Bothell kitchenIt’s been a year since moving and as promised, I am finally reporting on our downsizing experience.  I just don’t know where the time goes!

In my experience, I always find that there is a honeymoon period to moving.  Change can be exciting.  For those that are the curious type, it allows for opportunity to try new shops, restaurants, and explore the region.  It opens your eyes to new experiences just from a change of location.  But, once that period is over and reality sets in with the daily grind, that’s when you know if you’ve made the right choice or not.

The first six months, we had a bit of an unexpected resident.  One of our sons decided to come home to live with us for a while.  I love having the boys home and feel the need to feed and take care of them, as I am the nurturing type.  Being in his mid-twenties, I figured this was going to be the last time he would come home to live.  I decided to enjoy it as much as I could.  However, having three people in 1,200 sq. ft. is different from having two people.  So, to be fair, I will write about after he left, when it has been only me and my husband.

The Pros of Downsizing to an Apartment

  • Cleaning a small apartment is a breeze.  Obviously, the square footage is smaller so the amount of cleaning drastically changes.  When I’m done, there is a sense of satisfaction.  I know I’ve cleaned everything.
  • I actually know where everything is.  Yes, I can remember where I put things and if I occasionally forget, there are only so many places where it would be misplaced.  It can be found quickly!
  • 24 hour garbage.  This may seem like an odd topic.  However, the fact that I can throw anything down the garbage shoot whenever I want is really very convenient and sanitary.  No smelly garbage in the house.
  • We can live with less.  Since the apartment is small, we only brought the bare minimum, as we intend to move again in the near future.  The rest of our belongings are in storage.  But, I realize we really don’t need the rest of the “stuff” we’ve kept.  We can manage with just a few towels, dishes, and clothing.  We only have to wash them more often.
  • Selective shopping.  I admit, I’m not a “shopper” to start with.  That being said, I realized I don’t “need” anything.  Cupboard space is now a premium, so there are no more impulse purchases.  It just won’t fit!
  • During winter, it was never cold.  I don’t function well in the cold, so we purposely looked for somewhere that faced south.  And believe it or not, it was difficult to find!  Obviously, a small space requires less heating and heats up quickly too ! Yay, I actually never felt cold – unbelievable!
  • More time.  Not having to worry about the house means I have more time to think and do other things.  It is quite liberating.
  • Convenience.  We are located very near the freeway and shopping is nearby.

The Cons of Downsizing

  • Privacy.  Although we do have all the privacy within our apartment, and I hardly see anyone else, you do hear the occasional sounds from other apartments.  We are lucky that this structure has thick walls and we don’t hear much.  I understand that some older structures have paper thin walls.
  • Entertaining.  We love to entertain.  Due to the size of space, we are limited to how many can actually fit in this space.  No more parties with 30 or more!
  • Occasional needs.  Like I said, we had to store half our items, so once in a while I do find that I want a particular vase, or kitchen appliance and I don’t have it.  Well, I’m not making a special trip to storage, so I have to live without it.
  • Clothing.  We could only bring so many items of clothing and shoes, etc.  I’ve been wearing the same stuff for a rather long period of time.  For me it’s no big deal, but if you love clothes it would be tough.
  • No buying in bulk.  Okay, we were good patrons of Costco when we were raising the boys.  It’s taken me a while to adjust my shopping habits, but buying in bulk no longer makes sense, unless we’re having company.  That means we have to go shopping more often.
  • No direct connection with nature.  My husband misses the working with soil.  Not having the ground under us, is okay, but we prefer to be connected to the earth.   We have indoor plants but we really don’t have space for an outdoor area to enjoy flowers and plants.   Fortunately, we’re right near a nature’s path, so it feels like we have a big back yard.  Otherwise, I think it would be difficult to see no greenery.

Overall, downsizing has made life simpler.  Having less space to care for means more time for other things.  And as I get older, I find that everything that used to take ten minutes now takes fifteen or twenty.  And that’s okay, but I just have to understand and accept that it does take more time.  So, having a smaller home is less stressful for someone like me.  At this time, I don’t see us going back to living in a big home.  Small works just fine.



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