I spent the night on the sofa. I didn’t do anything. I’m not in trouble. Regular readers know that we’ve moved out of our nearly 5000 SQFT historic home for a 1054 SQFT apartment. It’s a six month experiment that came about in an unsolicited manner; our house is a corporate rental, fully furnished through June. We’ve been here for about a month now.
My parents are visiting for three nights so now its four adults, one toddler and one dog in less square footage than one of the floors of our house. One of the things that I find hard to believe is that we left a fully furnished house behind. We’ve brought with us and purchased a minimal amount of furniture and the condo does not feel under-appointed. We would need very little of the furniture that remains in our house if we were doing this “forever.”
1054 SQFT is probably the smallest we would be comfortable in with a toddler and sixty pound dog long term. It certainly helps that we have a large outdoor space and eleven foot ceilings with glass walls (I have previously written about cubic space in condos versus square footage). 1054 SQFT without views, high ceilings and outdoor space would feel much smaller. Each foot of ceiling height adds about 10% to the cubic space. It doesn’t help that I work mostly from here so that eats up some additional space for office related space. I’m sure that the same square footage would be very large for some others with a similar sized family but we’ve come down more than 75% from what we had (which I have always said was too much space for us).
We do like the lower cost of living. It’s less expensive to have 1054 SQFT. I don’t feel that we have sacrifced on much of anything other than size. Both dwellings are high quality in locations we enjoy. I think it would be easy to defeat the downsizing by wanting too much of what you had previosly. I can see that we would have a hard time with some of our art, not only would it not fit in in style, it woudn’t fit in the space. Dining room table with ten chairs? Not happening here. This is one part of the “practice” downsizing that I am glad we didn’t have to undertake. There is a lot of stuff when we return home that we won’t have missed. Some of it is stuff that would never be missed, some of it is just the stuff you have to have to fill the space.
The main things to consider when lokking at a smaller space appear to be making sure that they core things you did and enjoyed before still work in the new place. I don’t want my parents staying in a hotel when they visit as much of the time they would spend with us and their grandson would be lost. The sofa I am on would be better suited as a sofa bed to make that work. I’d like a nook or space that could be “office” rather than a desk at the foot of the bed. Our ability to cook and entertain works with smaller numbers; no way our holiday/client appriciation party is happening here. Overall, the sarifice of space has been very doable.