Lacey and I are constantly downsizing.
We currently live (with 2 pets) in a 900 sq. ft. condo in downtown Boise, ID. We share a small bedroom closet, we share 1 bathroom, and it works for us. We don’t have a yard to take care of. We never drive on the weekends because we can walk to coffee shops, restaurants, and movies. I’m lucky enough to say that life is pretty mellow and easy for us right now. Our lives are how we currently want them to be. As odd as it is, I’m not sure many people can say the same thing.
With all of the initial patting ourselves on the backs aside, things weren’t always as simple for us. Two and a half years ago we were living in a 2040 sq. ft. house with a 3 car garage and a good sized yard. We had 3 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and a large bonus room we converted to a 2nd master bedroom upstairs (for winter).
While we owned all of this space, we would only use about 700 sq. ft. of it on a regular basis. The rest of the house we just filled with decorations, furniture, and other completely useless bullshit. Our heating bill in the colder months of the year would reach close to $200 a month (same with our electric bill in summer), our water bill would be well over $100 a month in summer to water the lawn we never spent time on…other than the miserable 2hrs every 2 weeks I would spend mowing it to appease the home owner’s association people. Our monthly bills were overwhelming.
We never traveled. We never hung out. We never had time to enjoy our lives together. We were always working on the house, working on the yard, working to pay for the mortgage. There was always some sort of lingering stress stemming from this lifestyle we created for ourselves. …this trap.
Like I mentioned in a previous post. Lacey and I made a decision one morning at breakfast to break free from all of this stress. We needed to rip the band aid off and start downsizing…immediately.
First things first, we needed to downsize our space. The less space you have, the less stupid shit you’ll fill it with. So we put that 2040 sq. ft. house up for sale immediately.
The house sold and we had to be out a week after it did, so we didn’t have any time to filter through our belongings and downsize. Instead, I rented a giant storage unit and we just transferred ALL of our stuff into it. Furniture, TVs, decorations, clothes, …everything. It was insane! Our storage unit was made to store an R.V. and we had it completely filled with our junk.
After being homeless for 5 weeks (sleeping on the floors of various family member houses) we purchased our 900 sq. ft. condo. From our overwhelming storage unit, we carefully selected a few “must have” items for our condo and decided to get rid of everything else. After 3 months of Craigslisting and making trips to the local Good Will and the city dump, we finally got rid of all of the meaningless material junk that had been weighing over us for years. It was a crazy, stressful few months, but we literally threw away our stresses. What’s a few months of stress in exchange for years of happiness?
Staying on top of this new lifestyle is constant process. We could easily end up right back where we were before with a house full of junk. We are constantly downsizing. When we’re at stores, we now look in our basket as we’re approaching the check out counter and say “do I really need that”…and go put it back on the shelf if the answer is “no.” For our birthdays, we buy each other non-material gifts (weekend trips/date nights/etc.). Every couple of months, we look in our closets and drawers and pull out anything that we haven’t used in a while and get rid of it. There’s so much cool junk in today’s world, it’s hard to stay in control of your wants VS your needs.
Stay tuned as our battle to stay downsized continues.