Over-stress, over-think, over-consume, then pay someone – personal trainer, therapist, nutritionist… to help us fix it – why not just stick to the right size in the first place?
Like a lot of people, I used to dream of having a big house…
Then I got a big house.
It was awesome.
I loved my big house. I had a study, a few spare rooms and I even made a cinema room and a gym in my big house. It had a big garden and a big driveway for my big car (and my wife’s not-so-big car), it had a garage and a conservatory. Happy days – plenty of room.
Now I live in a much smaller house.
Well, a small cottage to be exact.
I don’t miss my big house.
The Cottage Is More Awesome
As I said, the big house was awesome, but the cottage is more awesome.
The cottage doesn’t have a garage (don’t need one) or any spare rooms (don’t really need them either), it’s super-cosy and all of the rooms are big enough without being too big. I do have a drive but it is just a little one – too small for the big car I used to have so I got rid of that and now drive a much smaller car.
… and The Smaller Car Is Awesome
My much smaller car is cheap, mechanical and just the right size for everything I need. Even though it’s small, it has plenty of boot space and believe it or not I can fit five people in it along with four bikes on the roof and a dog in the back for when we want to go out and have some adventures.
The only draw-back is that it isn’t super-mega-powerful like some of these new-fangled vehicles and like the one I used to have. It struggles past about 90mph.
Wait a moment… why would I ever need to go over 90mph?? I’m sure the last time I checked, the national speed limit on our fastest roads is a lot less than that.
As I said – right-sized.
So it’s actually perfect for my needs – it is peppy enough (it ‘pulls’ well enough in car people parlance) because it’s small and light – and the fact that it’s not over-equipped for our roads means I’m less tempted to break any speed limits (as if I’d do that anyway).
Why do people buy cars so over-engineered for their purpose for that matter?
When you go out and buy a new vacuum cleaner, you don’t buy a commercial one do you?
Reasons Why A Smaller House Is Worth Considering
The house on the other hand, I’ve hardly talked much about so here are a few reasons why you may want to consider a house that’s the right-size rather than the dream big-house:
- Dream big houses are expensive – my cottage (did I tell you that it’s beautiful?) costs about 25% of the current value of my big house
- Cheaper on bills, heating etc
- Easier to maintain – less things means that less can go wrong
- More cosy
- Perfect for minimalists and not amassing junk you’ll never use (you can’t afford to – you don’t have the space)
- Spending less on your house (and associated costs) means you will have more money to spend on (or invest in) other things – don’t under-estimate this – the difference is actually quite big, I’m talking about more than just bills here
- Decorating costs are much less
- Populating the house with stuff is going to be less expensive too – and help you with your priorities – for example we used to have a huge TV (which we probably watched too often) – that would look crazy in our little cottage so we now have quite a small TV and it is just fine, in fact I prefer that to having a huge TV too – we now watch a lot less TV but that’s the way it should be, we enjoy lots of other things in life and when we do watch TV we really enjoy it (check out our article on cutting down the frequency to get an idea what I mean here)
- In the cottage we are more relaxed, more down-to-earth, warmer and more welcoming, less house-proud (not that we were overly house proud in the first place – but even less than we were) – when something looks a bit old or even breaks, it looks ‘cottagy’ and sometimes just adds character and doesn’t even need to be fixed – interestingly, people seem to feel just as at home in our small cottage as in our much more roomy house, perhaps more so
- You should be spending more time outside than inside anyway – our cottage is in the countryside and I’d far rather be here and spending more time outside of the house than in a city and spending more time inside the house (however nice the house is)
I could probably go on but you get the point.
Big House Disease
Lots of people have big house disease.
They have a house which they don’t fully own – it has debt attached to it in the form of a mortgage.
Then someone gets a pay rise and rather than reducing the debt, they think they can finally afford to move to a bigger house.
Their debt stays the same, maybe a little worse, at best a little better (but probably worse as this is the type of thing people under-estimate) and they continue through life accepting debt and rattling around in a big house they don’t really need, albeit feeling really proud of it all.
I’m not sure the medical term for this by the way, or if this disease is a problem world-wide, but it is a disease, I checked.
Right-Sized Is The New Big
So that, in the shell of a nut, is why I think right-sized is the new big.
The big car and the big house were great but there is definitely something to be said for right-sized – and the same goes for other things too – diet, clothes, expenditure… take just as much as you need, not more and you’ll leave plenty of room, mentally and physically for the really important things in life.
You heard it here first.