It’s time to let the downsizing begin! This past week, we put our suburban home up for sale in anticipation of building and moving into our “Simple House” at the farm this summer.

IT’s official – the house went up for sale this week – and the move to the farm is on!

Our “Simple House” is all about downsizing to live comfortably without wasted space. It certainly wouldn’t qualify as a “tiny house”, but at 1050 square feet – we like to call it the “practical home.” Practical because it lets us live only with the space we need – and without all of the extra “stuff” needed to fill, decorate and maintain extra rooms.  (see: The Simple Home Design)

There is a tremendous amount of freedom in living with less. In reality – it allows you to live with so much more. More freedom to travel, garden, spend time with family – and not be held captive by the expense, space, energy and stress of a larger home.  

It also lets us create a home that we can hopefully live in comfortably well past retirement age. In fact – with the lower cost of building and maintaining – we hope we can retire much earlier. In a nutshell – less IS better!

Eliminating Clutter – The Success of the One-A-Day / 365 Project

A little over a year ago, when we decided to embark on the house and downsizing project – we started the process of eliminating unneeded clutter from our current house. We called it the “One-A-Day / 365 Project.”

Each day, Mary and I both eliminated one thing from our house that we didn’t use, need or want. It was crazy to see how may “things” we had simply accumulated over the years that we didn’t need or utilize.  30+ coffee cups we never drank from, old sports equipment in the corners of closets, two toasters, (not sure why on that one) – and the list went on and on.  By donating, giving away or selling those items – it really cleared out space.   (see: 365 Project)

It was truly the turning point!  It eliminated a huge chunk of responsibility and stress in our lives. The more we cleared out – the better we felt. It not only freed up space – but the time and energy it took for upkeep. As crazy as it sounds – it made a huge impact on our lifestyle. Our only regret was that we didn’t do it sooner!

So the 365 Project really started it all – and now that the house is up for sale – it’s time to get “down” to the final downsizing project – deciding on what needs to go to the final house.

The Next Phase of Downsizing – The Room By Room Survey

The room by room survey – deciding what moves – and what doesn’t

So with a lot of the clutter removed over the past year from the 365 project – the next phase is to get ready for the actual move.

We spent a little time this past week walking through our current home to create a room by room list of what will go into the smaller space of the new home – and what won’t be needed.

We separated the list into 3 categories.

(1) Items that will make the move to the home.

(2) Items that will not go – but need to stay until the home sells.

(3) Items that we can eliminate now by giving away, donating, or selling.

And with that simple list – it begins. It’s nice to have a plan – to see what we need, and to see how much we really don’t.  Just since creating the list – we have been able to clear out a few more items that were simply taking up space.

The Plan From Here…

There are two things we will miss – Our incredibly wonderful neighbors Dave and Debbie and the view from our back deck.

As of now, our foundation work is set to begin on the farm house in May – and we will hopefully have the house ready for move-in by August or September.

That of course leaves the question – what if our current house sells early? Initially, we were going to wait until late May to put the house on the market. But with a furnished home near our current house available to rent for the summer if needed – it was a no-brainer to get our house on the market as Spring sets in.

Yes – it may be a little crazy over the coming months – but knowing a much more simple life is in the near future makes it all worthwhile!.  

Happy Downsizing – and hopefully Home Selling! – Jim and Mary


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9 thoughts on “Downsizing Room by Room. Less Space, Less Stuff Equals Less STRESS!

  • April 13, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I am enjoying following your journey and may some day stop to meet you both. We just downsized from 2400 to 1300 sq ft for 5 adults. We did not, we felt, have time to purge prior to the move. This resulted in a garage and house full of boxes to be gone through but worse a lot of confusion, anger, hurt, and slow recovery for our family. I had wanted to sell and downsize for many years but until finances forced our hand I could not budge any other family member. I hope people learn from your post to live within their means, to be less materialistic, to relax and enjoy life more, while they can do so without disability, while their children are young enough to get down on the floor and play with, because life can be so much more.

  • March 7, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    In 1975 we were looking for a home to buy. Then we thought of building a home ourselves. We came up with 950 sq. ft. with a full basement to have room for our 6 children. We bought 5 acres and built our home. As we somewhat completed one section, we redesigned the remaining project, so we never completed building. We sold it “as is”. If we had a chance to do it again, we would. Two of us had difficulty using the milk from one cow, so we put our last cow in the freezer, and mowed the pasture to get grass clippings for the garden. Very few weeds grew up through the grass clippings. If we were 35 years old again, we’d do it all over again. Thanks for letting me enjoy your journey.

  • March 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    We downsized about 9 years ago…to a small house of 1060 square feet. It was already built, but my husband remodeled a bit. We only wish that we had put in a second bathroom. Otherwise we love it, but now we need, not to move but to simplify again. Stuff collects so quickly! I will be following your plans with interest.

  • March 6, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    now that we are semi-retired, I am starting to pare things down. Your ideas are great, especially “one day at a time”.

  • March 6, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    We are about to start the same process! Seems like a difficult task and our house in Virginia Beach is going to need a few upgrades before it is ready to sell.

  • March 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Hardly anyone complains that their house is too small, unless they are just starting out. Families can survive and thrive in considerably less space than most American families have. Materialism seems to be the curse of our age. Getting rid of “stuff” is exhilarating and freeing. Detachment from things is a blessing. I applaud what you are doing.

  • March 6, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I retired 7 years ago to 1000 square feet and did the same clearing out. Every June the Health Auxiliary I belong to has a yard sale and I downsize anything that hasn’t been used since the last one and I try to keep to a policy of if something comes in something goes out. It take me just 25 minutes to clean, dust and vacuum and out the door to the garden. Much less time spent cleaning and less stress. Good luck in your new house and I hope you find the same relief as I did.

  • March 6, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I just moved from a 3000sq. ft. home in FL. to a 1000sq. ft. home on 1/2 acre in TN. need some built-ins for storage and am looking for old furniture to up-cycle I am so happy. God Bless!! The good LORD was with me all the whole process I even used the same reality. I will be praying for you.

  • March 6, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Sounds like a downsizing is going to be a real blessing for you. Going to get rid of what we don’t need in our home, too. Not planning on moving in the near future but we can be ready if the opportunity arises, and I’m all for less stress.

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