As you consider your housing options, we love to think in terms of “right” sizing. This is different from down sizing which implies moving from a large home to a smaller one once the kids are gone. Right sizing happens throughout our lives on a continuum. Starting with that first home, our quest should always be to find the home that fits us right now, from both a space and a lifestyle perspective.

But, the trend to live small is one that is growing throughout the United States. In other words, get the exact-size house you need — and live in it fully. Don’t oversize, don’t undersize. And don’t find a home that fits the furniture. Find a home that fits you.

Where to begin with determining the right size for your next home? Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Consider your budget  — our favorite place to start. And, don’t just think about what you can afford; think about what you want to spend. You may be able to afford more than you want to actually spend. The trend of “right sizing” allows room for your dream lifestyle — think maintenance, free time, less “stuff” — so you can enjoy more than just your home.
  2. Explore communities — do you want a home near a park or a walkable city close to restaurants and shops? If you were to give up the time it takes to maintain a big house, how would you spend it? Do you love fitness or just want to lounge in the sun with a great book? What’s the best housing location to easily enjoy these activities?
  3. Consider your belongings. Do you have too much stuff? Is it time to declutter? As you think about moving to a different space, will you need to give up “things” or perhaps get new things to better fit the new space? Do you need storage, and for what? Remember to not pay for storage for anything that isn’t valuable or important– you don’t want to pay for monthly storage for things that you use rarely or could rent when you need them.

Right sizing allows for a quality of life that you may not have experienced before – it gets you out of the house, exploring your community, meeting your neighbors. Some neighborhoods are even creating community fire pits for gathering; high rises are adding community rec space and coffee bars. Right sizing is all about living in just the right amount of space and extending your living space outside of your four walls.

Start exploring. Get your life back.