Friday, June 27, 2014

Downsizing -- Expectations vs. Reality

So it’s been about 20 months since we ditched the big house on the cul de sac, got rid of half of everything we owned, including almost all my craft supplies, and moved to a smaller home. 

We had a lot of expectations.  Here are how some of them worked out.

1.        We wouldn't have enough space.  Wrong.

The rooms themselves are small, but we have two bedrooms that are essentially unused.  Need to convert one of them to something else.  We could use more closets and I miss not having enough space to have a big party.  Otherwise, a perfect fit. 

2.  I could craft with one or two boxes of supplies.  BWAHHH. 

But my stash is about 10% of its former warehouse proportions.

3. We’d spend less.  Absolutely. 

I wondered if we’d spend more in the long run because we do not stock up when something is on sale or buy in bulk, but apparently buying for an inventory is costly.  Our utility bills are much less.  We have only have one car.  My craft spending is dramatically lower.

4.  The paper in our house would be under control.  No.

Come home from work too tired to keep it under control.  A work in progress.  

5.  We’d dine like sophisticated folks.  No way. 

With just 2 of us, and no picky kid or mom,  I imagined beautiful little plates of interesting olives, cheese and fresh bread topped with unsalted butter.  Add a gently tossed salad with a splash of olive oil and fresh lemon, paper thin shaved Parmesan cheese from the hills of Italy, and topped with a sprig of some organic herb.  Jazz in the background.  Chilled white wine. 

Same old boring food.  Sometimes jazz is in the background, but neither of us drinks wine, so why was that ever part of the fantasy? 

6. We’d see more people.  YES YES YES. 

Just looking out our window is fun.  Construction and a ton of folks just walking by.  We stroll over to the neighborhood frequently  – watched one of the US soccer matches outdoors with hundreds of like minded fans last week and had a blast.  We see people, a fascinating diversity of people from all over the world, all the time.      

7.  We wouldn't drive as much.  Yes. 

Most weekends our car sits in the garage except for an occasional errand and to put in gas.  We spend about $20 a week on gas.  Sweet. 

8.  We’d have more free time because of no lawn or snow responsibilities.  Yes, Mike does....

9.  We’d go to the movies more often because the theater is a 3 minute walk.  Yes

Saw more movies last year than in the prior 5 put together.    

10.  We would be happier.  YES


  1. Love the update on your big life change. Read all the items, got to the bottom and thought; " well, number 10 is the only one that really matters anyway, right"? ๐Ÿ˜„

  2. I love this post. I am happy to hear that the move was most of what you expected. We are thinking of downsizing too. But we need all of this room for our dogs and don't expect to be able to do it until after they are gone.

  3. I'm so glad things worked out in a positive way for you two! I am going to have to move in the next year or two; but not as a choice. My husband of 38 years just moved out this week, and I won't be able to afford a $3000/mo mortgage on my own. (thanks a lot, honey) I am devastated, but determined to live through this, even if I do have to give up a bunch of my stamps. *sniff sniff* I dread the thought of this process, but I'm glad you survived it, Joan!

    1. Diane, I am so very sorry. This is truly shockingly sad. My heart goes out to you. Hugs

  4. We're about to downsize and it's all about "space for my stuff"! Cut my crafting WAY back, but still too much...just found 6 bottles of Twinkling H20's that I never used, didn't know I had....bad. But it's scary to move after 29 years. Getting rid of accumulated "stuff" is REALLY, REALLY hard...and the space we've enjoyed to store all this stuff. Glad to know you survived and are quite happy...that truly is the bottom line. Hope we can say the same after we finally uproot.

  5. I too am happy and pleased for you, Joan. Thanks for sharing your journey and this good news.

  6. Good for you! You had such huge change in your life in such a short time, you would have been entitled to fall all to pieces and never blog again. But here you are, mostly sparkly and adapting like a true Trooper. Your writing is hilarious, especially #5. Meals On Wheels comes next, so enjoy your boring food while you can. :-)

    Thanks for writing. It's such a treat to hear how others row the boat most of us will have to row one day too.


  7. Bottom Bottom line - Success with moving - YES. Good for you. :)

  8. Interesting. It seems all the most important stuff worked out. Beautifully summed up in #10.

  9. This was good to read. Although I'm not moving, I'm attempting to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. We'll see how far I get with that goal. I do know I will be getting rid of about 75% of my crafty stuff. I've started with clothes. After a big purge in the spring, I have another 4 lawn and leaf bags ready for AmVets. Again shooting for keeping 25% of what I had. I'm just about there with the clothes. Then onto the kitchen.

    1. It's amazing how much we can get rid of, isn't it? The trick for me is to not accumulate more. I often stop myself right before I indulge and I am so glad when I do.

  10. It sounds like you're on a winner. Keep on enjoying the new pace.

  11. Love it, sounds brill Joan, I am so glad this has worked well for you guys!! hugs!

  12. I can relate to Pat who isn't moving but trying for a more minimalistic lifestyle. I've been slowly weeding out the cracks and crevices. Even downsizing a couple of bottles out of the medicine cabinet makes a difference and can be so freeing. One of the reasons I go very slow is hubby gets anxious when he sees a lot of things being gotten rid of but he doesn't notice a thing or two here and there. That said, the other day he dragged everything out of his closet and purged like a champ all by himself last month.

  13. Aww Joan. that's super :) Glad you're enjoying your new place :)


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