Upgraded Downsizing

From 1600 sq ft of house to a 589 sq ft condominium

Words by Dann Alexander

In June 2012 my spouse and I purchased a large side-split house outside of Halifax. It was perfect at the time. It was a great neighborhood with lush scenery, peace and quiet, and amazing people. When we entered the house market a few years ago it was with minimalism front of mind. There was so much to contemplate. We knew if the opportunity presented itself we would be able to downsize significantly. We were not going to settle for something by the time we needed to vacate our home. If nothing suited us for the market we were prepared to rent.

The idea of condominium living was always appealing to us. We were used to putting in lots of work in our large house. A series of events combined with the embrace of minimalism changed our outlook for the better. Buying a big house on a large piece of land gave us lots of space. The trouble is we filled that space up with more with things we did not need. We did not realize at the time that what we were looking for was contentment. Having to cut and haul firewood daily, mowing a lawn for two hours on a weekend did not bring us contentment. It left us with minimal time when we wanted more minutes.

Larger spaces are not a minimalist answer for maximum contentment.

Through great timing, we were fortunate to check out a 589 sq ft condo as the first place we would look at. Never did we expect to like the first place we would check out or even want to put an offer in on it. Through our agent we did our background checks on the building and evaluated what we might need to do within the first year. We viewed it as an opportunity to increase our contentment. We could sell, donate, and get rid of so many things in order to fit our lives into this smaller space.

After an exchange of offers and counter-offers we were set to move in early March. We donated several carloads worth of quality things to a local thrift store that raises funds for animal rescue. Even after being in the place for a month, we may have more carloads to go. Our contentment levels have grown by leaps and bounds just within the first month of our occupancy in this space.

Embracing minimalism can be achieved through what most perceive as “downsizing”. It should be viewed as an upgrade into the comfortable embrace of further contentment.

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Inside Minimalism is our series of exclusive essays on simple living. Each essay is written by our team of writers who are passionate about helping you craft a simpler life. Supported by their own personal experiences, we want to inspire and encourage you to clear the path of life’s stuff, so you can get to where you really want to be.

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