Episode 168: New Year, New House!
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2022, where we are starting this new year off with some very exciting family news. I’m going to tell you all about it in today’s show. This is episode 168: New Year, New House.
The bulk of the backstory for this episode is going to be like a life lately segment because there has been some wild and crazy happening over here in our life lately. I don’t want to leave it as just an update.
So, I’m also going to make sure that I offer some insight into how our personal experience that we’re going through right now may inform some of the things happening in your life. Some of the decisions that you’re making right now, or that you may be making soon, some of the ways that even when you really love something, it might be time to let it go and to open yourself to new possibilities that may be available if you create space for them.
We are moving!
We are here in first week of the year. And our big exciting happening over here is that we are moving. We are, uh, we’re buying a new house. We’re selling our house and we are moving before the end of the month.
So, in about two weeks, we will be all the way packed up and moved out and settling into our new home. What, what is even happening. Okay. I know I’m going to back up and give you a little bit of the runway of how all of this came about. It has been a wild roller coaster ride, and we’re finally to wrapping things up.
New House, Same Neighborhood
I’m going to be closing this weekend on both homes and. Well, we’ll move in and start settling in for the new year. I should mention, because there, you may have some questions that are new home is still in Richmond. It’s still in our same neighborhood, which we love. So not a whole lot about our overall life is going to change.
Dave’s job is the same. My job and office are the same. Our commutes are the same. Our even our walking and biking to school is similar. It’s not an overhaul lifestyle change. It’s just a jump in house to better accommodate our current stage of life. And so that’s exciting that we can stay put and move into a space that feels like it will accommodate our current needs a little better and not have as much of a timeline as our current house does or did.
So, for a quick backstory, most of you who’ve listened to the podcast for a long time, know that our move to Richmond was a significant pivot in our lifestyle. We were in the middle of a year of not shopping. We dramatically downsized our home and belongings. We reduced our square footage by over half, we reduced our overall belongings, furniture, storage, clothing, toys, you know, all our kind of boxes worth of stuff.
We got rid of, uh, probably about 70% of what we had previously owned to fully step into this lifestyle that felt more aligned for us to live a little bit more minimally, a little bit more, simply put less focus on acquisition of physical belongings and be able to only have the things that we really use that we really love and sort of disregard the rest.
Downsizing Was The Right Move. Now We Adjust Again.
It has been so wonderful. I feel like these last four or five years have felt just right for us. It’s felt like we are putting our attention where we want it to be. We’re creating the types of memories and family culture and experiences that really resonate for us and bring us joy. We felt so much fulfillment and really enjoyed the lifestyle shift away from acquiring and continually improving and you know, upgrading our stuff.
And one where we have our focus more on what types of experiences do, we want to have together? What types of adventures do we want to go on? How are we going to spend more quality time in our relationships and connections? All of that said, when we bought our current house four years ago, we knew that it was not going to be a long-term house.
I don’t believe in a “Forever Home”
I think when we moved away from Texas, I sort of disregarded the idea of a quote unquote, forever home. We have moved. This will probably be our 15th move in our 15 years of marriage. Sometimes those moves have been in the city. In fact, enrichment, we moved into a rental. We moved into our house. We moved out of our house, uh, because of our flood for six months, we moved back into our house.
So, I mean, this technically could be like our fourth or fifth move within the city of Richmond. So, I’m no stranger to moving. And I also like the idea that as our lives change and the chapters of our lives, change that by not solidifying in my head, the idea that we’re going to be somewhere for forever and ever that we remain more open and curious to the possibilities that are out there that life may introduce us to things that we hadn’t expected.
We might be more available to listen if we just don’t settle into thinking, this is it. This is the place we’re going to be forever. And always all that to say that when we bought our current house, we discussed that it would probably be like two or three years of renovating and living in it and enjoying it and loving it, and then we would reevaluate.
We planned on 2-3 years and stayed 4.
Well, of course, right. As we kind of got to that period. The beginning of 2020 ish, mid-2020 is probably when we would have been evaluating. Do we stay. Want to stay. Do we want to find something different? What are we thinking? That was the middle of the pandemic. I don’t know about all of you, but we used our house up during the pandemic. We lived so hard in it because I don’t know that homes are necessarily made to have every single occupant inside at almost all times 24/7/365.
During the pandemic we homeschooled, we spent a lot more time and we spent time outside exploring and hiking, but we didn’t go a lot of places. We didn’t spend extended periods of time away from home.
We nestled in deeply. And in that process, I found that I fell even further in love with our little house than I had been before. I recognized so many of the ways that it worked so well for us. I really love our house so much. We have renovated and designed it inside and out. Almost every single inch of the house has been touched and upgraded and renovated.
