Downsizing Can be Uplifting

By Beacon Staff

Deciphering what we “want” from what we “need” is a skill that requires practice. As a consequence, there may come a time or two (or three, or several), when trimming back and cutting down become necessary, just for the sake of sanity.

Yet sometimes it’s not “what we have” but “where we live” that needs paring down to size. Fortunately, when downsizing becomes a necessity rather than an option, the Flathead Valley is one of the best places to be when transforming big into small.

It’s not about going the way of Henry David Thoreau and scrutinizing life down to every practical detail (although one could make a go of it, as the North Fork is somewhat of a northwest Walden Woods of sorts). It’s about embracing change and finding the place and house that fits “just right.”

And speaking of early-American wisdom, Ben Franklin poured much thought over the subjects of economy and practicality, both of which are critical when it comes to finding a home that fits “just right.”

Indeed, a home that is “too big” is not only unnecessarily costly, but can also be an impractical hassle. Luckily, throughout the Flathead Valley, there’s a home for every situation, style and size.

For instance, if you want to downsize into a small lakeside cabin, you still can. Sure, while larger (if not behemoth) homes seem to be fortifying the lakeshore, there are still much smaller homes of every kind here and there and in between.

Not only is there a range of lake houses, there’s a range of lakes. If you choose, you can downsize on Flathead Lake – the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. If you prefer, you can also downsize into a smaller place on a smaller lake, including ones bearing the name of Whitefish, Swan, Foys and Echo.

If you want more land and less house, you can find that, too. You can also find many smaller homes (by contemporary standards) on broader acreage from farm to forest parcels.

And if you want a studio condo on or near a ski slope without an amenity sacrificed, you can find that. For example, there are several places with smaller units in Whitefish that are worthy of even the most discerning consideration.

You can also find smaller condos and apartments in more suburban settings – even ones where you can have freshly made meals delivered to your door (with a rich tomato-basil soup frequently on the menu no less). Indeed, right in downtown Kalispell, for example, you’ll find the uniquely situated Sykes Apartments, just above the Sykes market and diner, which within a stroll to just about every imaginable amenity.

Of course, the Flathead Valley has homes of every size and style – there is no “one size fits all.” And you can easily find smaller, newer homes with an open floor plan, or older homes that keep a more cozy, compartment feel.

Perhaps the best part about the Flathead Valley is that it’s not just a place; it’s a lifestyle. Here, downsizing can truly be an exhilarating and uplifting experience – and one that affords you the greatest luxury of them all: time. Downsizing into a more manageable and smaller space can afford more time for life itself.

With more time, you can do more – and fortunately, there’s much to do in the Flathead Valley. In fact, trying to list all the activities can probably bend a few pages in a dictionary as one can go hiking, skiing, berrying, hunting, sailing, fishing, flying, shopping, and you-name-it-ing. And you can encounter experiences ranging from the awe of majestic glacier-cut mountains to the solemnity of a farmer’s field with a variety of inspiration in between.

So, when a home that’s “too big” becomes a hassle, don’t hesitate to downsize. As Ben Franklin put it: “Do not squander time, for that is the stuff that life is made of.”

Instead, just enjoy a home of a more practical and more enjoyable size – a home that lets you have more time to spend on more important things that life in the Flathead Valley has to offer.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.