What It’s Really Like to Downsize

It’s time for a report.  We’ve been in our smaller house for six months now.

Six months ago we moved from a 4200 square foot home (plus 1000 sq. feet of attic space) to a 2200 square foot home.  Our garage space and yard space were also cut in half.

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The move was pretty harry; we had to get our other house show ready which meant painting and repairing and staging and organizing and hauling out and cleaning and basically pretending like we had always taken good care of the house.

The house sold pretty quickly, and while we planned on moving up closer to my husband’s work, we experienced a major backlash from the kids.  They didn’t want to move up north, and they insisted that we move to our old house in Lindon.  (We were renting it out at the time.)  Adding to the challenge was that we really couldn’t find the right house up north.  I was feeling pretty tired so we just moved into our old house, hoping we could rally and find a better fit the next year.

And now we are here.  You would not believe how much stuff we sold, hauled off, gave away, posted on KSL, took to the dump, and just plain threw out before we finally got settled here.  We were still feeling pretty cramped, and I wondered whether we had made the right decision to move to such a small home.   Finally, I decided to just pretend that we would be here for the long haul, and I dug in for another aggressive haul off/sell off of our stuff.  It was tough because I had to get rid of some things that I really loved.

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Our new house (and old house)

But the fact of the matter is, I don’t miss any of it.  I don’t even think about it.  And I loving opening a kitchen cupboard and finding everything where it’s supposed to be.  (We label everything as we are all too ADHD to remember on our own.)

AND

I love this home.  I can’t believe I’m saying that, but truly, it’s been such a blessing for our family.  I’m not speaking for everyone when I say this—every family has different needs and different cleaning capabilities, but this is the right house for us.  Maybe not forever, but certainly for now.  Yes, it needs some repainting, and no, I don’t like our blue bathroom.  But then how much time do you really spend in the bathroom anyway?

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Our library. The next step is to cut our books in half. Again. Almost everything I read comes from the library or my Kindle.

It’s easier to find things, easier to put things away, easier to catch my boys sneaking on the computer, easier to grab my keys, easier to file our papers, easier to drag Ricky up to the piano, easier to clean the house, easier to find out who’s doing their homework, easier to find out who’s skipping out on their chores, and easier to get our kids dressed in the morning.  I’m not telling any of you with large houses that you shouldn’t have one because I loved our big house too.  But I know myself.  And I know that I do better in a smaller house.

Is it perfect? No. We are a little bit scrunched at our kitchen table, but the captain made a bench to replace two of our chairs. I don’t like sharing our laundry room with a bathroom, but that just means I get most of the laundry done in one day.

And the benefits have been so much greater.  I LOVE that I know where my children are all the time in the house.  I LOVE the split level concept—that I can look from my kitchen down to the family room and say, “What’s that you’re watching?”  I love that Ben immediately changes the channel.  I love that it’s so quick and easy to clean up and get things put away.  I love that I don’t feel so tied up in my house.   I love that I have had more time to write and read.

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I took this picture today. None of them knew I was taking it of them.

But the best part has been watching my children become closer.  They have to hang out together now.  There are no places for them to hide in the house.  Our family room has both a coffee table and a game table, and guess what the kids are doing all the time now?  Playing games!  It’s so nice to see them after school all gathered around the chess board.  (And believe me, we are not really a chess kind of family.)  It’s so nice to see Ben at the game table doing homework, even though he has a desk in his room.  It’s so nice to be able to break fights before they get grisley.

And then there’s all these unexpected perks.  Like finding Ricky playing monopoly by himself.  Or watching my boys start their own Lego blog where they create super funny music videos.  (It turns out that the best place to be out of mom’s reach is in their rooms where all they can do is read or play Legos.)  Check this one out.  I can’t believe they did it!

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Do you like our chess table?  The captain made it.  He also made the entertainment center.  The chess table is my favorite piece in our entire house.  It just sits on our coffee table making it easy for the kids to start a game.

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Eli is thinking hard. He is the self-proclaimed best player in our family. Anyone want to challenge him? The rest of us would appreciate it!

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Davy and Ricky playing a fairly complicated game. (Or maybe I just don’t remember the name of it.)

The captain and the children have already told me that we won’t ever move again.  Ever.  So it looks like we might be here longer than I thought. And that’s OK with me.  But when my knees get bad, I’m going to insist on a rambler.

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4 comments

  1. This post is very timely for me. We are considering a similar move from a oversized large house and yard to a more moderate one. It’s interesting how amazing it feels to get rid of a lot of clutter. Will we miss it? I doubt it. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  2. 2200 square feet is a decent sized home and is mind boggling you would call it “such a small home”. Count your blessings!

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