (but you don’t have to go this extreme!)
- Renting brings flexibility
- Downsizing your house automatically makes you downsize your belongings
- You can sell things you don’t need anymore and use the cash to start investing
- You can donate what you don’t use and make someone else happy
- Decluttering brings freedom and reduces your stress
Stay tuned for a full article on how to declutter and live clutter-free to save time, money and reduce stress!
In the meantime, if you have already downsized your house/belongings, please share how you felt about it in the comment section! And if you are planning on downsizing, tell us in the comments, we are here to cheer you on!