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Five Trends That Make Your Home Smaller Every Year

Written by on Monday, 04 August 2014 10:27 am
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The longer you live in your home, the smaller it gets - that's physics. This article will reveal 5 home-shrinking trends and how to reverse them.

#1. The longer you live in your home, the smaller it gets.

That's physics. It's the net result of adding more stuff to your home each month and each year than you get rid of each month and each year. To counteract this space-eating trend...

Adopt the Replacement Principle: For every item that is added to your home, something of equal or greater size must be tossed, given away, or sold at the same time (not "when you get around to it").

Stop automatically buying things that you "want," but don't need. Before you buy, decide what you'll get rid of if you bring this new item home, so you can assess the true cost. Consciously, delay non-essential purchases for a whole day or longer and you may forget about making the purchase.

Sell or donate everything that still has a price tag on it or is in original packaging a year or more after purchase. If you haven't used it yet, why did you bring it home in the first place?

#2. The longer you live in your home, the bigger everyone in the home becomes.

That's physics, too. It's the net result of adults expanding from ingesting more calories than they exercise off and of kids growing up.To counteract this space-eating trend...

When adults embrace exercise and healthy eating, they shrink and the home feels bigger.

The kids will eventually leave home. Hopefully, they will take some of their stuff with them. There'll be more space unless they move back in later—and then you'll have a lot less of everything.

#3. The bigger the storage space, the easier it is to overload and the harder it is to get things out of.

To counteract this space-eating trend...

Stop buying more storage bins and boxes, and you'll stop having more stuff come in to the home than goes out.

Stop thinking that moving something further out of sight is the same as permanently getting rid of it. The self-storage industry thrives on the misconception that moving stuff to their location (and paying for the privilege) is managing your possessions when it is often just delaying the "throw out" decision and spending more money on things that may have contributed to that outstanding credit card debt.

#4. The longer you own things the further they go to the back of your mind and the less they are used.

To counteract this space-eating trend...

At least once a year, take everything out of each storage tub, locker, closet, shelf (not all at once, but on different days)...and at least throw out the oldest thing (unless it is a priceless antique, in which case, sell it). Consolidate the contents of two storage containers into one whenever possible by throwing out duplicates, anything showing wear (that's holes), everything broken, and things that fit no one in the home.

If you did not use a seasonal item this season, get rid of it. You probably bought a new thing forgetting you had the old thing. How many garden tools and snow shovels have you repeatedly re-bought.

If you have sports equipment older than your oldest child, get rid of it—the stuff, not the kid. That goes for rarely-used camping and hobby equipment, and back issues of magazines and old school textbooks, too. Once it's out of date, dump it.

#5. When homeowners consider themselves merely "caretakers" of the home, they miss out on ways to put the space in their home to work for them.

To counteract this space-eating trend...

Actively seek out ways to make money from your space and suddenly income-earning opportunities will present themselves:

  • That garage that's clogged with dated over-flow stuff could be rented out to house a neighbor's car, boat, or their over-flow stuff.
  • The garden that you don't have time for, may be of great interest to garden-less tenants in the area.
  • The spare bedroom that is always filled with never-used flotsam, could house an exchange student or, perhaps, bed-and-breakfast guests.

Actively put your space to work by carving out office space for a home-based business. The smartphone is king, so you may opt for a virtual mobile venture which doesn't necessarily take up much real space while offering tax savings and revenue streams.

Make August your space-making month, and get the jump on the four heavy stuff-accumulation, home-shrinking months ahead. August is the lull before the perfect storm of back-to-school and holidays that eats up space like crazy! Less is more...more space.

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  About the author, PJ Wade

Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.