In November of 2015, my husband Bill and I started thinking seriously about downsizing. At the time we lived in a 2500 square foot home with 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. For the two of us. We bought the house 11 years ago, just before we got married. It was beautiful, even if it had a few foibles that we were willing to overlook (lots of wallpaper! lots of Wedgewood blue!) because the house had terrific structure, classic style, and a lovely and unique yard and garden. So we bought it, we remodeled it, and we enjoyed it for 10 years.
And then I got antsy. Yes, I loved the house, but suddenly it felt awfully large and awfully expensive to maintain.
In spite of a spacious living room and a formal dining room on the first floor, we spent almost all our time in the kitchen and family room at the back of the house. On the second floor, we only used two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The bedroom I thought would be a great office turned out to be darker and gloomier than I liked. I put so much clutter into it that it became a large storage closet. When I wanted to write, I took my laptop to the kitchen and worked there for the extra light and the view of the backyard garden. The exercise room we built in the basement went largely unused. Frankly, anyone who knows me could have predicted that, but there is no denial like self-denial. I was convinced I would use all that equipment once I had a lovely room for it. Hah!
It was a great house for entertaining and early on, we had a couple large parties. After a streak of health issues, I realized that my party-throwing days were behind me. Even small get-togethers wore me out.
So there we were, two people with a large house and a yard that we paid a lawn maintenance company to maintain. While I enjoy flowers and gardens, I’m good for one to two days of gardening a year at most, particularly since my knees don’t bend appropriately for kneeling. With the exception of occasionally using our gas grill, we’re simply not outdoor people.
The decision to look for a newer, smaller house, perhaps a condo with a homeowner’s association to take care of the yard, was easy to make. We decided to sell the house we were in, and buy a smaller one.
We figured it would take a year or so for it to happen.
The process actually took a lot less time.
This blog post is the first part of a series called Downsizing. It is the chronicle of moving from a 2475 square foot home to one approximately half its size during the first six months of 2016. It takes place in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.