We had the dream home I always imagined. A formal living room and dining room, bedrooms for every kid, plus a guest room, office space, and the perfect large basement. I mean, seriously, it was everything we could have asked for! The problem? Our life was so stressful!!! Every weekend was spent cleaning the massive 3,000 sq feet, my husband HATED yard work, and worrying about keeping up with bills often prevented us from just enjoying life like we wanted to. So, one day my husband and I sat down and started talking about selling our perfect house and downsizing. We hated/loved the idea all at the same time, and it honestly took us an entire year to come to terms that it really was the right choice for us!
So… we sold the house, now what??? Could we really downsize with 3 kids and a baby on the way??? YES! Here are some of the things I learned:
Sharing is better!
I don’t know why I felt like every kid needed their own room. It’s not something I ever had growing up! It has also been an awesome experience to see the kids bond better as siblings. Lucky for us, we found out we are expecting a baby girl, meaning we will have even boys and girls to share their rooms down the road! I also discovered that kids aren’t going to keep their rooms super organized with toys and stuff in exactly the “right” spot. So I got each of them their own toy bins so all they have to do is throw their stuff in a box and it’s cleaned up! It helped strengthen our relationship with one another because now I’m not spending so much time trying to keep everything perfect!
Less is more
Getting ready to downsize made me realize how much crap we had!!! A few months in and I’m still getting rid of things that I realize I just don’t need. Going from 6 bedrooms to 3 hasn’t been a walk in the park, and I won’t try and lie and say it’s easy. With everything I let go, however, I feel my stress going away, too! You also have to learn how to organize really well, because there are going to be things you have to keep. Still working this out, but I feel like we are slowly getting there. The hardest part for us has been trying to find all the places to store my photography equipment for my business and storing my husband’s computer parts for his IT job. I’m thinking an old-fashioned wardrobe might be the solution, but I’m still not sure I want another bulky piece of furniture. Any suggestions would be welcomed!
Freedom isn’t a free for all
Having tons of extra “spending” money was a dream come true and something we haven’t ever really experienced as a couple. After just a few short weeks, we had to take a crashing halt on spending and evaluate our budget, because we could see ourselves enjoying the “freedom” so much that it still felt like we were paycheck to paycheck. No matter how much extra money you have, it’s still important to budget and communicate as a couple about what your goals are, so that you don’t find yourselves going down another rabbit hole of debt. Our goal is to have a couple of months worth of savings in the account, which is going to mean still being strict with how we spend our money. We don’t want to not live our life, but I NEVER want us to be thousands in debt like we were before.
Downsizing might not be for everyone, but I can honestly say it was the BEST decision for our family. We moved to an apartment that we love, with amenities like a clubhouse and pool which has helped make the experience a fun adventure for the whole family. The kids say that they loved this decision! It doesn’t mean that every day is a walk in the park for our family, but I do see a bright future ahead!