Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Minimalism - Downsizing the house

Mike and I have been looking at houses to rent lately. It's so hard to find the perfect storm of unique charm, location, pet-friendliness, and other specific requirements that we need (or at least want), especially during the fall/winter time. The one thing we agree on, however, is that we want a smaller place.

That's not usually what people say, right? That they want to downsize their house? Well, as much as I don't agree with a lot of the tenets of minimalism (hello, I like my TV and a little chaos and color in my life), the idea of not being yoked by all your "stuff" rings true to me. We have quite a bit of furniture in storage in Phoenix and our current 2,400 square foot rental house is half empty. We're not thinking of joining the tiny house movement (500 square feet or less), but maybe something in the 1,000 - 1,500 square foot range is more our speed. We talked it over and we came up with a list of reasons why renting a smaller house would be good for us.

In no particular order...

1) Saving money. Instead of having a really big house, most of which we don't use, we can sacrifice a little space and have some substantial savings as well as take some trips that we've been planning in our minds including sojourns to New York City, Europe, Florida, and Belize. We would also save so much money in rent, we can even rent an extra storage unit for the "stuff" we absolutely can't part with and still end up saving a bundle.

2) Less to clean. This is actually my biggest thing. This crazy house we live in has so much space to keep neat and tidy and clean. There are two kitchens. I could really use a smaller space to deal with. Plus, I'm more likely to be neat if I don't have a ton of room to spread my crap out everywhere.

3) Healthy purging. It's a good excuse to give my closet a really good clean-out as well as getting rid of some of the stuff taking up residence in our storage rooms.

4) It's cozy and romantic. Mike and I are so busy and we have to spend so much time apart. It's nice to be close together when we get home at night.

5) It opens up the market of older homes, chock full of character. We were recently enchanted by a rental home that's over 100 years old. It is seriously the cutest house ever. Cross your fingers that they accept our application!

Even considering all of this, the idea of limiting our space still makes me feel a bit uneasy. There are a few issues as well, like the fact that most of these old, charming homes don't have garages (and I love my car and hate scraping ice). I also worry about being spoiled by having a large house and then going back to one-bathroom living. When these thoughts occur, we just remind ourselves that it's just for a year. If we don't like the lifestyle, we can go back to a bigger house.

Anyone else ever thought of downsizing your life a little? Or have you done it? Got any tips?


  1. My hubby and I are actually going through the same thing right now. We are renting a house from my mom and it is MUCH bigger than we need. We are looking to buy but the market is awful. I hope you find what you are looking for. =)

  2. Thanks, Julie! Good luck to you too!

  3. I am a little in love with that house at the top of this post. :D

  4. @Mandy - it's so cute, right? If we ever have a vacation home, it's going to be teeny tiny like that.


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