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The Rooms We Do not Miss After Downsizing (And The Ones We Do)

The Rooms We Do not Miss After Downsizing (And The Ones We Do)


Sherry’s submit a couple of months in the past about what furnishings & decor we nonetheless personal after downsizing was the primary time I’d seemed again at images of our earlier home shortly. It was a enjoyable stroll down reminiscence lane (how has it been 2.5 years since we moved?!). It additionally rang a bell in my memory about how a lot “additional home” we used to have. As in, full rooms that have been so under-utilized that I’d nearly forgotten about them!






Don’t get me flawed: we cherished that home. However, as you recognize, it was a a lot greater home than we realized we wanted (spending a complete summer time in our smaller pink seaside home actually clarified that for us – extra on that right here), and we have been excited & relieved to downsize to our present house in Florida. We went from 3,150 sq. toes in Virginia to 1,400 sq. toes right here – which is lower than half the house, for the maths nerds on the market.


House With White Siding And Tropical Plantings



Some rooms listed here are simply smaller than their Virginia counterparts, however we even have full rooms which can be simply completely lacking (we went from 3 bogs to 1, and not have issues like a storage, a house workplace, a eating room, and so on). And over the previous 2.5 years of dwelling right here in our smaller house (via a world pandemic, which resulted in a complete yr of at-home studying in our smaller house!) we’ve positively put having fewer rooms to the take a look at. And because it has been a couple of years, and we’ve gotten alongside so properly with out them, I believed it’d be attention-grabbing to see which of them we don’t miss (and those that we do miss).

6 Rooms Versus 14 Rooms

Merely put, our present house has six rooms. A multifunctional room downstairs that has a kitchen on one aspect and a sitting space on the opposite, three bedrooms, a rest room, and a multi-functional household room upstairs that serves as a TV room/workplace/crafting space/playspace. Right here they’re:


Collage Of Six Rooms In Beachy Florida Small Home



If you wish to learn extra about these rooms and see extra images of every one, I’ve linked them under for you:

  1. The Kitchen/Sitting Space
  2. Our Bed room
  3. The Lavatory
  4. Our Daughter’s Bed room
  5. Our Son’s Bed room
  6. The Upstairs Household Room

We’re fortunate to even have a massive upstairs deck, two porches, a pool space, and different out of doors areas that give us much more room to unfold out (and due to it being good outdoors practically year-round right here, they get numerous use!). However as for conditioned indoor rooms, these six areas are it! We do have a laundry closet within the kitchen and a small hallway that joins among the rooms, however these don’t depend as precise rooms by any commonplace I’ve ever heard of.


Hallway With Traditional Rug Leading To Pool



Be aware: a grand hallway with precise furnishings in it – like an entry lobby, can positively depend as a room (for instance, our final home’s lobby had an entry desk, a chandelier, and two of its personal closets inside that roughly 12′ x 12′ room – so the actual property itemizing for that home listed it as a room and included its measurements).

Talking of our final home, let’s examine the FOURTEEN rooms we had there:


Collage Of Four Rooms In Previous Home In Richmond Virginia



  1. The Kitchen
  2. The Household Room
  3. The Eating Room
  4. The Workplace
  5. The Downstairs Lavatory
  6. The Lobby
  7. Our Bed room
  8. Our Lavatory / Stroll-In Closet
  9. Our Daughter’s Room
  10. Our Son’s Room
  11. The Corridor Lavatory
  12. The Artwork / Homework Room
  13. The Laundry Room
  14. The Bonus Room

That’s a distinction of 8 rooms – not together with unconditioned areas – so there’s positively a noticeable distinction between the 2 homes. A humorous aspect notice is that our Richmond home additionally had a GIANT walk-up attic (as massive as your entire first ground of the home), a two-car storage, and a massive out of doors shed, that are 3 different areas that we don’t have in our present home.


Large Unfinished Attic In Richmond Home



These three spots may maintain a ton of stuff, so together with taking place by 8 rooms, we additionally downsized these additional storage areas! That’s truly one thing I’m actually proud that we may accomplish. We used to have SO MUCH CRAP within the attic and the storage felt like we continually wanted to wash it out.

The Rooms We *Don’t* Lacking Having

First, a fast disclaimer: totally different folks clearly have totally different wants and desires from their properties. Folks typically ask us about “our downsizing journey” (please say that with drama and emotion like each individual on Love Island says “our relationship journey”) and we’re joyful to speak about how issues have gone for us, however we’re the primary to confess that each human on earth can have totally different experiences, opinions, and outcomes.

