Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to have your dream home without moving

As we have been house-hunting, one home has captured my heart. It is crisp and adorable and the price is great and all of the responsible money-draining things have already been done to it. We fell in love with every room.

Here's the rub: the house is small. Quite small, and when you add in three children and homeschooling and no storage, it would be a challenge to make it work long term. But the more I think about it the more I love that little house.

So I am asking myself why am I so attracted to a house that is too impractical, and when I think about what it is I really love, it is simply because it is as clean and neat as a pin. I have no doubt that the very same house under a lot of clutter would not have been at all appealing.

We haven't made a decision and are leaning towards staying where we are, but I am acting like we're moving anyway.

Because moving gives you permission to purge.

Every time we move I get rid of anything we don't need, and then moving into a new house feels great because it is clutter-free. In three years at this house the clutter has crept back in, but I realized that I don't need to wait for a move to clean out.

I am thinking about the too-small house and trying to create the same vibe in the house we already live in. I find myself falling in love with this house all over again.

Some things I noticed about the too-small house:

-No clutter anywhere
- Although there isn't much storage, the basement and closets weren't full. 
- Clean surfaces
- A tiny kitchen, but pared down to the essentials made it feel welcoming
- Neutral grey tones and sheer white curtains
- A few carefully selected pieces stood out such as a gorgeous light fixture in the dining room, a sharp rug in a bedroom
-They also only had one child so there were about a million fewer piles of toys and coloring papers and random bits of stuff.
- The cable and internet cords and routers were on neat shelves in the basement- no cords in sight. I love this!
- No rugs at the doors. I'm sure this was for staging purposes, but I have removed several of our rugs for the summer and it makes a difference.
- No coats and shoes piled everywhere. I'm not quite sure what they do with their coats and shoes when they come in the door, this is a continual problem for us. With summer here it is much easier to keep the sandals neatly in a shoe basket.

The owners clearly are masters at staging a house. But I learned something which is that perhaps I could fall in love with any house, simply by keeping control of the clutter.

It feels good to move, without having to move.


Brandee Shafer said...

Thanks for writing about this. I find that "neat as a pin" feels quite unattainable to me. I tried to imagine your basket for sandals. We have a giant tote (I mean massive!) by the door for shoes.

Sarah Heaston said...

Love this post Jess! :) I have a picture on my wall that I have always loved, it says "Love grows well in little houses"....your post reminded me of it! Decluttering is very freeing....often simple is a feast!

Jessica Stock said...

Sarah I love that! and Brandee our shoes never stay in a basket- only a dream! ha!

LisaM said...

Yes!!! Live well now in the space you have. Love your list... :-)

Cami said...

I smiled all the way through this. I often tell my husband that our house isn't too small, we simply have too much stuff. And it's true. I love to purge and he loves to save, in case it comes in handy one day.

Simply loved this post.