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
- 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.