Plenty of people tell you why you need a bigger house (and they're not always real estate agents trying to get a bigger commission on a higher-priced house). But why downsize? What are the advantages of downsizing? Obviously, if you have five children and want to have a self-sufficient garden, you'll need something bigger, but if you are the average family with two children and a dog (or if you have no children or no dog), what are the advantages of living in a three-bedroom one-bathroom place...or something even smaller?
* It's cheaper to heat a smaller home. If a house has less volume of airspace inside it, it has less air in it to heat. This means you won't spend as much on heating costs, whether you rely on electricity, gas, wood or some other means of heating.
* A smaller house is easier to clean. General domestic cleaning of a big two-storey house takes ages. The vacuuming alone can take half an hour or more. However, if you have fewer rooms, you have less area to clean. This, of course, frees you up to do the things you want to do rather than chores.
* It forces you to declutter when you move in. You finally have to face up to whether you really need to lug around that suitcase full of old letters or all those ornaments. All of a sudden, your priorities become clearer. What do you really need or want in your home, and what did you own that was just doing the job of filling up space?
* As a smaller house can become cluttered more quickly (in a big house, two sweatshirts and a book left on the floor can be ignored; in a smaller place, they're a bigger mess), which means you'll pick up tidy-as-you-go habits very quickly – which means less cleaning for you in the long run.
* If you have fewer places to "just dump things down" you are more likely to put things away rather than down when you walk in the door. This has the added advantage of spending less time hunting for things that haven't been put away and can't be found in a hurry.
* You also don't waste time hunting around the house calling children (cats, dogs, spouses). One or two shouts usually do the job.
* You can get by with just one telephone – you can hear it all over the house and there's no more having to sprint down the stairs and down the corridor only to miss the call if you only had one phone in the bigger place.
* The same applies for stereos. This will reduce your electricity consumption.
* A smaller house needs less maintenance – a smaller exterior surface means less to paint and fewer gutters to clean out, etc.
* If you're building from scratch, building a smaller house allows you to have a bigger garden in a smaller section – which means you have more space to enjoy fresh air and grow your own organic fruit and vegetables.