Today I am thankful for...my small house.
When we moved from DC to Atlanta, we chose to downsize our home. We had a beautiful, new construction town home in the DC suburbs, but the commute was a bear (an hour of cars, buses and trains). When we knew we were moving to Atlanta, we decided we'd buy for the investment and that we'd buy in-town.
Location was key. The hubby's random school schedule made it important for him to be relatively close and my new status as a work from home employee meant I wanted to be close to some action, ANY action, so I wouldn't go stir crazy and could be just minutes away from any client meetings.
In terms of location, we hit the nail on the head. We are close to the highway, practically around the corner from a hospital, moments from Midtown, moments to the heart of Buckhead, a short drive to the airport, close to museums, parks, the Zoo, restaurants, shopping and in the best elementary school district in the city. Score.
Unfortunately, our price range meant that we significantly downsized our square footage. We are now in a two bed/two bath ranch home. Some days I feel like we're bursting at the seams, and we probably are. But I have really come to value a space's function and, as a result, maximizing every little corner of our home.
We actually sacrificed little of our furniture when we moved. The coffee table in our living room had to go based on the layout and placement of the front door (we'd be banging our shins every time we passed through the room), but the ottoman was easily repurposed with a tray to serve as a table top. The hubby's drum set had to be put in the attic for a little while. The futon left once we had to make room for peanut's furniture. But the rest, all strategically arranged throughout our little home.
The hardest part has been the closet space. Three closets in the whole house took a lot of getting used to. The up side? We have been forced to really evaluate what we own, what we bring into the house, what we keep. It's like a built-in clutter honor system.
Living in a culture of consumerism with bigger cars and McMansions, I am thankful for the lessons that living smaller are instilling in our family. Sure, if we could live in a bigger house I'd do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the hubby and I are totally too responsible (two oldest siblings here). We know how tough the market is for selling homes in our neighborhood right now. We are still hesitant to leave our perfect location. I am enjoying my time as a stay-at-home-mom and want to take advantage of it a little longer before having to depend on a second income to make a larger mortgage payment.
So we have the blueprints for an addition plan that await stability in the economic situation. We clean out the closets and cabinets every six months and rearrange the furniture periodically to see if we can't freshen things up with a slightly new perspective.
Even though it's old, even though it's small, even though it needs some TLC, it's home. It's where we brought peanut home when he was 48 hours old. It's where he took his first steps. It's where we laugh and share meals and chase naked baby around and into the bath tub every evening. It's a home that brings us a lot of joy and comfort. And that's really all you can ask from a house, isn't it?
Note: Congrats to the hubby's brother's family as they move into their new home this week! What an exciting time to make a new house a home - just in time for the holidays and a new addition. Wishing you all the best as you create a host of new memories in your new home.