Today’s blog post is written by Tara Michiels, who so kindly is sharing her family’s journey to letting go of the “American Dream” and turning their focus to the things that truly mattered to them.
I’ve been so inspired by this blog and community and felt led to share a little bit of our family’s 2015 downsizing journey in hopes that it might inspire or help others…
We sold our comfortable 15 year old, 2 story, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2115 sq. ft. home and downsized to a 57 year old, ranch style, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1300 sq. ft. home. That may not seem like a significant change, but our basement bathroom is currently out of order, so technically we only use one and we do most of our “living” on our main floor which is a colossal 960 sq. ft.! It’s plenty of space though, really!
We gave up a few luxuries such as an attached garage, first floor laundry, a master suite complete with master bath, his and her’s walk in closets and more. We knew that a downsize would mean giving up certain conveniences, but it’s been worth it…and really—first. world. problems.
What prompted this move???
Feelings of excess that led to many, many, many conversations between myself and my husband! Conversations about how much time we spent maintaining our home and how much time we were willing to spend maintaining a home. Conversations about the consumerist habits we were modeling to our children and about the discernment we actually wanted to model to our children when choosing new items to bring into our home. Conversations about the amount of financial giving we were pouring into ministries we care about and our desire to be more generous. Conversation about how less time spent cleaning a home means more time to pour into our children. How a smaller mortgage and smaller property taxes would allow us to give more, save more and participate in life experiences that may not have otherwise fit our budget.
Simplicity. Quality. A desire to be purposeful and intentional with this life we’ve been gifted. Dreams had changed, morphed. So, we dared to chase a new dream and made what some would consider a pretty radical change.
What it all boiled down to was this: the way we were living and the way we wanted to live didn’t align.
The answer was clear to us, in order to put into practice these realizations, we needed to do something a bit radical! Purging by way of donation piles and rummage sales as well as keeping a tight budget just wasn’t enough to satisfy the change we so longed for. What we needed to do was sell our “too big for us” home and downsize.
So we did just that, because where we live isn’t nearly as important as how we live!
Why would a young family choose to sell their American Dream home and downgrade to a smaller older home???
- To spend less time cleaning and maintaining, allowing more quality time with one another.
- For the ability to save more, give more and experience more.
- There is less space to accumulate “stuff”.
- For a mature yard with large trees.
- For a smaller more intimate space to encourage family closeness, realizing also, that a smaller space may provide for more opportunities to practice problem solving, selflessness and grace.
- For us, personally, it means we are able to feel more secure in protecting our choice to be a one income family.
I feel like I could go on and on about the reasons why this has been such a good and fruitful move for our family, but you get the jist!
We’ve only been in our new house for two months, but we LOVE it so much! It definitely feels like home.
Tara is a play-at-home mom and wife who is passionate about seeking joy by giving thanks and unwrapping God’s gifts. Her family builds contentment as they practice seeing their own grass in the truest shade of green. You can follow her family’s journey at Unwrapping HIS Gifts. Tara’s blog is a practice of gratitude and authentic reflections of her family’s continued journey to contentment and joy. Their journey is certainly not all glitter and sparkles, nor is it picture perfect; however, they seek to give thanks not only in the beautiful heart-filled moments of life, but in the hard times as well.
Do you have a story to share about your journey to minimalism? Email me here.
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