• Jenny Bell

Downsizing our Home

#declutter #homes #cozyhome #mindfulliving #ecoliving #greenishliving #mindfulparenting

Our family of four is moving from a 3000 square foot home with a salt water pool on 2 acres to a home about half the size because it's the change we want.


My husband and I were homeowners before the age of twenty-five. In fact, we bought our first home right before the big market crash of the early 2000s. We only lived in an apartment for a year and moved right into a cute little house in a planned community and joined a homeowner's association. We decorated and redesigned much of the home, painting each room ourselves. We did it all on a budget and felt proud. I had no thought of it is a forever home and didn't give it a time limit.

Soon after the birth of my son, we bought our current home. It is 3,000 square feet, it sits on 2 acres of land and the backyard has a saltwater pool and spa with a waterfall. In the rural community we live in, this home is one of the nicer homes in the nicer areas. We had it painted in nice colors (not doing the work ourselves this time) and we started buying things we kind of liked online just to fill up some of the space. This home represents to me the outdated American Dream. The home meant we "had made it." It was a choice of ego not of need. Why do four people need so much space? The answer is we don't. It is pure luxury.

At some point while living in this home, my husband and I both had spiritual awakenings. My awakening began a long time ago and then got paused (more on that another time) but in the last four years, I woke up and my husband did too. We started down a spiritual path of being present and mindful. This mindfulness led to me using the KonMari method to declutter our home and for him to begin searching for a job that would move us from a town neither of us ever wanted to live in. We realized to have such a huge gorgeous home in an area we have never connected to and have a hard time finding like-minded people meant less than a small home in a community we would be proud to be a part of.

To me, mindful living is living on purpose. To live on purpose is to live joyfully and fully making the most out of the time we have. Mindful living also means doing our part to live as green as we can. Living green doesn't mean we all need to have a tiny home but it does mean rethinking the space we actually need. I felt myself constantly wanting to be on vacation or dreaming of retirement in my 30s because I felt we had settled on where we were living. I was not living intentionally. I sort of let life take me here and keep me here. The big house is a burden of space, money and time. A lot of work goes into maintaining a home that is too big for us.

A move for both of us means a chance at more freedom. We have the freedom to pick where we want to live intentionally and the freedom to live in a community we are happy to be a part of. It also means a freedom from what felt like settling. When we got this current big home it felt like this was it. We had "made it" and now we settle. I believe this feeling grew into uneasiness in both my husband and myself and lit that fire of change we needed to make a move.

I share my story because I think we all need to rethink our timelines, our idea of "making it" and let ourselves choose our own way. This big house is impressive, it looks good to other people, our current move is confusing to some and even others disapprove--but that is the freedom. We all need to be free to live our own lives and do what makes us happy no matter how it looks to others on social media. It is your life. You can rethink and take a swerve on your path anytime you want. You are never too old and you never have to settle. You deserve happiness. You deserve the big house or the small house or the mobile house. You live where you feel free and the opinions of others will shed from you.

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