Sherry’s publish just a few months in the past about what furnishings & decor we nonetheless personal after downsizing was the primary time I’d seemed again at photographs of our earlier home shortly. It was a enjoyable stroll down reminiscence lane (how has it been 2.5 years since we moved?!). It additionally stroke a chord in my memory about how a lot “additional home” we used to have. As in, full rooms that have been so under-utilized that I’d virtually forgotten about them!
Don’t get me unsuitable: we beloved that home. However, as you understand, it was a a lot greater home than we realized we wanted (spending a whole summer time in our smaller pink seashore home actually clarified that for us – extra on that right here), and we have been excited & relieved to downsize to our present house in Florida. We went from 3,150 sq. ft in Virginia to 1,400 sq. ft right here – which is lower than half the area, for the maths nerds on the market.
Some rooms listed here are simply smaller than their Virginia counterparts, however we even have full rooms which are simply completely lacking (we went from 3 bogs to 1, and now not have issues like a storage, a house workplace, a eating room, and so on). And over the previous 2.5 years of dwelling right here in our smaller house (by means of a worldwide pandemic, which resulted in a whole yr of at-home studying in our smaller area!) we’ve undoubtedly put having fewer rooms to the check. And because it has been just a few years, and we’ve gotten alongside so nicely with out them, I assumed it’d be fascinating to see which of them we don’t miss (and those that we do miss).
6 Rooms Versus 14 Rooms
Merely put, our present house has six rooms. A multifunctional room downstairs that has a kitchen on one facet and a sitting space on the opposite, three bedrooms, a toilet, and a multi-functional household room upstairs that serves as a TV room/workplace/crafting space/playspace. Right here they’re:
If you wish to learn extra about these rooms and see extra photographs of every one, I’ve linked them under for you:
- The Kitchen/Sitting Space
- Our Bed room
- The Toilet
- Our Daughter’s Bed room
- Our Son’s Bed room
- The Upstairs Household Room
We’re fortunate to even have a giant upstairs deck, two porches, a pool space, and different out of doors areas that give us much more room to unfold out (and due to it being good outdoors practically year-round right here, they get numerous use!). However as for conditioned indoor rooms, these six areas are it! We do have a laundry closet within the kitchen and a small hallway that joins a number of the rooms, however these don’t rely as precise rooms by any commonplace I’ve ever heard of.
Word: a grand hallway with precise furnishings in it – like an entry lobby, can undoubtedly rely as a room (for instance, our final home’s lobby had an entry desk, a chandelier, and two of its personal closets inside that roughly 12′ x 12′ room – so the actual property itemizing for that home listed it as a room and included its measurements).
Talking of our final home, let’s evaluate the FOURTEEN rooms we had there:
- The Kitchen
- The Household Room
- The Eating Room
- The Workplace
- The Downstairs Toilet
- The Lobby
- Our Bed room
- Our Toilet / Stroll-In Closet
- Our Daughter’s Room
- Our Son’s Room
- The Corridor Toilet
- The Artwork / Homework Room
- The Laundry Room
- The Bonus Room
That’s a distinction of 8 rooms – not together with unconditioned areas – so there’s undoubtedly a noticeable distinction between the 2 homes. A humorous facet notice is that our Richmond home additionally had a GIANT walk-up attic (as giant as all the first ground of the home), a two-car storage, and a giant out of doors shed, that are 3 different areas that we don’t have in our present home.
These three spots might maintain a ton of stuff, so together with happening by 8 rooms, we additionally downsized these additional storage areas! That’s really one thing I’m actually proud that we might accomplish. We used to have SO MUCH CRAP within the attic and the storage felt like we continually wanted to scrub it out.
The Rooms We *Don’t* Lacking Having
First, a fast disclaimer: completely different individuals clearly have completely different wants and needs from their properties. Folks typically ask us about “our downsizing journey” (please say that with drama and emotion like each particular person on Love Island says “our relationship journey”) and we’re completely satisfied to speak about how issues have gone for us, however we’re the primary to confess that each human on earth could have completely different experiences, opinions, and outcomes.