The purpose of this record is simply to share our thought course of, which could aid you decide what your “will need to have” areas are in the event you’re home looking, renovating, or possibly simply rethinking the perform of a spare room in your home. And in the event you’re excited about downsizing, this may offer you some hope that you just’ll be effective with out a [insert room you’ve always had here].

Additionally, we’re not penning this to recommend that you just demolish a sure room or really feel dangerous about having it. A number of these rooms are very important in sure properties and households and, even when not, there’s nothing flawed with a room merely being “good to have” both. Heck, we lived in our too-big-for-us home for 7 years earlier than we made the transfer right here! So possibly your spare bed room is nice for resale, that additional powder room was enjoyable to embellish, or that basement health club is nice for storing fifty-two bins of vacation decorations. We positively stuffed our attic TO THE GILLS. We’ve been there and we get it.

Once we lastly bought to the place the place we have been excited (after which extraordinarily relieved) to downsize, we additionally knew it will contain some sacrifices and compromises in comparison with our earlier house. Actually what this record confirmed us upon additional reflection is what number of of them haven’t felt like sacrifices in the long term! That basically was the shock from this hindsight evaluation.

Don’t Miss: A Lobby


Bright Foyer In Richmond Home With Capiz Light And Stairs



Longtime followers could be shocked by this as a result of we typically bemoaned the lack of a lobby in our first two properties. Each have been small brick ranches the place the entrance door opened proper into the lounge. So having a correct entryway in our final home had felt like we’d FINALLY MADE IT. We have been fancy folks with a lobby!


Bright Foyer In Richmond Home With Capiz Light And Blue Painted Door



However trying again on it, that room appears like wasted sq. footage as a result of we principally by no means used the entrance door (we at all times got here via the storage) so the lobby was simply additional house to cross via on our option to different rooms. And although we’re again to that door-swings-right-into-living-area state of affairs right here, it truthfully hasn’t bothered us. It’s such as you at all times lengthy for one thing, lastly get it, and notice it’s effective however not a deal-breaker if it went away once more.


View Of Seating Area And Front Door With Laundry Closet In Background



It positively took a while to determine a furnishings format that works across the entrance door, however we’re actually proud of the way it’s turned out. We even have some good practical storage for coats and backpacks proper once you stroll in, due to the adjoining laundry closet (the children have been in school once we took this picture, however their backpacks cling on these decrease hooks on the laundry closet door).


One Door Open In Open Laundry Closet Behind Seating Area In Kitchen



Finally, whereas we nonetheless see the worth of a lobby in some properties – even only for the “fancy issue” of getting one for a pleasant dramatic first impression – we’ve realized that we’d personally prioritize a practical entryway with storage. For instance, if given the selection between a grand open lobby or a primary entrance door with room for a small mudroom closet or backpack dropzone behind a door, we’d select the latter. In our case, we selected an excellent hardworking laundry closet and a pleasant open feeling within the dwelling space as an alternative of boxing out a proper lobby.

Don’t Miss: A Laundry Room

Once more, this may come as a shock contemplating we labored very onerous to create a laundry room from scratch in our final home (we stole house from our unfinished attic). We even went all out with a marble backsplash and under-cabinet lighting to make it probably the most tricked-out laundry house we’ve ever owned.


White Laundry Room With Marble Tile Backsplash



On reflection, it was positively extra laundry house than we wanted. Going into it, we pictured LOVING the choice to throw haphazard piles of to-be-washed gadgets on the ground, shut the door, and let or not it’s our little soiled secret. Or possibly having fun with some peace-and-quiet whereas we folded or ironed garments in right here.


Detail Of White Marble Backsplash In Laundry Room



However none of that ever actually occurred. Garments by no means made a pit cease in right here, aside from time spent within the precise washer or dryer (they have been in our hampers earlier than – and folded on the mattress in our room after). Perhaps if we had extra children, busier sports activities schedules, or greater wardrobes (you recognize Sherry loves a minimal closet) we’d have discovered ourselves needing this spacious secluded laundry zone on the finish of a protracted upstairs hallway. However for our household, having the laundry so out-of-sight truly ended up being a sticking level. We have been continually forgetting we had any laundry operating as a result of it was on the very finish of this lengthy hallway tucked behind a door (in each former homes it was lots nearer to extra bustling areas of our house just like the kitchen and we hardly ever forgot laundry due to that proximity).


