Thursday, May 14, 2009

Moving House in March - A Downsizing Exercise

I took a new job in a different part of the province last fall and left my partner and four dogs expecting that this "living-apart" arrangement would only last for a few months. Well the house didn't sell before Christmas. I won't bore you with the details; however, I will tell you if you plan to make a major life change that involves switching jobs or moving, try not to do it just before a once-in-a-lifetime banking crisis. Stuff goes wonky and banks can get down right cantankerous to deal with.

When December came, I realized I needed to shorten my commute and find some temporary digs so I rented a small one bedroom basement apartment. I moved some stuff in gradually, personal belongings mostly, and furnished the place almost for free thanks to donations from friends and family. Over the nearly four months I was there, I began to notice the stuff I insisted on having around and the stuff I didn't miss at all. When I made journeys back to visit with my partner and pooches, I was reminded of all the other stuff I actually owned but was living without, quite easily I might add. Each evening, as I visited some of my favorite tiny house websites, I began to believe I might actually be able to downsize to a tiny house one day.

On a subsequent trip back home, we got an offer on our house (in March no less), came to an agreement on the selling price and I returned to the city to begin a search for a new home in earnest. Even in the hottest real estate markets, there is always less to choose from in the latter parts of winter,and such is the case in my area. We eventually settled on a town house that was about 400-500 square feet smaller than the detached house in which we lived before. The pictures below will give you an idea of the difference - the red house is the house we just sold, the blue house (middle) is our new place.

Moving in day was challenging. Because we were still in the grips of winter, there was no "pre-move" yard sale to thin things out, so we moved into our town house with pretty much everything we had in our 1500 square foot house and garage. Can we say "tight squeeze." As I type this, I can see numerous boxes labelled "yard sale" awaiting good weather so we can offer the contents for adoption, so to speak, and we can hardly wait! We've sold off some furniture already with the help of the internet and taken some clothing donations to the GoodWill. There is something liberating about thinning out one's belongings!

This house is easier to clean and heat and because it is a townhouse, we are already getting to know our neighbors. While 1200 square feet is far from "tiny", it is considered a small house and brings us a step further in terms of downsizing. We are expecting to be here for a maximum of five years. At that point, we hope to be moving into our much smaller, owner-built, retirement home.

In the meantime, I'm hoping to build a tiny house on wheels. I am paying close attention to the Tiny House Blog and all posts that relate to owner-built tiny houses. I'm still in search of the perfect retirement home plan to accomodate two adults and four dogs in a northern marine climate.

I'll let you know how the yard sale goes - we're aiming for a week from this Saturday, weather permitting. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. The house is good after all. Adequate space and a garage space for the mobile person. It is a good take to say the least.
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