The purpose of this record is simply to share our thought course of, which could aid you decide what your “should have” areas are in the event you’re home searching, renovating, or perhaps simply rethinking the perform of a spare room in your own home. And in the event you’re fascinated about downsizing, this may provide you with some hope that you just’ll be wonderful with out a [insert room you’ve always had here].
Additionally, we’re not scripting this to counsel that you just demolish a sure room or really feel unhealthy about having it. Numerous these rooms are very important in sure properties and households and, even when not, there’s nothing unsuitable with a room merely being “good to have” both. Heck, we lived in our too-big-for-us home for 7 years earlier than we made the transfer right here! So perhaps your spare bed room is sweet for resale, that additional powder room was enjoyable to brighten, or that basement gymnasium is nice for storing fifty-two containers of vacation decorations. We undoubtedly stuffed our attic TO THE GILLS. We have now been there and we get it.
Once we lastly acquired to the place the place we have been excited (after which extraordinarily relieved) to downsize, we additionally knew it will contain some sacrifices and compromises in comparison with our earlier house. Truthfully what this record confirmed us upon additional reflection is what number of of them haven’t felt like sacrifices in the long term! That actually was the shock from this hindsight evaluation.
Don’t Miss: A Lobby
Longtime followers could be stunned by this as a result of we generally bemoaned the lack of a lobby in our first two properties. Each have been small brick ranches the place the entrance door opened proper into the lounge. So having a correct entryway in our final home had felt like we’d FINALLY MADE IT. We have been fancy individuals with a lobby!
However trying again on it, that room seems like wasted sq. footage as a result of we mainly by no means used the entrance door (we at all times got here by means of the storage) so the lobby was simply additional area to cross by means of on our technique to different rooms. And regardless that we’re again to that door-swings-right-into-living-area situation right here, it truthfully hasn’t bothered us. It’s such as you at all times lengthy for one thing, lastly get it, and understand it’s wonderful however not a deal-breaker if it went away once more.
It undoubtedly took a while to determine a furnishings format that works across the entrance door, however we’re actually pleased with the way it’s turned out. We even have some good purposeful storage for coats and backpacks proper whenever you stroll in, due to the adjoining laundry closet (the youngsters have been in school after we took this photograph, however their backpacks hold on these decrease hooks on the laundry closet door).
Finally, whereas we nonetheless see the worth of a lobby in some properties – even only for the “fancy issue” of getting one for a pleasant dramatic first impression – we’ve realized that we’d personally prioritize a purposeful entryway with storage. For instance, if given the selection between a grand open lobby or a fundamental entrance door with room for a small mudroom closet or backpack dropzone behind a door, we’d select the latter. In our case, we selected an excellent hardworking laundry closet and a pleasant open feeling within the dwelling space as a substitute of boxing out a proper lobby.
Don’t Miss: A Laundry Room
Once more, this may come as a shock contemplating we labored very exhausting to create a laundry room from scratch in our final home (we stole area from our unfinished attic). We even went all out with a marble backsplash and under-cabinet lighting to make it essentially the most tricked-out laundry area we’ve ever owned.
Looking back, it was undoubtedly extra laundry area than we wanted. Going into it, we pictured LOVING the choice to throw haphazard piles of to-be-washed objects on the ground, shut the door, and let it’s our little soiled secret. Or perhaps having fun with some peace-and-quiet whereas we folded or ironed garments in right here.
However none of that ever actually occurred. Garments by no means made a pit cease in right here, other than time spent within the precise washer or dryer (they have been in our hampers earlier than – and folded on the mattress in our room after). Possibly if we had extra children, busier sports activities schedules, or greater wardrobes (you understand Sherry loves a minimal closet) we’d have discovered ourselves needing this spacious secluded laundry zone on the finish of an extended upstairs hallway. However for our household, having the laundry so out-of-sight really ended up being a sticking level. We have been continually forgetting we had any laundry operating as a result of it was on the very finish of this lengthy hallway tucked behind a door (in each former homes it was rather a lot nearer to extra bustling areas of our house just like the kitchen and we hardly ever forgot laundry due to that proximity).
