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While bigger is usually better when it comes to your living space, there may come a time in life when you take stock of your home and utter the d-word: downsize. Perhaps it’s that spare room that you haven’t entered in a month that triggers your reaction. Maybe your kids have finally moved out, making the house seem cavernous in their absence. It could be that the hassle of cleaning and maintaining your home has become too much. Or, the expense of living in your current home may prompt a move to someplace more within your budget. Whatever the case, downsizing your home can save you money in a variety of ways – many of which may surprise you. Here are just a few.

You have less stuff. As with any move, you take an inventory of your belongings, and invariably pare down things you no longer use or need. This simplifies your life, and when you move to a smaller dwelling, you have less space for those frivolous purchases that often end up doing nothing but occupying space.

Closer quarters = closer family. In a smaller home, the inhabitants are invariably forced to make spend more time together, cooperate and make compromises on space, which fosters a greater sense of togetherness than a home with lots of space where family members can segregate themselves. Downsizing your home can actually bring you closer to your loved ones.

More quality time. A smaller home means less upkeep and often spending less on utilities and a mortgage, which translates into more time and money to devote to leisure activities that enhance your quality of life, such as traveling and hobbies.

To be sure, downsizing your home is a major life decision, and one sometimes prompted by circumstance. But it can be an opportunity to streamline your life and eliminate space and possessions you don’t necessarily need.