Long Traditional Hallway With DIY Wainscoting



In some ways, our new laundry setup is good for our habits. It’s proper in the midst of the home in a closet inside our kitchen/downstairs dwelling space, which makes it extraordinarily handy to everybody’s bedrooms and it enormously cuts down on forgotten masses. However it’s nonetheless roomy sufficient that we have now a counter for pre-treating stains, a basket for wrangling too-be-washed gadgets that could be on deck for the subsequent load, and ground house for standing with out being completely in the way in which.


Laundry Closet With Blonde Wood DIY Storage Shelving



And since it’s nonetheless behind closed doorways, it doesn’t need to be stored pristine AND it cuts down on the laundry noise remarkably properly. It’s humorous additionally to comprehend that in our first two homes, we solely ever had laundry closets or nooks with a stackable washer/dryer – and by no means actually had an enormous devoted room with cabinetry and tile and all that jazz like we had in our final home. However as soon as once more, I feel it was a case of “eh, we had it and it was good, however we’re simply effective with out it.” Mainly once you downsize you select your priorities and your home can’t have all the pieces as a result of then it will simply be big.

Don’t Miss: The Eating Room

This in all probability comes as no shock to most individuals, contemplating how a lot “formal” eating rooms have fallen out of favor with many households. We additionally spoke typically about how hardly ever we used this room. We normally ate household dinners at our kitchen island, so this was largely only a dumping floor for packages and to-be-dealt-with bins that we often cleaned up if visitors have been coming over.


Bright Dining Room With Capiz Chandelier And Traditional Furniture



Now we solely have one indoor eating spot: the desk in our kitchen (which may seat as many as 8 folks if we pull it out, which we’ve performed fairly a couple of occasions). As a household, we have now realized that we MUCH want consuming at a desk dealing with one another, so it is a massive enchancment from sitting on increased stools all staring out in a line at our outdated kitchen island.


Side View Of Ikea Kitchen With White And Mauve Cabinets And Long Table



One apparent draw back to that is that it’s a far cry from a “formal” setup, so in the event you love internet hosting dinner events, this won’t suffice. We’ve by no means been massive formal entertainers (we like an off-the-cuff set-out-the-chips-and-salsa recreation evening or an order-pizza-or-BBQ-burgers feast), so it wasn’t a priority to ditch our eating room. Lately if we have now folks over, we have a tendency to assemble outdoors in any case. We regularly eat out by the pool, the place we have now a pleasant massive desk with an umbrella that additionally seats 8.


Pool-Area-With-New-Dining-Table-Vertical



Don’t Miss: The Bonus Room

Because the identify implies, this room was “additional” house in our final home that we created by ending the attic over our storage. After our kitchen, it was the most important room in the home and it acted as a film/TV room + playroom + crafting house. So it’s humorous to suppose such a multifunctional room falls into the “don’t miss” class. However wait – there’s a clear purpose why we don’t miss it that we’ll get to in a second.


Bonus Room With Large Couch And Drawing Table With Ornate Blue Chairs



Changing this unfinished house on our second ground into conditioned usable sq. footage was partly as a result of it simply made sense for the home (it already had HVAC arrange, so all it actually wanted was drywall to be a practical room – plus we nonetheless had a full unfinished walk-up attic on the third ground for storage). And making this a bonus room appealed to us as a result of we thought a secondary dwelling house that was designed with the children in thoughts could be good. You understand, a enjoyable house to corral everybody’s children once we had folks over, a room that may very well be messy upstairs however you simply ignore it downstairs, and a spot for cozy household film nights.


Long Chaise Sofa Facing TV In Bonus Room



Funnily sufficient, the explanations we appreciated that bonus room are the exact same causes we love our household room on this smaller home! It’s an upstairs secondary dwelling house that’s designed with our youngsters in thoughts, to allow them to go away it messy, hang around with their buddies whereas the adults hang around downstairs, and we will all pile in for a household film evening. Be aware: we depend our small downstairs sitting space & kitchen as our main dwelling house as a result of all of us spend much more time in that consuming/cooking/hangout zone downstairs than we do up right here, but it surely’s fairly shut. Six rooms = you utilize all of them, lots.


Family Living Room With Crate Barrel Loft Sofa and Woven accents



Format tip: in a small home, having two massive dwelling areas that aren’t proper subsequent to one another is absolutely what makes this home really feel prefer it lives LARGE. We routinely have a ton of youngsters up right here hanging out and the entire adults downstairs enjoyable within the kitchen/sitting space, and due to one being a complete ground above the opposite, the children don’t hear each convo we have now downstairs, and we don’t hear no matter film they’re watching or recreation they’re taking part in. It’s nice.

