Monday, June 27, 2011

A Smaller House?

I've been following Brenda's blog entries at Cozy Little House and enjoying all of the comments about the pros and cons of living in a small house. Like many of you, we are "Boomers" who occasionally think about downsizing and living more simply now that our children are grown. The other day, we rode by this little bungalow for sale in a historic cottage community with its own private beach...

The little place was adorable and I started wondering...


 Could I really simplify my life enough to live in 1100 square feet instead of 3500? I sure wouldn't mind having less house to clean and lower heating bills in the winter. The money and time saved could be put toward something more fun than cleaning and maintaining a large home and three acres of land.
But would I regret the decision later?



Could I trade three garages for one? It would mean scraping snow and ice off the car in the winter and less space to work on messy projects...

 But this little cottage garage is so cute with its trellised garden to the side.


 If I didn't have my third floor for a craft room...


would I end up storing my fabric like this? Or could I just keep the pieces I love and forget about the old adage that "she who dies with the most fabric wins"?


Would I have to say "Good-bye" to my favorite junk stores and find new hobbies that don't take lot of space? Could beading or embrodery entertain me as much as bringing a dented old chair back to life?


Maybe I could take up tennis? This court, and a sandy beach, are right down the street from the yellow bungalow. Tennis might be healthier than junking, and my WW leader wold surely approve, but would it be as much fun?

I wonder if I could do without my formal dining room...I think I could.

Most of my guests seem to end up in the kitchen anyway. Maybe I could learn to part with everything I don't really need. I think I could live without a pasta machine, silver serving trays and chafing dishes. But would this little cottage kitchen eventually feel too small?


 Would I miss peeking into my daughter's old room?

Would our grandsons miss their cowboy bunkhouse when they come to stay?

or could this little cottage guest room work just as well?

At this point in my life, I think I could I trade having a living room and a family room...


for a cozy little cottage living room like this...

with an old screened porch right outside the door.

The dreamer in me would love to live simply in an old bungalow by the sea...the practical me keeps wondering if it would work in real life. Back and forth, back and forth I go...one day the dreamer, the next day the pragmatist...

But this little place is awfully cute!

Have you ever thought about simplifying your life and downsizing? Have you actually made the change? I'd love to hear your thoughts...
This post is linked happily to:
Show Off Your Cottage Monday at House In the Roses
Cozy Little House
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On the Porch

18 comments:

Cozy Little House said...

Wow! The thought of a little cottage by the sea (no less) makes my heart go pitter-patter! I was once thinking I needed more space, and all those same thoughts went through my head. But I don't know. I just think it's that time for me.
Brenda

AuntLou said...

Wow! You have shown both ends of the spectrum of my dream homes! One, a cosy little cottage by the sea. The other, actual guest rooms, a craft room and a separate dining room! A garage!? Not having to clean off the car as well as shovel the driveway..? Good luck with your decision! :)

(I'm further up the coast & a little inland.)

Nama Halacy's Comfy Cottage said...

I have lived in a little country cottage for 12 years. We raised five kids here in less then 1100 square feet and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Yea, it is small but all 8 of our kids and thier spouses and 9 1/2 grandkids fit niceley when they visit, I love the coziness and family always fits no matter how small the home.

Andi said...

It would not be a downsizing for me!. Where is it? Only question/ problem bigger than downsizing would be the price.
Andi

Anonymous said...

Cheryl--I've been reading your blog for awhile now and I love it. I downsized from a 2100 sq ft house to a 630 ft condo after my youngest left the nest. Absolutely, without a doubt, the best move I've ever made. I've purged so much stuff that I previously thought I couldn't live without and kept only what was really important to me. I could go on and on about the benefits of downsizing but I won't. I will say that I am now a firm believer in living simply!!! Jana in Texas

Betsy said...

I really enjoyed this post. I do think about downsizing as soon as we're empty nesters. Like you, I'd have to think twice (or three times) about I haul home to sell. Wouldn't miss the yard work, but I'd have a hard time giving up my storage space...not enough of it as it is:-)

NanaNor's said...

