Bigger is not always better.
I always had this dream of living in a white mansion, with lamp posts leading up to the doorway. Dreams of candles in every window as the snow was coming down and I was snuggled up under a blanket with a book, my favorite hot chocolate, resting by a fireplace. And maybe even a wrap-around porch with an old-fashioned rocking chair to sit on in the cool nights of summer. To me, that is what I dream.
But is that REALLY what will make me happy? When my husband and I bought our first home, we sat in the parking lot across the street, staring at that home. Wondering if it was “us”. The last thing it had was curb appeal. In fact, in our minds it was kind of an eye sore. Would we really want THAT as our first home? We soon realized as we did the walk through and started to envision how we could make this house our home, that it had everything we needed. It had a large living living room and dining room that was basically combined into one long room. The kitchen was sectioned off by a wall, but with simply (or not so simply) removing that wall, we could open up the whole front half of the home. The cupboard space was minimal, but doable. It had 2 normal-size bedrooms, that served their very purpose with small closets, but we were not big on owning tons of clothes anyways. And it had one bathroom. An unfinished basement to store all of our stuff and a carport to at least protect one car during the harsh northern winters. It really was everything we needed. And more. A 1,000 sq. foot house that housed everything we could ever need in a home.
Buying our first home was a reality check.
1. It taught us that it can often be cheaper to buy your own home than rent (and thankfully at that time, banks were giving away loans because we surely did not have enough for a down payment after we both just graduated from a private college).
2. You keep what you have space for. Because of the lack of storage in our home, we struggled to find a place for everything. In fact, we found ourselves collecting items that we really had no use for, but had no where to go with them, except our shelving downstairs. And when we had to move, let me tell you, it was so overwhelming to declutter all of that!
3. Bigger is NOT always better. Living in our first home, we learned that really, “this” was all we needed. We would walk around our neighborhood and dream of a white house that sat 2 blocks behind us. Even though it was my dream-look of a home, it really wasn’t realistic. Half of the home would have sat unused.
And that is why bigger is not always better.
Do you find it ironic that as you drive through upscale neighborhoods where the garage doors are always shut, the cars are never outside, the lights are rarely on (except for late at night), and that house almost in a sense looks abandoned? How many people own a large home, but are never home to actually live in it because they are working so hard outside of the home to afford what’s INSIDE?
Or maybe the home is so big that the family is never together. Each room maybe has their own tv, so there is no family time together watching a show. Maybe each room has a computer, so there is no monitoring or accountability.
Is bigger really better?
I have learned that even though at times I have wishes of a bigger bathroom or bigger kitchen, if I am truly honest with myself, we have everything we need. To the point where bigger is not always better. We save money and savor time together. In the same place. In the same room. And that is simple living.