I'm at a strange point in my life. At a time when most people are trying to acquire more - more space, more storage, more gadgets, more things... I'm trying to have less.
My parents bought a house when I was six months old. The three of us lived in it together until 2004 when my Father passed away. My mother decided to sell the house, and my sentimentality kicked in. It's the only house I've ever lived in and I wasn't ready to let go.
Major Mistake the First: I could keep my childhood home if I wanted to. I could afford to buy it (sort of). I went for it.
The problem: This house was a fixer-upper in 1983, and it was still a fixer-upper in 2004 when I got my hands on it. My parents had renovated bit by bit over the years, but as any long-term homeowner knows, it's always something. I was the proud owner of a project house. Also, buying a house from my mother took the pressure off her to move things out quickly or completely. I ended up with a lot of "family things". Lots and lots of things. And then I started nesting, filling my house with fluff. I did what one generally does when one becomes a homeowner, making regular visits to Linens N' Things and creating wishlists on websites of yet more things to buy later.
Further, the house is big. Much too large for two people, two cats and a dog. Three bedrooms, two and a half baths, two-car garage, complete in-law quarters on an acre of property big. Seriously. For two people who aren't very domestically inclined.
Most people say, "That's great! You'll have room for a family!"
Except that we aren't really ready to start a family yet. Because we can't afford it. Because we live in this house.
What I'm learning is that this "standard plan" for what you're supposed to do when you become an adult - buy a car, buy a house, buy lots of crap to fill your house, start a family, buy a bigger house and car to fit your new family, buy more stuff to fill your bigger house...
Guys, this plan sucks.
So I'm not going to do it anymore. And you don't have to, either, if you don't want to. Change of plans!
I'm setting a goal. My plan is to have 50% less possessions and move into a smaller dwelling. It remains to be seen whether that will be a tiny freestanding home, apartment or townhouse, but the important part is that it be appropriately sized to my lifestyle and level of commitment to household maintenance, which at this point my friends, is very low.