Moving into a smaller space is supposed to reduce your responsibilities and minimize your stress. You’ll have fewer rooms to clean when moving to a bungalow or flat, and won’t have to worry about mowing acres of lawn if you choose to live in a city apartment.
However, you may find that moving into a smaller space triggers feelings of anxiety and apprehension. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when moving into a small space if you’re used to wraparound porches and big backyards.
Careful planning and preparation can alleviate your stress and help you feel less anxious about the move. Even small changes, like packing your items correctly, can make the transition that much smoother.
Downsizing can be daunting. You’ll need to get rid of many non-essential items and may feel anxious about leaving behind high ceilings and large living rooms. However, focusing on the negatives of living in a smaller space will only cause more anxiety and apprehension. Instead, try to focus on the upsides of downsizing, like:
- Lower Costs: A smaller square footage means you’ll pay less for rent or monthly mortgage payments. You’ll also save money on utility bills as it’s cheaper to heat or cool a smaller area.
- Closer Community: Most people downsize into areas with a strong sense of community spirit. Living in a city or town can improve your social bonds and help you make new friends.
- Fewer Responsibilities: Managing a large home can be taxing. Downsizing to an apartment or bungalow minimizes the time you’ll spend cleaning, mowing lawns, or redecorating.
- Equity: If you bought your home some time ago, you may be able to profit from the equity it has earned. Selling in order to buy a smaller, less expensive home can free up cash and improve your quality of life.
Downsizing has plenty of benefits. Lower bills and fewer responsibilities will significantly improve your quality of life. So, rather than fretting about living in a small home, try to focus on how you’ll spend the money you are saving.
Moving home can be anxiety-inducing at the best of times. However, if you live in a large, cluttered house the decision to downsize can feel completely overwhelming.
Start decluttering long before your moving day. You’ll be surprised by how many trips to the landfill and charity stores you’ll need to make while decluttering your home. Getting your home organized before a big move is vital if you want the first few weeks to go smoothly.
Once you’ve moved, organize your home by adding storage space around the property. If you own the new space, consider creative built-in storage to conceal your “stuff” and make full use of the entire floor plan. Work on one room at a time and let go of any bulky items that no longer bring you joy in the smaller space.
Packing can be a major source of stress and anxiety when moving. You can’t be sure of how many boxes you’ll need and driving rental vans can be a real challenge.
Make packing and moving much easier by hiring a moving company. Dig through the local directory to find the movers that suit you and your budget. Proceed with caution if a company offers non-binding estimates and always give an accurate assessment of the labor that will be involved during the move. This can save you from unpredictable fees later down the line.
Consider renting a storage space during the early days of your move. Renting a storage space takes the pressure off selling your current items and gives you a chance to assess your new home. Slowly add the items that you want to take with you and recoup the costs by selling unwanted goods on the Facebook marketplace or Craigslist.
Moving house is innately stressful. Rather than ignoring the stress and anxiety you feel, you should seek professional help to alleviate the symptoms of conditions like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or depression. Mental health professionals can help you reframe the decision to downsize and may be able to help with other issues that are interfering with your ability to lead a healthy, happy life.
Top up your mental health toolkit before the big move by practicing 5-minute anxiety-relieving activities. Even simple actions, like taking a short walk in your new neighborhood, can help you feel connected with your new space and improve your mental clarity. You can also practice daily affirmations during moments of stress, like:
- “Today, I choose to think positively.”
- “My new home will support me and my family.”
- “I am capable of making this space my own.”
These affirmations help you see the best in your new space and can stop common emotions associated with moving before they have a chance to take hold.
Living in a smaller space can be deeply rewarding. You have more free time to spend with friends and family, and will probably benefit from lower bills and maintenance fees. Manage the anxiety associated with downsizing by hiring professional movers and repeating positive affirmations during the first few weeks in your new space. This will ensure that the move goes smoothly and will help you see the value in your new, smaller space.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.