Similar to our final home’s bonus room, our upstairs household room right here has a TV, an artwork desk, and open ground house for video games & crafts. Issues have modified a bit now that our youngsters are older (we added that bonus room 6 years in the past), so we don’t expertise blocks and stuffed animals all around the ground like earlier than. However this room nonetheless sees its justifiable share of messes within the type of crafting explosions or board recreation marathons – all of which find yourself on the ground – which is one more reason we’re glad it’s upstairs and out of sight. Similar to our former bonus room!


Bright Family Room Craft Space With Desk And Floor Covered With Craft And Art Supplies



So in the long run, the rationale we don’t miss the “bonus room” room is that we nonetheless form of have it, simply by one other identify. And ours works even more durable right here as a result of it additionally has an workplace house tucked into it. Talking of which…

Missed It At First: The Workplace

As two individuals who earn a living from home, one concern when shopping for this home was not having a devoted room for a house workplace. In our final home we had transformed the formal lounge into a big workspace for each of us, so we knew that downsizing to a room with out a devoted house workplace was going to be an enormous change.


Modern office with Ikea Fjalkinge shelves and two desks with Edgecomb Gray walls



The distinction felt particularly difficult proper after we moved, due to COVID throwing digital studying onto our plates. For a complete yr, all 4 of us ate nearly each meal at house, labored & did college 5 days every week from this home, and so on. I imply: nothing places a home to the take a look at like that. And I’m joyful to report that we made it work, but it surely positively wasn’t the best time of our lives (I’m positive a lot of folks would say the identical factor). This was the setup proper after we moved. It was… not perfect.


Kids Working At Art Desk With John At Office Desk



The humorous factor is that it wasn’t all that totally different from what we had occurring in our final home’s house workplace (these two tiny chairs have been the children desk and the floating desk about 4 toes away was Sherry’s).


Office space with a kids desk with windows and a wall sized cork board above the kids desk



… however with children at house all day lengthy making an attempt to do college whereas we tried to work. Yeah, you guys know what that’s like. Fortunately, that wasn’t the setup for lengthy – and plenty of days truly seemed like me within the bed room on a piece name with the children upstairs doing college (or one/each of them in their very own rooms so they might focus somewhat extra on one thing), and Sherry working down on the kitchen desk or locked in our bed room for a in another way timed zoom assembly or convention name.

Issues bought a lot better because the room advanced and the children went again to high school, and the desk house we carved out is fingers down my favourite “house workplace” I’ve ever labored from (I’m typing from right here proper now and I’ve the entire room to myself!). You simply can’t beat all that pure mild and the view out of that massive window.


Light filled upstairs family room with Ikea fjalkinge shleves and west elm Parsons desk



I’ve additionally switched again to a laptop computer so I can work outdoors on the upstairs deck (which I do typically) and even on the kitchen porch, such as you see under.


View Of Kitchen Porch With Outdoor Grill And Table With Laptop On It



In the meantime, Sherry usually works downstairs on the kitchen desk and even outdoors by the pool together with her laptop computer, so in 2.5 years we positively have discovered what works for us and love having such a versatile setup. It’s often inconvenient not having a devoted, quiet house for work (like throughout the summer time when the children are house), however we by no means had a door on our outdated workplace, so we’re no strangers to being interrupted by children or guests. And similar to we did in our final home – if we’d like a totally quiet house we simply take the laptop computer into our bed room and shut the door. We actually have a desk in there by the hearth, so it’s not a nasty setup.


Full View Of Fireplace Flanked With Ikea Besta Built Ins



Do Not Miss: The Storage

Sherry and I debated the place to place the storage on this record as a result of each from time to time I consider a storage fondly, simply attributable to how handy it was, however I’ll clarify why we finally each voted: don’t miss. Sherry has an precise hatred for our final storage and is so glad we don’t have one anymore simply attributable to how a lot time we spent cleansing it out and coping with it being stuffed with crap on a regular basis, so it wasn’t a shock that she voted that manner. However my emotions have been a bit extra layered.


Unfinished Two Car Garage



We’re typically very tidy, organized folks. However for some purpose, garages, sheds, attics, and so on have at all times been our Kryptonite. Our Monica’s Closet, if you’ll. Each single time we spent days cleansing and organizing it and promised ourselves we wouldn’t let it get that dangerous once more… it did. So the rationale we don’t miss a storage is simply that we’re extraordinarily grateful we’re not in that tremendous irritating loop of not protecting our promise to ourselves and spending one more weekend cleansing the freaking storage.


