Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sell, Baby, Sell

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.

The left is the sliding glass door (from the living room/kitchen area) and this covered lanai thing is a great shade without blocking all of the sunshine. And that cute patch of grass over there (high end astroturf, brilliant, selling our mower!) is perfect for a playhouse. Which I am totally buying. I refused to buy one for our current house because we have trails that run through our neighborhood and almost no one has a fence. I didn't like the "trail appeal" it had and we really had nowhere to put it since our deck spans the majority of our backyard useable space. Anyone have a playhouse for their kiddos?

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.


Kate said... [Reply to comment]

We have that playhouse (in tan) and my daughter loves it! The nice thing is that there are two doors--and flag holders on both sides :)

We are in Ohio and I will say that it gets pretty hot inside so I bought one of those clip on stroller fans and we clip it inside to help with a little airflow. Just something to think of because I'm sure you'll have some hot days ahead of you!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so excited for you!

Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

Congrats on finding a house that's a good fit. We also found an awesome backyard and it's been great already! I wish we had the "get rid of it" mentality, but alas we have very full storage areas in an 1200 square foot rental with no basement or attic. The energy to post and sell is also a lot--nice job! Good luck getting re-settled!

Kel24 said... [Reply to comment]

Oh wow this is awesome! I love the idea of a ranch.

Totally get what you mean with lots to take care of. We bought our 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath finished basement home (with the basement finished it is lots of stairs!) with 2 kids and now we are expecting number 5. While we do have way less than most people clutter wise I still feel we have a lot of stuff with 6, hopefully 7 if all goes well. We have a huge over half acre lot with a subdivision pool, but I would trade for the nice weather all the time!

Best of luck!

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

That is amazing! I can't imagine having all that space! It would overwhelm me as well. G has a plastic Barbie house that was a hand me down from the girls I nannied for 9 years, the oldest now being 17, that she adores and has had 4 years of being loved by her and all who come over. I highly recommend getting one!
Congratulations on this new journey!

Sonja Mitchell Gallagher said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds like an excellent choice!

Kari Wagner said... [Reply to comment]

When we were in Utah, I told my husband that I could see us in a smaller home because we would be outside ALL OF THE TIME.
The Midwest doesn't know what they are missing.
So excited for your new adventure!

Heather said... [Reply to comment]

I am impressed with your ability to get rid of stuff - I have the "but we might need it sometime!" Mentality! Excited for you and Reno!

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so excited for your westward move. And you know, I've grown to love our 1400 SF Southern California house. I wouldn't know what to do with any more space...okay, maybe one more bedroom, but more than two toilets? No thanks! Cleaning any more would cut into my beach time ­čśé