We re-moved into our house of 10 years with less stuff and it doubled in size.
A thought series by Jason Duncan | 5 minute read
If you’ve been reading along in this series you’ll know I’ve wrestled with some pretty hard thoughts forcing me to battle my selfishness. This week I’ll share some of the payoff!
Before I share what it means to “re-move” into our house of 10 years, I have to give an update!
Oliver got his own room! He was so pumped to get his own space for two reasons. One, He gets to sleep with Sophie his dog. When he shared a room with his brothers Sophie wasn’t allowed to sleep in the room because our youngest, Rex, has asthma to the point where we nick-named him “bubble boy” and that’s OK. Two, we didn’t just give him my old office. Jess and I gave him our bedroom!
If you’re thinking we moved into to the old office instead… not a chance. The old office wouldn’t have even fit our queen bed. No, instead, we moved downstairs into the basement! That’s right, the basement. If that sounds scary to you, it is to us!
To recap, our house is 900 square feet. Quite small by today’s standards for a family of 5 with a dog. But wait a minute, our house is in a sub division specifically built for young and growing families in the 60’s. Its economy housing at its finest. Surely a family of 5 has lived in this house before us. Why did they build such small houses back then? Because people had a less stuff and understood the word “practical.”
The average family home today is 2,500 square feet, nearly 1,000 more than 40 years ago. But what is all this space for? Studies (like this one) show that we only use a small portion of our houses anyway.
So, back to our story. Like a big sliding puzzle we moved our bedroom and my office into the basement, Oliver moved into our room, Gunner moved into the old office, and Rex stayed put in the “boy’s room.”
We essentially re-moved back into our house of 10 years!
Holy crap, did it feel like it too! This is why I didn’t write a blog last week, our house was a disaster much like actually moving! We couldn’t have moved into the basement without removing tons of junk. We threw out old chairs and book cases, sold some dying music gear from our old-band days (Jess and I used to play in a band and tour and all that), and purged through tubs we hadn’t opened in years! Remember that trip to Salvation Army a few weeks ago? We made another one, and what equates to a third trip went to the curbside!
I bought a handful of boxes from Menards and we used them to move items from room to room. Once everything was re-positioned, we filled those same boxes up and made another trip to the donation drop-off at Salvation Army!
First things first, I have to give Jess credit. She is already a minimalist! I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. I asked her to go though the tubs in the basement and pick out anything she wanted to keep or discard. Ten minutes later she was done because none of it was her stuff! It was all mine! Man, here comes the selfishness again.
Remember, my whole minimalism goal is to “empty me of me so I can genuinely love God and others as myself.” All I can say is: if I come half as close to loving others as much as I’ve hoarded all this “stuff” for myself, the world’s going to be a better place!
We cleared out so much stuff from the basement that we stepped back and said, “there is enough floor space here to have a nice size master bedroom.” Our basement is only partially finished with the interior walls up but no ceiling or floor treatment, but we said “screw it” and went for it! We divided what used to be the boy’s winter playroom in half by building a cheap wall and scored our selves a 18 x 15 sq foot bedroom with a 10 x 10 walk in closet! Is it the nicest master bedroom on the block? No, but it is a testament to just how much stuff we have removed!
Our house feels like a new home. It feels like it can breathe again. Everything has a place and its not because we discovered some fancy new storage solution, its because we now fit in it.
Don’t get me wrong, 900 square feet for a family of five is still tight, when the original builders built it, they didn’t plan for a master bedroom in the basement. We’ve maxed it out for sure, but with that said, it feels a lot bigger than our house actually is. Two months ago we were suffocating in this house feeling the urgency of moving. While we still plan on getting out of this sub sooner rather than later, we are proving to our selves daily we don’t necessarily need the additional footage.
I hope this article finds you well! That it challenges you to be creative in your home, that it drives at the heart of contentment, and that it inspires you to de-clutter!
<bio> Jason is not a pastor </bio>
We’d love to read your comments! If you really like this thought, there is no greater reward than having you share it with your friends!
If you’d like to hear more thoughts than we can write down, subscribe to our Podcast!