Garage Filled With Junk Like Bikes And Yard Equipment



Not having a storage or a garage-like house has truly pressured us into a lot better habits. We cope with bins and to-be-donated stuff straight away (out to the automobile it goes). We don’t acquire secondhand furnishings with as a lot abandon (Sherry’s nonetheless a fan of the curbside discover, however provided that we instantly have a necessity/spot for it). And never having a storage has spared us from having to dedicate weekends to massive storage clean-outs and, extra importantly, the overall disgrace we continually felt concerning the state of our storage. It was an on a regular basis sticking level that we by no means solved. And now, we’ve solved it by not having one.


Garage Filled With Junk Like Yard Equipment Boxes And Extra Furniture



The easy purpose I very often look again on a storage fondly is that it’s good to have a lined enclosed house to retailer issues like bikes and our automobile. Right here I actually simply would really like it for bike storage. Our automobile is out within the open and it’s utterly effective, however we use bikes right here far more than we did in Virginia, and having a moist seat from them sitting out isn’t wonderful (weirdly, it’s how principally everybody shops their bikes right here: all lined up outdoors). It could be easy sufficient to make a lined little alcove for our bikes someplace within the yard with an enormous piece of tin on posts or one thing. Even simpler, I simply found these bike seat covers – and our seats aren’t moist anymore. So I feel Sherry is 100% proper. We can’t be trusted to not fill a storage with crap. We’ve unlocked complete weekends spent on the seaside & our pool that in any other case would have been spent cleansing a storage if we had one. So I’m sure that in the long term it’s a win for us to not have one.

However lest you suppose we’re absolutely cured… we DO have a small shed on the aspect of our home that we use for instruments, yard gear, and different miscellaneous stuff. It’s concerning the dimension of a port-o-potty, so we will’t actually stuff tons of issues inside… however I’m solely exhibiting you the surface of it as a result of – TRUE TO FORM! – it’s at present a multitude inside.


Small Shed Built On Side Of House With Towel Hooks



Generally Miss: Our Ensuite Lavatory

This will come as a shock since we’ve put our plans so as to add a second toilet to this home on indefinite maintain (we simply don’t really feel squeezed for one in any respect but – and embarking on an costly reno when the present setup has labored effective for years now simply doesn’t really feel like the most effective use of cash or time). So whereas we truly don’t miss having an ensuite toilet, we simply typically miss THIS particular toilet from our final home.


Marble Traditional Bathroom With Herringbone Walk In Tile Shower



And I feel that’s largely as a result of we didn’t have a lot time to benefit from the completed product earlier than we moved. We gleefully completed the lavatory and solely bought to take pleasure in it for about 3 months earlier than we had a Florida zip code.


Large Walk In Closet Next To Marble Tiled Bathroom



The timing definitely wasn’t good, but it surely was a small casualty for making the extra rewarding way of life change of downsizing to a hotter and extra walkable house close to the seaside. Trying again at these images, I feel we simply want we had renovated the lavatory MUCH SOONER (we lived on this home for 7 years, nearly all of which have been spent with the unrenovated toilet that you just see in the earlier than images right here).


Detail Of Marble Bathroom With Intricate Herringbone Pattern



The Commerce-Offs Of Downsizing

Lacking that grand toilet of yore is a first-rate instance of reminding ourselves that we made intentional trade-offs by downsizing. Sure, we not have an enormous fancy marble toilet. As an alternative, we have now this lovely house to take an open-air bathe within the daylight (and an precise indoor bathe too). True story: all of us bathe outdoors round 90% of the yr – it’s our favourite spot with the solar streaming down and a complete lotta crops.


Wood Slatted Outdoor Shower With Cascading Hanging Plants



Really, a ton of downsizing is simply buying and selling one thing for one thing else. We dwell a couple of blocks from the seaside (we will stroll there in 3 minutes!) however all of us share a rest room. We don’t have a storage, however we have now an enormous second-floor deck up within the timber. Our kitchen is about 1/3 the dimensions of the one at our final home, however there’s a grocery retailer, eating places, and ice cream retailers inside strolling distance. Our web isn’t at all times dependable (significantly it’s sloth-slow typically) however we have now a pool that we will swim in year-round and a firepit for s’mores. We’ve lots much less sq. footage than we used to, but it surely’s simpler to wash and extra reasonably priced to warmth & cool. You possibly can learn extra about your entire technique of downsizing (it wasn’t all roses!) and that complete tradeoff idea right here on our about web page.

And in the event you’d prefer to learn different posts we’ve shared about downsizing during the last 2.5 years, these are full of information:

Additionally, when you have any questions on wall colours or the place we bought sure gadgets within the images inside this submit, this submit has all of the supply information for our present home, and this submit has all of the supply information about our final home.

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