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Downsize It: The Allure of a Simplified Life

Now that we’ve established that downsizing your footprint isn’t indicative of poverty (or even a lack of style), it’s easier to see some of the benefits from going smaller and doing more with less. And there are lots: not just environmental (though we’re most concerned with those), but very concrete benefits, like more money in your pocket, and some that are just better for, like increased general happiness that can come from a less cluttered life.

Taking a big step, like selling your old house and moving to a smaller place, is a lot to bit off, but it can reap huge rewards: you get up to $250,000 (or $500,000, if you’re married and file jointly) of the profit from selling your home, tax-free. That’s a lot. If you need some inspiration, the folks at eHow [www.ehow.com] have a handy nine-step program that’ll take you from stuffed to stuffless quicker than you can say “seamless transition.”

Once you have less, it’ll take some time adjust to getting the most from what you’ve got; we recommend reading Living With Less [www.marktabb.com], a book by Mark Tabb, who wasn’t always sold on the idea: “Believe me, choosing a smaller life of serving others doesn’t come easy to me, either. I drool over the Best Buy ads just like every other gadget obsessed guy. However, I’ve found that choosing less truly does result in a life of more of what makes life worth living.”

As another bonus, downsizing means reevaluating how you spend your time and your money; you’ll have more of both, and with less space, less junk to buy to fill it up. Having less cleaning and less yardwork will also free up time; check in with this article [marriage.about.com] for some tips on how to benefit from your new lifestyle. Wouldn’t it be great to have the time to, say, talk more walks, or have a nice long weekend away? You can now.

If selling your home and downsizing your life isn’t in the cards, you can still simplify things without breaking your back; check in with Unclutterer [unclutterer.com] to learn about cleaning out the clutter to get the most from the most useful things you already have.