I have to be better about taking before and after photos. I really want to chronicle our downsizing process. I have moved a LOT of times, and while those days of upheaval are behind me, I still know how to pack-and-move. I am also pretty heartless when it comes to getting rid of stuff. I’m hopeful I can create a story of minimalism that is pain-free.
Jack and I have talked about making this change, from our suburban townhouse to a much smaller condo in the city, for a long time, probably almost as long as we’ve lived here (about two years). As much as we love this place, it’s just not the lifestyle we want. Every time we travel to a new city, we come home with the desire to live in a walkable neighborhood, to live our lives outside and among the life of the city. It seems worth giving up this space to have that. We do love our home – it’s spacious, nearly-new (and thus problem-free, a welcome relief after our 90 year old bungalow), in a convenient location, with fun neighbors and a pool. It’s such a funny feeling to be happy here but to want to leave.
One of the biggest issues I’m having is with how much stuff we’ve accumulated since moving here. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve bought to fill in the empty space! Such a waste. This townhouse is a much more classic style than either of us gravitate towards, so while it’s not necessarily our esthetic, it needs that extra shelf in the bathroom or the bar along the empty wall to “look right.” Like our home itself, we love all the stuff we’ve bought to put in it, but so much of it is completely unnecessary for our lives.
The other day I started my first project: going through the kitchen to pull out stuff for our garage sale in May. I so wish I had taken pictures of it all! I also went through our book shelf. I took three huge boxes and four or five small ones down to the garage for the pile o’ stuff to be sold. It felt awesome. There are still cabinets to go through, and so many closets. I looooove to get rid of stuff, so while the amount of stuff feels overwhelming, the project itself does not.
It’s such an odd feeling, to be happy in place, but to know that it’s just not what I really want. I am content here, but I’m not challenging myself. It’s scary to think about how much will need to change in order for us to fit happily in less than 1000sf, after living in 2400sf for the past two years. But all of this comfort brings excess, waste, laziness. I’m excited for the challenge.