We moved into our current home about 6 years ago. At the time we had only been married for about 3 years and were moving to Pennsylvania from a modest 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo in Maryland. We originally purchased our current home with the thought they we would be having children in the future. It is a three bedroom, two and a half bathroom, roughly 2100sqft home only just under an acre of land. We immediately fell in love with this home because it had almost everything on our first home checklist, which included a large deck, fenced in backyard, partially finished basement, and (what we thought at the time was) lots of storage space.
Over the first two years we really took our time purchasing furniture and filling the home with pieces that suited our needs. However that, coupled with the fact that certain items had longer lead-times, meant we were stuck with camp chairs and a very basic coffee table from Ikea for almost a year in our living room. It’s ok though we made it through all of that and eventually filled each room in our home. A year or so later we had Sophia and turned one of the guest bedrooms into her bedroom. A couple years later we had Oliver and turned the remaining guest room into his bedroom. We turned what was our home library/sitting room (which we did actually use quite often) into the playroom, and from then on the size of our home continued to feel smaller and smaller.
We are very fortunate to have great family and friends who are very generous to our children, however with that meant the room that was once their playroom started to be outgrown very quickly. By the time Oliver was born the room was more for storage of toys rather than used to play in, mainly because there was no room left to play. This is even with our semi-regular review of the toys to rid the room of toys that were not yet age appropriate, those they had lost interest in, duplicates, etc. Last month I decided to take matters into my own hands and switched up our living room and the playroom/library. This allowed for almost twice as much space for the playroom, but sadly even with that change, we still have a lot of toys to weed through. The good news is, there is much more space and the kids have room to move around and actually make sure of the room. We can put the gymnastics mats our for Sophia to play on and Ollie enjoys crawling everywhere.
It was really about a year ago when we decided we needed a bigger home, just before Oliver was born. We had made the decision that the next home we move into our be our “forever home” — or at least until we would retire and move somewhere smaller when we didn’t need quite as much space later in life. It was however only recently when I started to watch HomeLoveNetwork on Youtube and their show “Traveling Home” with the Gee family (a.k.a The Bucket List Family) and I saw the minimalist approach they were taking that something clicked… here we had been saying how small our home is and looking at the numbers for how large of a house we would need to fit all of the things we had and it was THE WRONG APPROACH! Looking back now, I realize that I was lacking a view of the bigger picture; which was, not only what did we want in a home, but what did we want for our family as a whole? Yes we would be living in this home everyday, but we also want to travel and to be able to travel you need money… so if we put so much money into owning a home large enough to fit all of the things we had (but didn’t necessarily need) we would not be able to travel as often as we would like.
Our approach now is to make a reasonable list of the “must haves” for our new home. In making this list, we found that what suited us best would probably to build a new home. So while we look to start that journey in the next year or so, we are now focused on continuing to be rational in how we are living at our current home. This means we are going through the entire house, room by room, and minimizing. We are gathering together the things we don’t use, the things we really don’t need, and only keeping what we use and a few sentimental things. Since starting this process I’ve gathered more than 3 large trash bags full of just my clothing alone to get rid of. I still have an entire closet and 6 drawer dresser full of clothes, so clearly I am not lacking for things to wear. Unfortunately I continued to keep a lot of pieces over the years because my weight changing so much between having kids, trying to get back to pre-baby body, to having second baby and working my way back to pre-baby body again… The thought recently popped in my mind…I have been saving these clothes for when I fit back in them, for over 4 years now! By the time I am actually able to fit back into some of these clothes, I probably will want to buy new stuff, so why hold onto it. So I am now working on picking some pieces to sell online, others I will be donating. Same thing with the kids clothes, I’ve gone through what they cannot fit in anymore and sorted that into two groups, pieces to save for family and pieces to donate.
I can’t wait to see what the house ends up looking like after we have been able to go through each and every room to get rid of unnecessary items! I feel like it will make the house feel less cramped, especially as we go into the colder weather seasons when we tend to be indoors more often.