Why Downsizing Was Right For Me

First off, I want to take a minute to acknowledge Remembrance Day and all the soldiers past and present who have served for my safety and freedoms. I am thankful.
My family and I recently moved from a 2300sqft home that had never ending projects with a very large yard to a brand new build on a small lot with a living space of 1500sqft. We also moved back to Abbotsford from Chilliwack. As a 32 year old with a husband and two small kids this may seem like a backwards move for some families. Our kids now share a room and no longer have a separate play room. We merged two living room type spaces into one. We no longer have a formal dining room either. BIG CHANGES, but I couldn’t be more happy. Here is why we did it. First off, choosing a new space to live feels a bit like rolling the dice. Its risky business because you don’t know what you will find nor if you will be able to purchase what you do find. It is a whole system where it can feel like nothing is in your own control. That being said, we made this move from a large home to a small home because we were able to clarify our priorities and make known the challenges we wanted to minimize in our lifestyle. Here was our list:
Cons to Big Home Needing Repairs
  • Never ending work to be done on upgrades and repairs because the house was old.
  • More living space than what we needed requiring cleaning and kids would constantly scatter toys around making it cluttered.
  • House felt divided by separate living/playing areas.
  • Three levels meant safety concerns for the upper deck with small kids.
  • Our house was also on a large hill which made outdoor activities like riding bikes an impossibility.
  • Commute was impacting our daily lives immensely.
Priority Items For Living Space – some items we didn’t want to loose and others we were missing in our previous space.
  • Private and safe yard off of main level. Enough space for swing set and sandbox. Flat lot.
  • Office for me to work from home because of covid.
  • New essential items like hot water tank, roof etc. so we didn’t have any large unforeseen expenses for repairs.
  • Neighborhood where I could continue to run from my front door.
  • 1400sqft minimum. We calculated this by subtracting the rooms in our previous space we didn’t need.
  • Abbotsford location that was fairly central.
Like I said when we eventually made the decision to look for a home we realized a lot of what we were used to seeing, having and using would not be the same in our desired space. Knowing what exactly our desired space was felt weird. We had to readjust the lens we were looking through numerous times to find our new home in the search results. We didn’t plan to have the kids share a room and originally hadn’t been open to it. This was a perfect example of how we needed to re-evaluate the lens we were looking through. What appeared to be ideal was not. Our reasoning for the kids not sharing a room was it was unknown to my husband and I. My husband had his own room most of his life and I didn’t have siblings who lived with me therefore I never had to share a room. When we decided to question our reasoning around this, I felt it was wise to survey our friends whose kids have shared rooms. Turns out we were actually entirely on board with our kids sharing a room for a bunch of reasons we fell in love with during our survey. One of the biggest perks is teaching our kids to be considerate of one another, make space for one another physically and emotionally. Although the first week was hard with a noisy sleeper and a kid who wakes from any minor noise even with the white noise maker on full blast. I can already see how the kids are adjusting well to sharing a room by the way they are playing with one another. Its crazy how much they get along better in only a week!
Other things required us to think outside the box. Such as the layout of our new home. Before I even was open to viewing it I asked our realtor to send me the floorplan. I wanted to measure our furniture to know how it would fit in the space. We have a lot of large items of furniture I wasn’t wanting to let go of. It all measured up to the necessary items in a matter of inches. After viewing it we fell in love with it. Its brand new which was not something we thought would be in our budget and it checked of all our boxes. The last thing I had to come to terms with was the fact that about 60% of our home contents would not fit in this new home. So we purged. We moved and purged some more.
During our move we lived in a hotel for a week. It was a tiny one bedroom apartment type suite. I was not sure we would survive a week in such a small space however I was astonished at how wonderful it felt. Having a special needs child and a toddler they can be a lot to handle. They make a mess like a hurricane blew through in a matter of seconds and it can be overwhelming to clean up. The best part about a small space is? You can’t have as many things. The mess is significantly reduced and much quicker to clean. Moving into our home after that week made the home actually feel so much larger than I anticipated. I learned what items I really needed to survive and which items helped me cope with stress. Everything in between I no longer feel attached to and it has been so easy to let go of it.
To summarize my point, I often cling to things unknowingly. I tether myself to stuff or ideas because I think they make me feel secure. The clutter and noise of things that don’t serve me actually burden me more than I realized. The freedom of letting go of my things has given me such peace and satisfaction. Learning what parts of me needed to be healed because they were clung to a physical item was also eye opening. That all being said I am also a cancer or July baby which means my shell (home) is very important to my well being. Living in transition was not for me however I am thankful for everything I learned during that season. I feel free knowing I do not need my things to make me happy and I feel reassured knowing what helps me cope with stress. I also learned the valuable lessen that limiting beliefs will continue to show up when you least expect it. When we come up against something that doesn’t work or feels like a non-negotiable there might be more to it than meets the eye and I challenge you to take another look. You may just be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
As always, thank you for reading. I hope you feel encouraged or inspired!
-Chantel