In some ways, our new laundry setup is good for our habits. It’s proper in the midst of the home in a closet inside our kitchen/downstairs dwelling space, which makes it extraordinarily handy to everybody’s bedrooms and it significantly cuts down on forgotten hundreds. However it’s nonetheless roomy sufficient that we now have a counter for pre-treating stains, a basket for wrangling too-be-washed objects that could be on deck for the following load, and ground area for standing with out being completely in the best way.
And since it’s nonetheless behind closed doorways, it doesn’t must be stored pristine AND it cuts down on the laundry noise remarkably nicely. It’s humorous additionally to understand that in our first two homes, we solely ever had laundry closets or nooks with a stackable washer/dryer – and by no means actually had a giant devoted room with cabinetry and tile and all that jazz like we had in our final home. However as soon as once more, I believe it was a case of “eh, we had it and it was good, however we’re simply wonderful with out it.” Principally whenever you downsize you select your priorities and your own home can’t have every little thing as a result of then it will simply be large.
Don’t Miss: The Eating Room
This in all probability comes as no shock to most individuals, contemplating how a lot “formal” eating rooms have fallen out of favor with many households. We additionally spoke typically about how hardly ever we used this room. We normally ate household dinners at our kitchen island, so this was largely only a dumping floor for packages and to-be-dealt-with containers that we sometimes cleaned up if visitors have been coming over.
Now we solely have one indoor eating spot: the desk in our kitchen (which may seat as many as 8 individuals if we pull it out, which we’ve completed fairly just a few instances). As a household, we now have realized that we MUCH favor consuming at a desk dealing with one another, so it is a huge enchancment from sitting on greater stools all staring out in a line at our previous kitchen island.
One apparent draw back to that is that it’s a far cry from a “formal” setup, so in the event you love internet hosting dinner events, this won’t suffice. We’ve by no means been huge formal entertainers (we like an off-the-cuff set-out-the-chips-and-salsa recreation evening or an order-pizza-or-BBQ-burgers ceremonial dinner), so it wasn’t a priority to ditch our eating room. As of late if we now have individuals over, we have a tendency to assemble outdoors in any case. We regularly eat out by the pool, the place we now have a pleasant huge desk with an umbrella that additionally seats 8.
Don’t Miss: The Bonus Room
Because the title implies, this room was “additional” area in our final home that we created by ending the attic over our storage. After our kitchen, it was the largest room in the home and it acted as a film/TV room + playroom + crafting area. So it’s humorous to suppose such a multifunctional room falls into the “don’t miss” class. However wait – there’s a clear purpose why we don’t miss it that we’ll get to in a second.
Changing this unfinished area on our second ground into conditioned usable sq. footage was partly as a result of it simply made sense for the home (it already had HVAC arrange, so all it actually wanted was drywall to be a purposeful room – plus we nonetheless had a full unfinished walk-up attic on the third ground for storage). And making this a bonus room appealed to us as a result of we thought a secondary dwelling area that was designed with the youngsters in thoughts could be good. You understand, a enjoyable area to corral everybody’s children after we had individuals over, a room that could possibly be messy upstairs however you simply ignore it downstairs, and a spot for cozy household film nights.
Funnily sufficient, the explanations we preferred that bonus room are the exact same causes we love our household room on this smaller home! It’s an upstairs secondary dwelling area that’s designed with our children in thoughts, to allow them to go away it messy, hang around with their pals whereas the adults hang around downstairs, and we will all pile in for a household film evening. Word: we rely our small downstairs sitting space & kitchen as our main dwelling area as a result of all of us spend much more time in that consuming/cooking/hangout zone downstairs than we do up right here, nevertheless it’s fairly shut. Six rooms = you employ all of them, rather a lot.
Format tip: in a small home, having two giant dwelling areas that aren’t proper subsequent to one another is absolutely what makes this home really feel prefer it lives LARGE. We routinely have a ton of youngsters up right here hanging out and all the adults downstairs stress-free within the kitchen/sitting space, and due to one being a whole ground above the opposite, the youngsters don’t hear each convo we now have downstairs, and we don’t hear no matter film they’re watching or recreation they’re taking part in. It’s nice.
