Why Downsizing and Decluttering Is Good for You and the Planet

Can a smaller space help you live a more enjoyable life? We think so! Americans spend about 55 minutes every day searching for things. That’s a lot of time wasted, and maybe if we downsize and declutter, we can cut down on wasted space too.

Research supports that American families are getting smaller, but our homes are getting bigger. In fact, homes in the US have grown by 1000 square feet in the last 40 years as they continue to house fewer people. 

Instead, these large homes are filled with things. Items that spend most of their time unused. Some don’t even make it out of their packaging! 

Are smaller living spaces better for you and the planet? In this blog, we’re exploring the question along with the benefits of downsizing, decluttering, and consuming less. 


What Does Downsizing Mean For Your Home?

Downsizing means moving from your large living space to a smaller (and usually less expensive) one. Most living spaces in oversized homes are left un-lived in. While they consume electricity, require heating and cooling, and end up being filled with furniture and things that go untouched. 

This is hugely wasteful, not only for our bank accounts but for the environment too. 

Two miniature toy people standing and sitting on a stack of coins

Photo by Émile Séguin


Smaller is Greener

Have you stopped to consider the impact of living in a large space? Big houses have a heavy carbon footprint—especially if very few people live in them. They use more electricity, more water, more building materials, and way more furniture. 

Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean you need to move into a tiny house and get rid of all your stuff. It’s about finding balance and understanding what you truly need. Because the reality is, you don’t need that much space, no one really does. And our planet is paying the price for our insatiable need for space. 

Smaller houses…

♻️ Save energy

♻️ Save water 

♻️ Reduce unnecessary consumerism

♻️ Save lots of money

♻️ Create less waste 

♻️ Prompt us to spend more time outside

♻️ Use fewer resources to build and maintain 

♻️ Need fewer appliances

These are some ways minimal living supports preserving valuable resources and keeping our planet clean and healthy. And as the population on our planet grows, smaller spaces make it easier to house everyone. But what if you simply can’t downsize? 

 A row of miniature model houses surrounded by miniature trees

Photo by Tiago Rodrigues


If You Can’t Downsize—Declutter

Minimizing means decluttering your space. It’s having that Marie Kondo moment to take note of the things in your home you actually love and use, and keeping only those things. Although not all big houses are cluttery, we tend to have more things than we actually need. And not only is clutter an eyesore, but it can be a symptom of invisible problems too. 

Studies show that clutter can create stress, make it hard to focus, and even affect our relationships! 

Our inner environment is usually reflected in our outer environment. A cluttered home could lead to a cluttered mind and become an obstacle—even inside ourselves. 

As a society, we have more self-storage facilities in the US than Starbucks and McDonald's combined. That’s a staggering amount, considering the size of our homes continues to grow too.

But how do we even begin to declutter our inner and outer environments?

The first step is to avoid over-consumption. Buying less leads to wasting less, and needing less too. Most of the time, we don’t buy things we actually need. And that’s a big problem in itself. 

Instead of setting an alert for the latest fire sale, engage in conscious consumerism. Choose items made to last and use materials that are good for you and the planet. If you’re already living in a small space, but clutter keeps sneaking in, you can find ways to save space. 

 The garage-style doors of three storage units side by side

Photo by Steve Johnson


Space-Saving Tips to Declutter Your Home 

Ready to Marie Kondo your living space? Decluttering isn’t only about getting rid of your stuff. It's also about re-organizing your home and your life. The best part? You can be more conscious about the things you want taking up space in your apartment and putting your money to work for the greater good. 

To get started, ask yourself, what is taking up unnecessary space? 

You can ask this question while going through your closet and seeing that dress you haven’t worn in 3 years. Or that old shirt that’s been crumpled in the corner of the room for as long as you’ve been living there. 

You can probably find unused items all over your home that can be donated, and things that take up unnecessary space, not just in your closet. This is especially true in your cleaning supplies closet (or shelf, for apartment dwellers!). Big plastic jugs, Costco-sized sponges, a never-ending supply of plastic bags, and giant paper towel rolls take up 90% of cleaning storage spaces. 

As a city-living gal, I know the pain of carrying big detergent jugs from the supermarket to the apartment. And then have them take up half the space of my small cleaning compartment. 

Luckily, we now have many options for space-saving supplies that are not only better for your health, but also better for the planet. These are my favorite eco, space-saving swaps: 

👋🏽 Bye-bye detergent jugs, hello paper-boxed laundry sheets 

👋🏽 Bye-bye plastic sponges, hello pop-up plant sponges

👋🏽 Bye-bye single-use paper towel rolls, hello reusable dishcloths 

There are hundreds of ways to be more conscious of what you bring into your home environment. And once you start decluttering your home, you’ll see how your mind and habits will follow. 

 A small white house with a brown tile roof and chimney between trees against a blue sky with clouds

Photo by Redd


Space-Smart Cleaning Essentials 

Making the switch to living more minimally with better cleaning essentials not only saves space and creates a healthier environment at home—but it also helps the planet! 

At Sqwishful, we craft products that help you clean and leave the world cleaner. All of our pop-up sponges and scrub sponges are compressed for easy storage and to reduce their carbon footprint. Helping you save precious space in your home for the things you actually need.

Ready to re-organize your home? You can now find your favorite Sqwishful products at The Container Store! Marie Kondo-ing your apartment just got a lot easier. 

Or you can shop our online store.