Downsizing

Reduce. Reduce. Reduce.

The house I grew up in was 1000 square feet, approximately. I remember that Donnie is the one that told me my house was small, sometime before we got married. And even though I had grown up in the house, I didn’t realize it was that small. He tried to convince me it was smaller than the apartment we were living in to which I argued incessantly until Dad confirmed, “Yep. Around 1000 square feet. Not counting the basement or garage.”

For the record? No one counts the basement. It was scary as hell down there. And the garage had a dirt floor and no one parked there, so I’m fairly sure no one was counting that either.

Home Sweet Home

But I was SHOCKED To find out my house was smaller than my apartment at the time. It just felt bigger.

For a lot of my adult life, I loved the idea of having a big house. Our first house was 2000 square feet (or so) and I called it a “starter home” to which my Dad guffawed. “A starter home? Why does this have to be a starter home? It’s huge!” But it only had 3 bedrooms and we had 3 kids, so we knew we needed bigger. When we found this huge house for a great price-per-square foot since it needed updating, it was a NO BRAINER. It gave us room to have one or two more kids and it was GIANT. 4100 square feet! HUGE! IT IS A DREAM!

And the size has been great for two things
1) Gatherings
2) Hiding children

We’ve had up to 30 people in our house at one time, no problem. We’ve had adult gatherings where kids stay out of the way in another room no problem. We’ve relegated kids to certain parts of the house and enjoyed peace and quiet no problem.

But the rest of it? SUCKS GIANT DONKEY BALLS.

We had to buy a bunch of furniture when we first moved in because we didn’t have enough to come even CLOSE to filling it. We also claimed furniture other family members were holding on to because we had space. But now? Our goal is to downsize substantially. We’ve even looked into the idea of how much do tiny homes cost, as we’ve heard quite a bit about this and the idea of minimalism.

We have decided we don’t want to ever again be in a position were our free time and money is put towards our home. We’re just not those people anymore and we don’t want to go back to being those people. We want to put our time and money on things OUTSIDE the home, races and adventures and such. And the houses with the floor plans we need (still need a 4th “bedroom”) are about 1500 square feet OR MORE smaller than this one.

SO! While we’re prepping the house to sell, we’re clearing it out. We’ve pointing out to the kids that all of the things in the playroom will need to fit in their bedrooms in the next house so we’ve cleaned out all of those areas substantially. We’re not going to have a “craft closet” anymore or a “holiday closet” so I’ve had to go through my craft supplies and my holiday decorations. I’ve basically been working on the upstairs for a solid week and am ALMOST DONE.

Play Room
Wesley’s Room
Nikki’s Room

And y’all? It feels GREAT. (I wish I had “before” pictures. They do exist on my instagram somewhere I’m sure, but just trust me: It was chaos. Here’s an entry with a photo that gives you a VERY tiny glimpse.)

It’s like with every item I put in the Yard Sale pile or every bag for Goodwill or every item in the garbage, a huge weight is lifted off my shoulder. ONE LESS THING TO CARE ABOUT IN MY LIFE. We’ve spent the last year changing modes in anticipation of this, I’ve done one initial “clearing” of the house before to get rid of the easy stuff to trash/goodwill – but this time it’s a deep purge. I’m going through every drawer and every box and every shelf and truly evaluating: DO WE NEED TO KEEP THIS. It’s liberating. I’m so looking forward to this new life. I guess I’ve probably sorted through 1/3rd of the house, but that 1/3rd was the most densely packed part. The rest I could almost do in on solid day. The garage will be Donnie’s turf as most of the stuff there is his, but for the most part, I’ve made it through the hardest part and I’m just SO READY to live on the other side of this adventure where we reduce our lives and our possessions so we can spend our time and our money on adventures and not things that keep us at home.

6 thoughts on “Reduce. Reduce. Reduce.”

  1. GO YOU! Getting rid of stuff is both difficult (literally, good lord the trips to Goodwill get old, and holding a yard sale is insane amounts of work) and yet so worth it. I got rid of two garbage bags of clothes, three grocery bags full of books, and a pretty big box of random stuff to a local charity and omg the liberation! It’s addictive. I want to get rid of MORE.

  2. Those rooms look amazing. You did an awesome job Kim, especially with a task that seemed so daunting just a week ago. Celebrate (but not by buying more stuff)!

  3. Excellent job! It is not easy to let go of things, and it’s great (and remarkable!) that the whole family is on board. Good for you! Once again, you inspire me.

  4. We are planning on doing the exact same thing over the winter as we plan to possibly sell our house next year. I figure if we decide not to sell – at least we will be super organized!!

  5. Not sure why, but this entry brought me to nostalgic tears. Struck a chord, I guess. Thanks for writing it.

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