Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dreaming and Daring...Downsizing

Simplicity.  Quality.  A desire to be purposeful and intentional with this life we've been gifted. Dreams had changed, morphed... the way we were living and the way we wanted to live didn't align. So, we dared to chase a new dream and made what some would consider a fairly radical change.  

We sold our comfortable 15 year old, 2 story, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2115 sq. ft. home and downsized to a 57 year old, ranch style, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1300 sq. ft. home.  

That may not seem like a significant change, but our basement bathroom is currently out of order, so technically we only use one and we do most of our "living" on our main floor which is a colossal 960 sq. ft.!  It's plenty of space though, really!

The moving process went very quickly and rather smoothly with only a few small bumps.  We listed our home for sale by owner on a Thursday evening.  By Friday we had five showings set up for the weekend and on Saturday morning at our first showing we had an offer at our asking price with no contingencies (no home to sell, willing to forgo an inspection), but they wanted us to decide before the next showing.  We accepted the offer and then scrambled to find a new house for us!  Fortunately, we had already been looking at houses a couple of months prior.  We found our home and ended up moving only a few streets away!  We are grateful to still be a part of the same neighborhood that we had grown to love; however, their is a slight contrast.  Our old street was full of young families and our new street is full of retired people and their dogs! Retired people are the best neighborhood watch people ever and they know everything-ha!  We are so grateful for such sweet, caring neighbors and they love seeing little kids running around the neighborhood again.  

Our move in pictures:
From: 2 story, 2 stall attached garage with white vinyl fenced in yard
To: ranch style, 3 stall detached garage with cedar fenced in backyard

We love having mature trees in our yard!  We can't wait to be able to rake the leaves into piles for jumping! In our last house, the trees were so young that we would rake a small pile, toss it into a box and repeat until we finally had enough to dump out and make a pile for the kids to jump into.  We also love that this yard has significantly less flower beds to weed and obstructions to weed-whack around; we've gained a lot of time with just that one change.  We have big plans to add a bit of curb appeal in the future, but for now we've filled the flower boxes with blooms and removed the bushes to make way for colorful perennials!  One of the luxuries we've given up in this move an attached garage, but we now have an extra stall which is a big bonus for the Mr.!  We also went from main floor laundry to basement laundry, but since our bedrooms were way upstairs in our last house this really feels no different! We knew that a downsize would mean giving up certain conveniences, but it's been worth it...and really---first. world. problems.

It's been quite fun to take this dated home and make it our own!  We've still got some updating that we'd like to do, but our timeline is lax.  Right now we are just enjoying!  When we purchased, this whole home was painted a peachy brown color---it was ewww.  We immediately had it painted-white!  It's amazing how much bigger and brighter it feels.

The heart of our home!  Those cream cabinets will be painted white!  
See that hallway, it may just be my favorite part of the house.  I know that sounds silly but, it provides such quick access to every room in our more stairs between our most lived in rooms and our bedrooms.  It makes putting things away, right away, so much easier!  I can completely clean this house in about a quarter of the time it took to clean our last home.  I've been able to find a much better balance between spending quality time with my family and cleaning.   I no longer feel guilty when cleaning because I feel like I should be playing or pulled when I'm playing because I feel like I should be cleaning; it has been so liberating.
The Mr. wanted a black door, so I used chalk board paint!
The people who bought our last home wanted our sectional couch and the large picture gallery shelf that hung above it, so The Mr. built me a new gallery wall shelf and new furniture has been ordered.  I can't wait to see it!  It feels so adult to have ordered furniture from a real furniture store.  Up until this point we have been blessed with hand-me-downs , picked up cheap pieces from secondhand stores or The Mr. has built for us.
We love how the half wall makes our home feel more open!  I'm not quite sure how I'd like to decorate the bookshelves yet...

  I'm so grateful we were able to fit the large console The Mr. built!  The ladder was left by the old owner of this home!
Our one usable bathroom!  Eventually we will get the basement toilet fixed, but for now only one bathroom to clean is like a dream!

The Mr. made me a new version of what we had in our last bathroom because the new owners of our old home asked to keep them.  Those branches are from my wedding bouquet!

Our Master Bedroom- we went from a very large room with a private bath and two master closets to this; it is more than plenty!

See that mason jar atop the dresser is filled with raindrops that fell on our wedding day and I can't help but well up with happiness every time I look at it!

The girls room!  They love sharing (for now)!

All toys on the main floor are housed in the girls bedroom, this helps keep the chaos in check!  They do have a playroom downstairs as well.
The girls art gallery...clips courtesy of Target's dollar aisle!

Those numbered hooks help us keep organized for school by holding backpacks and outfits for the next day.
Our third bedroom is currently a craft room and office!
I found this desk for free on the side of the road and gave it a little lovin'!

Our super outdated basement...this is partially what drew The Mr. to this house.  He loves to learn and work with his hands and has big dreams to transform the whole basement...someday!  This is about half of the basement, the other half is unfinished storage, laundry and a full bath.  

Why would a young family choose to sell their American Dream home and downgrade to a smaller older home???
  • to spend less time cleaning and maintaining, allowing more quality time with one another
  • for the ability to save more, give more and experience more  
  • there is less space to accumulate "stuff"
  • for a mature yard with large trees
  • for a smaller more intimate space to encourage family closeness, realizing also, that a smaller space may provide for more opportunities to practice problem solving, selflessness and grace
  • for us, personally, it means we are able to feel more secure in protecting our choice to be a one income family
I feel like I could go on and about the reasons why this is such a good move for our family, but you get the jist! 

We've only been in our new house for two months, but we LOVE it so much!  It definitely feels like home. 

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