Last spring, Mr. G and I sold our house.
It was a small 1940’s bungalow. Three small bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. It was about 1300 square feet; not a large house at all. And our growing family was pretty squeezed. This, along with multiple other factors, led us to the decision it was time to move on.
We spent months searching for a house in the area we wanted to live. But we didn’t find it in the time we had. So we decided to take a break from house-hunting.
In June, we moved into our current home, a rental. This one is also three bedrooms. But it tops out at a whopping 900 square feet.
And actually, it’s okay!
Some friends have asked, more than once, “Wow, I bet you’re anxious to find something else, aren’t you?!”
My response to this query is usually a shrug.
“To be perfectly honest… It’s fine! We’re pretty comfortable here for as long as it takes!”
Here are 3 reasons why I don’t mind living in our “spatially challenged” house. (At least for now.)
1) I know where everything is.
To avoid paying for a storage unit, and to fit our essentials into this house, we got rid of SO.MUCH.STUFF. Some of the things we couldn’t part with are stored in my in-laws’ garage. We stashed the remainder in our garage here. But every time I go out there, I look at the stacks of leftovers, zero in on something, and think “Why did we keep this?! We’re never going to use it again.” And it goes to Goodwill on my next trip.
To be honest, I can’t even REMEMBER what all is in all those bins and boxes. We plan to visit my in-laws this weekend to clear some stuff out. It’s become apparent to us that if we don’t know what else is there, then we probably don’t need it.
It’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders – one I didn’t even was there.
As a result, the belongings that we DO have are easy to locate. Because there are only so many places they could be. I can run a quick inventory in my head and say, “Yep, we got that. Lemme go grab it.”
or “Nope. Not anymore. We got rid of that.”
I love it.
2) This house feels bigger!
I’m serious. Even though our old house had significantly more square feet, it’s design made poor use of that space and resulted in inefficient traffic flow.
Admittedly, I have been enamored with the “tiny house” fad since it begun. (They are just so cute! And beautiful! And tiny!) The reason those houses work is that space is utilized in the absolute most efficient way possible. They are incredibly well thought-out and designed to avoid wasting a single square inch. Most of these structures are under 500 square feet!
Bungalows built in the 1940’s however, were NOT thoughtfully designed with the efficient use of space in mind. Not at all. Many houses of that age have been remodeled and added onto at various points. As a result, the floor plan is often haphazard. In our old home, we were always on top of one another. The narrow galley kitchen connected the front of the house to the back, so when we entertained guests it was very crowded. The third bedroom was more of a hallway, which you needed to pass through to get to the bathroom.
Now, the house we are renting is at least 100 years old. But when it was renovated, the owners removed some walls and widened doorways in the main living space. So it feels more like the modern, open floor plan newer homes are built with. All of the main living space is conjoined. When I’m cooking in the kitchen, I don’t have people pushing past me to get to the living room. We even served a meal for thirteen people here last weekend. And it felt so much more spacious!
3) We’re free!
The last reason I genuinely do not mind living in this small house, for however long it’s necessary, is we are free!
We can take our time searching for the perfect home to raise our family without any looming deadlines. We’re living in a neighborhood we love (the same one in which we hope to eventually find a house to buy), where we’re enjoying this period of limbo. The kids are happy here. The older two look forward to having their own bedrooms, someday. We talk about it often. But the new bunk beds in their shared room are still a novelty. It’s fun for now.
So, I’m embracing the simplicity of life here, in this season. I don’t keep anything I don’t need, because I know I’ll only have to box it up and move it before long. The wide windows on the front porch which is our dining room, make me inexplicably happy. I love to sit there with my coffee and watch the morning come. Things will change again soon enough.
For now, we are just fine.