Similar to our final home’s bonus room, our upstairs household room right here has a TV, an artwork desk, and open ground area for video games & crafts. Issues have modified a bit now that our children are older (we added that bonus room 6 years in the past), so we don’t expertise blocks and stuffed animals everywhere in the ground like earlier than. However this room nonetheless sees its justifiable share of messes within the type of crafting explosions or board recreation marathons – all of which find yourself on the ground – which is another excuse we’re glad it’s upstairs and out of sight. Similar to our former bonus room!
So in the long run, the rationale we don’t miss the “bonus room” room is that we nonetheless kind of have it, simply by one other title. And ours works even tougher right here as a result of it additionally has an workplace area tucked into it. Talking of which…
Missed It At First: The Workplace
As two individuals who earn a living from home, one concern when shopping for this home was not having a devoted room for a house workplace. In our final home we had transformed the formal front room into a big workspace for each of us, so we knew that downsizing to a room with out a devoted house workplace was going to be a giant change.
The distinction felt particularly difficult proper after we moved, due to COVID throwing digital studying onto our plates. For a whole yr, all 4 of us ate virtually each meal at house, labored & did faculty 5 days per week from this home, and so on. I imply: nothing places a home to the check like that. And I’m completely satisfied to report that we made it work, nevertheless it undoubtedly wasn’t the best time of our lives (I’m positive plenty of individuals would say the identical factor). This was the setup proper after we moved. It was… not ultimate.
The humorous factor is that it wasn’t all that completely different from what we had occurring in our final home’s house workplace (these two tiny chairs have been the youngsters desk and the floating desk about 4 ft away was Sherry’s).
… however with children at house all day lengthy attempting to do faculty whereas we tried to work. Yeah, you guys know what that’s like. Fortunately, that wasn’t the setup for lengthy – and lots of days really seemed like me within the bed room on a piece name with the youngsters upstairs doing faculty (or one/each of them in their very own rooms so they might focus a bit of extra on one thing), and Sherry working down on the kitchen desk or locked in our bed room for a otherwise timed zoom assembly or convention name.
Issues acquired a lot better because the room developed and the youngsters went again to highschool, and the desk area we carved out is arms down my favourite “house workplace” I’ve ever labored from (I’m typing from right here proper now and I’ve the entire room to myself!). You simply can’t beat all that pure gentle and the view out of that huge window.
I’ve additionally switched again to a laptop computer so I can work outdoors on the upstairs deck (which I do typically) and even on the kitchen porch, such as you see under.
In the meantime, Sherry sometimes works downstairs on the kitchen desk and even outdoors by the pool along with her laptop computer, so in 2.5 years we undoubtedly have found out what works for us and love having such a versatile setup. It’s sometimes inconvenient not having a devoted, quiet area for work (like through the summer time when the youngsters are house), however we by no means had a door on our previous workplace, so we’re no strangers to being interrupted by children or guests. And similar to we did in our final home – if we want a totally quiet area we simply take the laptop computer into our bed room and shut the door. We also have a desk in there by the hearth, so it’s not a foul setup.
Do Not Miss: The Storage
Sherry and I debated the place to place the storage on this record as a result of each on occasion I consider a storage fondly, simply because of how handy it was, however I’ll clarify why we finally each voted: don’t miss. Sherry has an precise hatred for our final storage and is so glad we don’t have one anymore simply because of how a lot time we spent cleansing it out and coping with it being stuffed with crap on a regular basis, so it wasn’t a shock that she voted that manner. However my emotions have been a bit extra layered.
We’re usually very tidy, organized individuals. However for some purpose, garages, sheds, attics, and so on have at all times been our Kryptonite. Our Monica’s Closet, if you’ll. Each single time we spent days cleansing and organizing it and promised ourselves we wouldn’t let it get that unhealthy once more… it did. So the rationale we don’t miss a storage is simply that we’re extraordinarily grateful we’re now not in that tremendous irritating loop of not holding our promise to ourselves and spending one more weekend cleansing the freaking storage.
