I think downsizing is a process. We were going from a huge 2 storey house with 20+ rooms to a 7 room house that included a half loft. A big difference !! The plans were drawn up and we were ready. Excited and ready.
But time ticks by ... you ponder that house ... you start mentally disposing of your belongings ... you choose what matters to you and what doesn't.
And all of a sudden, you know. You know that you can go smaller.
I think the jump from huge to small is too big a leap ... it takes time. You need to whittle the space down. You give some up . Then you give a little more. It can't be done quickly without feeling a little panic. But over time, you begin to completely detach from your belongings and it becomes very simple.
Now we could stick with the plans we have had done and save the cost of altering them. Sure we could. But we also know now that we could live in a smaller space and that small investment for alterations will have a big payoff. One storey means one complete level less of gyproc, flooring, painting, studs, no special load bearing posts, no special trusses, fewer windows, fewer light fixtures, less wiring, less plumbing, no stairs, no open concept areas to figure out lighting for, less siding, one less toilet & vanity ... and the list goes on. That means significant savings. It also means money to make our mudroom a hair bigger and to add a porch on the front so we can watch the amazing tides and sunsets. Maybe a new but smaller furnace.
It also means no extra hide-y holes to squirrel away extra "stuff" - and that's good. If there is space, we will fill it. No stairs - and that's good. It means no lugging a vacuum up the stairs or carrying laundry down. It means no stairs if, in time, we were to find them too difficult. It means less space to heat.
It means less. Just less. And that's what it's all about.