Our House is Too Big

Back when we were first married, Clay and I would watch House Hunters in our 700 sq. ft. apartment in Sackets Harbor, New York and dream about living in a 2500+ sq. ft. house complete with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Now almost 10 years later, we watch Tiny House Nation in our 2500 sq. ft. home (with granite countertops, but only one stainless steel appliance) and dream of living in a smaller house. The irony is not lost on us.

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I’ll admit that living in a 300 sq. ft. home doesn’t appeal to us at this point in our lives but running as fast as we can away from the overconsumption and must-have attitude that has such a stronghold on middle class is a priority. After all, we’re living in a time when choosing to purchase a new car with cloth seats instead of leather can be viewed as making do with less. Which is quite laughable. And sort of sickening.

We’re set to move next summer and have our hearts set on a smaller house next time around. Not tiny house small, but at least 1000-1500 sq. ft. less than what we have now. Our house is just too damn big for our family of four. During daylight hours, we’re all in the same room at least 88% of the time and to be honest, the amount of time we actually spend inside our home is minimal. What is sad is that when I mention wanting only a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom ranch home next time around to some people, their reactions vary between horror and pity. It’s hard to believe we’re living during a time in our country when a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom home under 2000 sq. ft. is considered small.

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Throughout our daily life, we’re taught that less is more. I am absolutely guilty of uttering these words while justifying the need for a new gadget that will “like totally make life easier” in the aisles of Target (why is it that I am incapable of walking out of Target without spending at least $30?). My goal for this upcoming school year is to focus on my wants vs. needs, especially when it comes to tangible items, things if you will. We have close to 3000 sq. ft. worth of stuff in our home. It is just too much stuff. If someone were to challenge me to write down everything single item in our possession, I’d likely fail miserably and only be able to recall 20% or so of what we own. Unacceptable.

Famed 19th century English architect and designer William Morris famously wrote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” By doing an inventory of every single item in our home and determining whether it is useful or beautiful or neither, I hope to scale down our worldly treasures and return to a more simple existence, or at least one that can fit in a 1500 sq. ft. house. Shouldn’t be too hard, right?

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14 thoughts on “Our House is Too Big

  1. I love this, Karen! That has been one surprising thing about living in 650 square feet. I really appreciate that it forces us to have less. Less rooms to decorate, less space to fill, less everything! It’s really refreshing, and it’s also exciting (if not also daunting) to think about having children in small spaces. We know lots of people who live in 1 bedroom apartments with babies. It definitely forces you to be more minimalist, which has been surprisingly refreshing! (PS – a 2000 square foot ranch home sounds like a MANSION to me….. hahhaa)

  2. We downsized to a two bedroom, 1400 sq ft condo when we moved to New York, and we are loving it. I will admit that we do agree that having a third bedroom would be more ideal, but I love how easy it is to keep this place clean. I feel like it’s really made me edit the items in my home and when we do our next PCS there will be less boxes filled with junk and clutter that we don’t know what to do with.

  3. Agree. I will admit, I do love my American sized kitchen (although it’s “average” by American standards), but my husband would be happy with less sq footage, and a huge garage 😉 ha.

  4. I grew up a family of 5 in a 1400 sq ft. house (colonial style). I thought it was perfect. I had no idea that other people would consider it small until one day a I brought a friend home from college and upon seeing my house said, “oh it’s so small and cute.” I was kind of surprised that it was considered small.
    And I have to say our 1300 sq ft ranch home in Lawton, is still one of my favorite places we lived. The floor plan worked and I could happily live there again, although I prefer to leave Lawton in my past 😉

    1. Isn’t it amazing? Both of my parents had largish families (3 and 4 kids, plus grandparents) and their childhood homes were 1000 sq. ft. at best. And I totally wish we could move our Lawton house with us wherever we go…I love that house!

  5. Totally get this thinking of yours! We live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house.. but I find myself wanting a 4 bedroom house with 2 living rooms (a den for the husband, and living room for us) before we have another kid. Not sure it a society push… but just a personal want. Kind of crazy to think you always want more though.

    1. For us, it has definately ebbed and flowed. We have alternated between needing/wanting more space and dreaming of a smaller house. Maybe I just hate cleaning large houses! 🙂

  6. We just downsized from 2400 sq ft (in Florida) to 1500 sq ft (in Hawaii). It’s been a challenge to get rid of things and make it all work (we may or may not be the not-so-proud owners of an 8×8 storage unit!). But so far, small life suits us and our two kids. A luxury high rise with a view of the ocean a few blocks away, being able to walk to parks, restaurants, museums, and the library are all awesome trade-offs. City living, for the win!

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