Not having a storage or a garage-like area has really compelled us into a lot better habits. We take care of containers and to-be-donated stuff straight away (out to the automobile it goes). We don’t gather secondhand furnishings with as a lot abandon (Sherry’s nonetheless a fan of the curbside discover, however provided that we instantly have a necessity/spot for it). And never having a storage has spared us from having to dedicate weekends to huge storage clean-outs and, extra importantly, the overall disgrace we continually felt in regards to the state of our storage. It was an on a regular basis sticking level that we by no means solved. And now, we’ve solved it by not having one.
The easy purpose I very sometimes look again on a storage fondly is that it’s good to have a lined enclosed area to retailer issues like bikes and our automobile. Right here I actually simply would love it for bike storage. Our automobile is out within the open and it’s fully wonderful, however we use bikes right here rather more than we did in Virginia, and having a moist seat from them sitting out isn’t superb (weirdly, it’s how mainly everybody shops their bikes right here: all lined up outdoors). It will be easy sufficient to make a lined little alcove for our bikes someplace within the yard with a giant piece of tin on posts or one thing. Even simpler, I simply found these bike seat covers – and our seats aren’t moist anymore. So I believe Sherry is 100% proper. We can’t be trusted to not fill a storage with crap. We have now unlocked total weekends spent on the seashore & our pool that in any other case would have been spent cleansing a storage if we had one. So I’m sure that in the long term it’s a win for us to not have one.
However lest you suppose we’re totally cured… we DO have a small shed on the facet of our home that we use for instruments, yard gear, and different miscellaneous stuff. It’s in regards to the measurement of a port-o-potty, so we will’t actually stuff tons of issues inside… however I’m solely displaying you the surface of it as a result of – TRUE TO FORM! – it’s at present a multitude inside.
Generally Miss: Our Ensuite Toilet
This may occasionally come as a shock since we’ve put our plans so as to add a second lavatory to this home on indefinite maintain (we simply don’t really feel squeezed for one in any respect but – and embarking on an costly reno when the present setup has labored wonderful for years now simply doesn’t really feel like the most effective use of cash or time). So whereas we really don’t miss having an ensuite lavatory, we simply generally miss THIS particular lavatory from our final home.
And I believe that’s largely as a result of we didn’t have a lot time to benefit from the completed product earlier than we moved. We gleefully completed the toilet and solely acquired to get pleasure from it for about 3 months earlier than we had a Florida zip code.
The timing actually wasn’t good, nevertheless it was a small casualty for making the extra rewarding way of life change of downsizing to a hotter and extra walkable house close to the seashore. Trying again at these photographs, I believe we simply want we had renovated the toilet MUCH SOONER (we lived on this home for 7 years, virtually all of which have been spent with the unrenovated lavatory that you just see in the earlier than photographs right here).
The Commerce-Offs Of Downsizing
Lacking that grand lavatory of yore is a major instance of reminding ourselves that we made intentional trade-offs by downsizing. Sure, we now not have a giant fancy marble lavatory. As an alternative, we now have this lovely area to take an open-air bathe within the daylight (and an precise indoor bathe too). True story: all of us bathe outdoors round 90% of the yr – it’s our favourite spot with the solar streaming down and a complete lotta vegetation.
Really, a ton of downsizing is simply buying and selling one thing for one thing else. We stay just a few blocks from the seashore (we will stroll there in 3 minutes!) however all of us share a toilet. We don’t have a storage, however we now have a giant second-floor deck up within the bushes. Our kitchen is about 1/3 the scale of the one at our final home, however there’s a grocery retailer, eating places, and ice cream outlets inside strolling distance. Our web isn’t at all times dependable (significantly it’s sloth-slow generally) however we now have a pool that we will swim in year-round and a firepit for s’mores. We have now rather a lot much less sq. footage than we used to, nevertheless it’s simpler to scrub and extra inexpensive to warmth & cool. You’ll be able to learn extra about all the strategy of downsizing (it wasn’t all roses!) and that complete tradeoff idea right here on our about web page.
And in the event you’d wish to learn different posts we’ve shared about downsizing during the last 2.5 years, these are full of information:
Additionally, if in case you have any questions on wall colours or the place we acquired sure objects within the photographs inside this publish, this publish has all of the supply information for our present home, and this publish has all of the supply information about our final home.