Consider a smaller home. If you rid your home of stuff, you might find you don’t need so much space. I’m not saying you should live on a boat (although I know some people who happily do so), but if you can be comfortable in a smaller home, it will not only be less expensive, but easier to maintain, and greatly simplify your life. Read about downsizing your home here.Can I check this one off? Sure, it feels like we live small, but I think if we ever found ourselves in the position of needing to move, I wouldn't be totally against downsizing further. Consider a small home? Okay, I'm considering it. I can't say I'd follow in the Attorney at Large's footsteps and go for full on studio living, but I could do a two or three bedroom condo comfortable as long as the location was right. Right now, we're comfortable with our style of living small, which statistically sees us living smaller than most in the U.S., though plenty bigger than many people in the rest of the world.
The thing is, our tiny Cape Cod Revival may be small, but I've been careful to keep furniture scaled appropriately. And as small as it is, it's still a four bedroom house with a good sized finish basement. Tedd, the P., and I could all retire to separate rooms for days at a time, if we wanted to. Sure, we don't have a dining room and do it all in an eat-in kitchen, but we never did host dinner parties anyway and no one has ever complained about having to eat outdoors on the deck in the summer or in the living room in the winter. We have one full bath along with something akin to an airplane bathroom, but so far our schedules have allowed for that - and I don't mind doubling up in the shower, woo woo.
I literally cannot count the number of times we were told we'd get sick of our small house quickly or feel cramped as soon as we had a child - mostly because it's not like I tried to keep track of a number - but that hasn't proven true. I know Tedd would like more private space, but we're working on that. The unfinished room I mentioned will become his office one of these days. P. and I, on the other hand? We like to keep things cozy. I like a small house... it's easy to clean and keep neat with minimal effort, it encourages family time, and it's relatively affordable to heat and cool. Would more house be nice? I guess. But it actually feels like we have a lot of space right now.
And now for Day 35's voluntary simplicity idea:
Consider a smaller car. This is a big move, but if you have a large car or SUV, you may not really need something that big. It’s more expensive, uses more gas, harder to maintain, harder to park. Simplify your life with less car. You don’t need to go tiny, especially if you have a family, but try to find as small a car as can fit you or your family comfortably. Maybe not something you’re going to do today, but something to think about over the long term.We have a... crossover? It's a Kia Rondo, which I believe they stopped making in favor of the Soul. It's kind of like a tiny van or a slightly steroidal station wagon. Are smaller cars totally doable for families. Yes. Would they make life any simpler for MY family? No. Like many family vehicles, ours contains a car seat, and like many safety obsessed parents, we're keeping that car seat rear facing because that is safest. You can squeeze a rear-facing car seat and a toddler into a tiny car, but it's not comfortable for most involved.
What else? Our car provides stroller storage, which is a plus since our house is so tiny and our stroller is so gigantic. We travel to New York fairly often, too, and that means hauling our somewhat larger than average portable crib and then, on the way back, whatever stuff the fam decides to bequeath us on any particular visit. Our car has been useful when hauling mass amounts of garden supplies, bikes, weight benches, furniture, and Christmas presents. In Tedd's words, "We've stuffed that car."
In conclusion, having a slightly larger car has improved our lives, the gas mileage isn't bad, and I like being able to move stuff around. Give up my large-but-not-huge car? Nawwwww.