We are coming up on the two year anniversary of selling the large family home and moving back into our first home—a 2000 sq ft townhome that had been a rental for the past 15 years. And boy I have learned some things!!!
- My belongings sat in a Pod for six months and then most of them sat in the garage for another year and a half. When we were finally able to tackle the garage I made it a point to glance into each and every box and if it was not something I had longed for during the remodel I gave it away. I discovered that you do not need 7 or 8 sets of dishes–our days of large dinner parties have given way to quiet and intimate dinners and friendly card games with close friends. Off they went to some lucky person perusing their local Amvets store.
- As with all of our belongings, clothing comes in a close second. Anything I needed had already been replaced so no need to even bother to look into the garment bags. After all, who needs eight plastic boxes full of sweaters? Off they went. (I must admit I have wondered about a couple of favorites but I am sure I will find a new favorite this season)
- Extra storage space is certainly a luxury and if I did not have to live without it I would choose not to. However, since I lost 1500 sf of living and storage space in the downsize I have had to not only purge but also be creative with storage. For example, all of my large kitchen appliances and extra sets of dishes (yes I did keep a few) have been placed in a storage shed in the garage that I lovingly call the dish library. This also houses all of those decorative items like vases and seasonal “things”.
- I only buy furniture items with drawers. I think drawers are God’s gift to designers. In my kitchen remodel I chose to have drawers over open cabinets in many instances. Even if it just a simple little end table it must have a drawer. My favorite purchase is this media unit from West Elm—drawer heaven! It houses the TV and all the components in our very tiny family room and provides room for dinner napkins, games and plenty of toys in the lower drawer for our delicious granddaughter, Ella.
- Most of all, I have learned to enjoy this passage in life, the simplicity of living in a smaller space and the realization that those who are important to you do not care how big or fancy your home is—home is where you are. So hang those family photos, reposition that favorite chair that has been in every home you have owned and enjoy this next phase.