I’ve mentioned before that we downsized a good bit when we bought this home, which was very intentional. I don’t know if it was the layout (3 stories) or the square footage (almost 3,000) of our old house, but we definitely found ourselves more spread apart than what what I wanted for our family, and I didn’t like what it was doing to us- you can read more about it here.
By the way, it’s funny how when we grow up, our needs and wants change, isn’t it? I remember driving past our old house for years before we bought it, and it was literally my dream house in my dream neighborhood. When we were actually able to buy it, it seemed like I was living somebody else’s life.
Anyway, I did one downsizing post about the main thing that I had gotten wrong with downsizing- organization- which is one of my most re-pinned posts on Pinterest. I thought it would be good to talk about what we got right with downsizing, and what has gone well since then. By the way, we’re in around 1700 square feet now.
What we got right
This has been a definite plus, for a couple of reasons. First, the setup of our house kind of forces us to be together more- no more spacing us all over three different levels! Now we are all on one level in closer proximity to each other, which has been awesome. Especially with the boys growing up so fast, I feel like I have a better handle on what is going on with them.
W is a teenager now (he will be turning 16 in a month!) and even though he is “supposed” to be going through those years where he pulls away from us, it feels like we are closer than ever before. I don’t know that that would be the case in our old house, when it felt like there was always one level between us.
Also, although there are definitely projects to do in this house, the boys have actually wanted to help- so they have been more like family projects. In our old house, there was so much maintenance because it was larger, but I guess the boys thought maintenance projects were boring? I don’t know, but they are much more likely to want to be involved with what we are working on here rather than to be dragged kicking and screaming.
Overall, though, there is just so much less to be done here- much less cleaning (I can literally clean the entire house in a couple of hours on a Saturday- in the old house it would take all day), much less outside work, much less everything that we have a lot more time to spend together as a family. Which was exactly what I was picturing when we downsized!
Everything is less in a smaller house (mortgage, electric bill, home insurance, etc.), and we have really saved some money every month because of it. This has allowed us to travel a bit more and save more for the future. Even in this older house, with a much (decades) older heating/air conditioning system and less efficient insulation, our electric bills are much less than in our old house, that was very energy efficient, but obviously just a much larger space to heat and cool.
Obviously, we’re spending some money on updates with this 102 year old house- but we were on our other house as well, which was pushing 20 years old, so those finishes were out of date, too. But the updates just cost so much less here, because less space. Our bathroom floors, for example. In our old master bathroom, which was huge, I used the exact same flooring that I used in our bathroom here. It cost quadruple as much and took me days longer to put down in our old house.
Downsizing our stuff
Even though my “achilles heel” post talked about how organization always gets me, we really did let go of a ton of stuff when we downsized. A ton. We donated a lot, and Michael was able to have a world class yard sale. It really does feel awesome to downsize your stuff.
As an example, our old master bedroom had 3, yes 3, closets. Who in the world needs 3 closets in one bedroom? And I had 2 of them completely to myself, packed full of stuff. Even though I am not a big shopper, I just sometimes have a hard time letting go of stuff…but we were forced to when we downsized. It was honestly the best feeling in the world.
And the hardest part of downsizing was…
This isn’t really about downsizing, but it was the move from our old neighborhood, which didn’t stop being awesome just because we moved. Our best friends in our old neighborhood in particular. We love our new neighborhood, and the location is actually better for us right now, but we loved our old neighbors, and we really, really miss being just across the street from our best friends.
But, the benefits of downsizing for our family are worth it, and we would absolutely do it again!
Thinking about downsizing? Here are some posts I’ve written about organization that have helped us make downsizing work for our family:
And some of my favorite organizational tools:
*affiliate links-disclosures here