What’s the Big Deal? Downsizing Your Life.


This is definately larger than my childhood home

I read an article a few months ago about a woman who was renting a one room cottage on the property of an estate. Set back by a late life divorce, she had to learn to budget which made her realize she really didn’t need to live as large as she had been living. The cottage became her paradise. She only had space for her favorite things. Everything was amazingly organized (by necessity) and ultimately, it was the place she loved to be.

Downsizing for her actually turned out to be a wonderful thing. But…wait,  isn’t it all about the big house, the expensive car, the designer bag? Maybe, but I’m thinking… that was then and this is now (didn’t you just love that book?) After all, Obama is calling for change, Maddoff is losing his penthous and the lady standing next to you in the elevator has the same Prada bag on her shoulder as you . Of course you know hers is a knock-off, but does anyone else?

I saw a page from  January’s “O” Magazine that talked about how everything from houses to dishes have gotten larger since the 1950’s and 60’s. I remember thinking when I was growing up that our home was pretty nice. I had my own room, we watched Charlie’s Angel’s as a family, dinners were always around 6:00 pm or when dad got home from work; life was pretty good.

I’m not sure at what point we began to “Live large”. Did you really want to increase your plate size from 9” to 12” and ultimately eat more? Well, maybe we really did need our chair sizes to grow from 20” deep to 25” deep to fit our increasing backsides. I guess that’s also why our average bath towel size has increased from 24” x 42” in 1956 to 34″ x 56″ today. I don’t remember thinking that 19” was small for a TV. In fact when I was newly married, I thought we were really fortunate to have a 22” in my bedroom. Now my 42” flat screen looks tiny compared to other models that I see.  


Dancing the night away in the 50's

I am sure my mother and father were perfectly happy at this dance (above) in the late 50’s with a 5 oz glass of wine. Today, a wine goblet will hold an average of 12 ounces.  I’m pretty sure that for most people, five would be a much better choice.

The bottom line here is that although downsizing may not be for everyone, if you are willing to change your “Image is everything” mentality to “less is more”, you might find that you’ll save money, lose weight and quite possibly live a more joyful life. It’s definitely something to think about! In fact, I’m seeing that downsizing is the new craze.