For years now, I've honestly felt like I was swimming in space. It was sometimes nice and totally the American dream to own all the crap and have the big fat house to store it all in. But it was always way more than we needed. And when Andrew died, it was way more than I ever wanted. I felt like the space was mocking me.
I truly don't know what people do with larger houses. The basement has remained mostly empty for our 6+ years in this 2,640 square feet + 1,320 square feet house. Basements are a funny thing. People literally buy houses with basements here with the sole priority being to store crap they never use in it. It's incredibly perplexing to someone like me who grew up in small houses in Los Angeles (because that's what people do there). Our 1,320 square foot basement is literally bigger than most houses I grew up in. And yes, houses. Because renting in Los Angeles is totally normal. Almost none of my friends have Christmas at their childhood home they lived in from birth. It's a transient lifestyle, all made well by the incredible weather and killer outdoor scene.
Quaint, they say. Cute, they say. Reality is more like it. In Los Angeles, two to three bedrooms is standard and alllllll the peoples share a single bathroom. With a single sink. GASP. I know. I know. Share. a. sink. I seriously remember invading my brother's space while he was showering so I could pee. Because that one bathroom? Also housed the only toilet in the whole house.
This house we own currently? There are FOUR. There is nothing quaint about this living space. It's large.
When we left the kiddos with my mom for 2 days to hop on a plane (and then another because, connections and expensive flights!), we expected to find ourselves a decent-sized house that will hold all of our crap in Reno. I was thinking 2,000 square feet. And we found it over and over again, but I wasn't feeling the vibe in any of those entirely.
Well, the house that we found to be the best fit for us that felt like home was an 1,800 square foot ranch house. Crazy. It's only a rental and if we don't like it, fine. We can just move. But that's unrealistic unless we're moving states again, because moving is expensive and timely and we would have to pay for it ourselves. (GASP again.) So we kind of wanted to like the place for a hot second.
Which meant for me, a fenced-in backyard that is nice. Reno is 300 sunshine days a year, and so I want to spend those lovely days outside. We have a massive deck at our Chicago house and we spend most of our time outside when the weather is nice.
I'm kind of excited to live in a ranch house again. No pile of crap at the bottom of the stairs to transport back on your next trip to the upper level. No schlepping the (better) vacuum up and down stairs. And NO cleaning stairs! Can I get an amen to that?
With the downsize in space means a downsize in crap. Because us Wilsons, we actually do like parking in the 2-car garage (though a 3-car would've solved all of our space issues...). The closets in this joint will be packed to the gills, but at least we love the layout, school district (though one year left to use it), neighborhood, proximity to skiing (14.8 miles!!!) and overall feel. And the backyard is KILLER. It's hard to beat our current backyard, so we're pretty excited to have one that just might.
I was thinking this one from Amazon. They have red and tan. I want something affordable but also cute and I love the little flag holder. My kids are kind of obsessed with flags. And ever-so-fitting, we are moving in July 4! Kinda feels like that's the winner.
We will transport our current patio chaise loungers and leave the awesome picnic table that works so well for our current deck behind. It's going to be hard though, because I love that table.
So that's the backyard. The rest is super nice, adorable and totally our style. And the shower? It has a pebble rock floor. I'm kinda stoked about it. And did I mention only 2 toilets to clean instead of my current four?
I've been selling like a mad woman on all the apps and used garage sale sites you can imagine. So. much. stuff. And we have way less than most people. But still, it's stuff. If we buy again in a few years (or 10), we will buy all those home project items again, but at least we won't have to schlep them from house to house in the interim. Every sale I do makes me feel lighter and lighter.
Totally ready to have the rest of those boxes stacked to the ceiling and minimal storage in favor of a killer outdoor living space and weekend trips to the mountains instead of house work. Moving out this week. Reno or bust.
Heartbreak and Healing
10 months ago