Hi Cheryl, Loved this post and I love your home girl. We have about the same square footage we did in our old house-and the only thing I think we could do less of is the yard because it is getting hard for my dear hubby to mow twice a week-but I still want cute. The cottage looked so cute too but I love all your rooms-especially your daughter's old room and the room for your grands. I like everyone to be able to spread out.
Thanks for sharing.
Noreen

Anonymous said...

OK, here my sister goes again ! Love, Joanne

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

Yes, we moved from a 2500 sq. ft. home on a golf course to a small, country house with about 1400 sq. ft.
two years ago. We sold a lot of our furniture, and we sold our nice cars (a Mercedes and a Volvo) so that we wouldn't have car payments. I am so happy that we made these changes to simplify our lives. Was it hard? Yes, there was a period of adjustment but I wouldn't live anywhere else now.

Sewn With Grace said...

Cheryl, you are going through what I'm going through. We are currently looking at a little place on a lake. I think I can do it. It's just stuff. I wonder if I would do more things that really matter in life if I got rid of so much stuff. Do it!

Erin said...

I live in a 950 square foot house, raising a daughter, 3 pets, refinish furniture and craft all the time. And I LOVE every little nook of my tiny little house!! To us, it's absolutely perfect!! :)

I'm passionate about small homes. I think most people CAN live with much less than they do.

But it takes a different mind set. It takes only having what you love surrounding you and weeding out the fluff. It takes loving the fact that the utility bills are less, that the decorating budget is less, that the cleaning takes a lot less time, etc.

Plus, I kind of love the challenge. To me, it's like putting a puzzle together in order to make everything fit and fit well. And we just adapt to the lack of space. Sure, it would be nice to have 2 bathrooms instead of 1, and we dream about it sometimes, but 1 works.

I think the bungalows are FABULOUS! I'd just suggest thinking about what you'd HAVE to have to be happy and how you'd fit those things into a smaller home, how you'd feel selling all those other things, etc. There absolutely will be sacrifices to downsizing....but I think there is a lot to gain too. A simpler life is a quieter life in my humble opinion. :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love looking at homes...especially small houses! We moved out of our big home and bought a smaller house in Florida and a condo here in the mountains of NC. We just got to NC to spend the summer and I love being in this smaller space. Easier to take care of and enjoy! ♥

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I would love a little Craftsman syle bungalo, but I'm dreaming. Cute ones in Galveston, but I don't want to have to evacuate in a hurricane. I've never had a basement or a usable attic. They don't exist here. I've often wished for both, but I guess you get used to not having that kind of extra space. As I get older I'm glad I'm living in a one story house...I would never want two stories any more.

GardenofDaisies (Gayle) said...

I love the cottage! But I have always lived in smallish houses, so it would not be a big change for me.

Connie said...

I have thought about it everyday since I lost my husband. Things are just not the same. I am living in a town home that is halfway between our hometown, and the Va hospital he was in for 13 yearsl.
Sometimes I wake up and wonder what in heaven's name I am doing there ?? My today's post is about a chance to go to Myrtle beach ??
I must have lost my marbles because it is precisely what I should do.
You must miss your sister's much. I lost mine last year, also and she was four years younger.
Here's to better days and good decisions.

Connie said...

PS I love your camper ! Where do you you find them so small these days ? I loved camping life with the family and would love to resume it.
Hugs, Connie

Tonita said...

Just ran into your wonderful blog by way of a google search for "Glamping in a Casita". I have a 20 yr old Casita that I have not used in a decade now. I love to decorate and am finally thinking of fixing her up and using her to relocate myself and my fur kids across the United States far away from the rain in WA. I own a normal size large home on acreage and it is a lot to keep up for sure. I have done a quick downsizing of 2300 sq feet of stuff to 'kinda simplify' but I must admit I am not minimalist and I still have tons of stuff. I do have a tiny house on wheels also that you may like to peek inside of. It is just 8' wide and 24' long. www.ShabbyChicTinyRetreat.blogspot.com Thousands of singles and couples now live in tiny homes smaller than mine as well as Casitas full time. I love that darling cottage you posted, I think you should go for it or something similar. SIMPLIFY.. life is already complicated enough.

Tonita said...

I also am very sorry to see that your beloved sister passed. I pray the shed tears are starting to form a rainbow over your heart.
Blessings,
Tonita