Living in our 4,000-square-foot home was comfortable.
We bought the fixer-upper on meager salaries. Within months, my husband and I were offered better paying jobs and renovating the old place got a lot easier.
We sealed the nearly 100-year-old rambling house with caulk and foam, hung storm windows, tore things down and nailed them back up, gutted the kitchen and baths, and added rooms.
Best of all, we could afford to fill every square inch of the space with five couches and dozens of rugs and knick-knacks.
Commodes got cleaned, all four of them, five bedrooms were dusted and vacuumed regularly, and hardwood floors downstairs, upstairs and over the garage were polished.
Eight years after we purchased our dream home, the place was looming large and happily-ever-after grew tired. We called it “the Big House.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice to come home and have nothing to do?” we’d ask each other.
Before we knew it, our big house sold for a big price. My husband and I road through a neighborhood we knew we couldn’t afford, just in case we were wrong. That’s when I spotted a house sitting 700 feet from the ocean, with barely more than that amount in square footage.
We had to laugh because this was the little house.
The stucco-sided cottage was hidden behind vines and bushes twice the height of its porch. There were holes the size of hot tubs in the yard that were dug by the owner’s dog. We joked the house came with pools. I told my husband to turn around.
“You’re kidding me, right?” he said.
Since I’m the dreamer, not the mathematician, I ended up in tears over our downsizing. One evening during dinner, my husband wrote on his napkin:
4,000 square feet – 1,000 square feet = 3,000 square feet
“That’s the amount of space we just sold and did not buy back, 3,000 square feet. All our stuff isn’t going to fit,” he said.
I already knew that. What I didn’t know was I might not have a place to sleep since the king-size bed was so large. Space for the dresser and chest of drawers was out of the question. And I wasn’t sure there was a place for a table in the kitchen.
It’s been three years since our transition and we’re down from three storage buildings to one. There’s plenty of room for our bed and the kitchen table. We didn’t need drawers after all. It’s the beach so baskets are fine for almost everything.
In fact, with the ocean in my front yard, all I really need is a bathing suit and flip-flops.
Any plans for downsizing in your future?
WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – My flip flops and I are headed in the direction of simplifying life.