And it just has been so wonderful. And I mean, not only the house, but the yard, we installed our turf. I have my grow boxes, my beautiful garden. We redid the shed. I mean, it’s done. And I have recently, in the fall, I was laughing with my friend, Rachel from 3 in 30 podcast about how my house was pretty much done.
And she was like, “Oh great, You can help me with mine.” And so, I did, I spent a couple of months working on her house with her, went out and helped her redesign and install and kind of upgrade some of the things in her house.
We love our house. And it’s still time to leave it.
I love the motion of a home project, and it’s also felt nice to just feel like my house was finished, complete, signed, sealed. We love it. We’re set. Over the last year. And I mentioned this in the last episode, our house has felt a little bit smaller than we need to accommodate the growth of our family, the physical growth of our family. My oldest is now 12, and he is as tall as me and he wears clothes bigger than mine. And he has turned from the eight-year-old that he was when we moved in into a teenager, my youngest, who was four, when we moved in and, you know, just sort of out of a toddler bed and barely fitting into her twin bed is now eight. Then six-year-old is now 10.
My family over the last four years has grown up. They’ve doubled in size and we’re just at the cusp of them all becoming real tweens and teenagers where their bodies will turn more into adult sized humans. On top of that, when we moved in, we had one dog and maybe it’s insanity, but over the last year, we have added our sweet pandemic, kittens, Simon, and Olive to our brood.
And then just last month we added a second dog, our little puppy Otis, who he has enough energy to fill the whole house by himself right now. I know that that will chill over the next year or two.
We have a family of five humans and four animals inside our 1400 square foot home around this time. Last year, when we could sense that things were feeling a little squishy and that was before the kittens and the puppy, we started exploring options.
One of the options was to add a garage. We thought about our pain points because we want it to be intentional about adding space. Rather than adding an addition, which we had just completed this beautiful renovation on the home. And it feels like the space is used well for what it is. It’s just not meant to be like a bigger family home.
Detached Garage with a Loft Idea
It’s a small family home. So, we decided rather than exploring an addition that we would talk about doing an external garage, a detached garage. We talked to contractors between December and March finally found a contractor who would call us back. Number one, whose budget was accommodating with ours, who, uh, we liked the feel of the way he worked.
We were able to get our design approved or figured out our design between the contractor and us. We worked with his architect and designer. We got a design all approved in May. Got all the paperwork in for our permit in July, before we left for the month. So, from initial conversation to turning in our permit was six months.
And during those six months I went from feeling like, oh, it’d be nice to have a little more space to, oh my gosh, we might go crazy. We came home in August expecting that we would be close to a permit that maybe we could start construction September, October, that maybe the garage would be finished by Christmas.
In August, we hadn’t even heard a word from the city yet in October, I circled back and found out that there was a piece of paperwork missing that we needed to turn in. And so, it took another couple of weeks to get that from the contractor. I signed it, I sent it back. We’re waiting on it, waiting on it.
We saw a cute house, which opened a can of worms.
And by November I’m thinking there’s no way this is happening by the end of the year. And. What are we going to do? Are there other options available? I was on a walk with Quincy one day and I noticed a really cute house, a few blocks away from us. And. Of course just on the walk, pulled up Zillow. I love looking at homes.
I love homes in general. I love renovation. I love the construction. I love the design. I love everything about homes. And so, I pulled up Zillow, the app, just always on my phone, I’m ready to search it. And I see that the house is really cute. I really like it. And, even though we weren’t discussing a move into a bigger house, it felt like maybe we take the money that we had put aside for this garage and just add that to whatever we sell our house for.
And, you know, try to size up a couple of rooms in the house itself. I floated this idea past Dave. And he said, well, there’s no harm in going to check it out. So, we walked over to the house that Sunday, when the sign had announced the open house would be, and I had been really excited about it in those couple of days before that just kind of letting me go with this idea of like, okay, what if we like it? What would that look like? And how would we do this?
We got there to the open house and there was a sign plastered on the door that the open house had been canceled because the house was already under contract. I’m sure you’ve heard that this is a wild time for the buying and selling of houses. Richmond is no exception to that rule.
We see houses in our neighborhood that the sign barely makes it to the street before the house is sold. This of course was truer, like in the summer. And so, moving into the fall and winter, I, there were a couple of times last summer that I remember thinking, as I imagine most people have thought if I sold my house right now, I’d probably like sell it for a pretty good amount. And then of course, we need to buy a house in the same market, which is where the rub is. Right? If you can sell your house for a high price because the market is high, where do you go? You also need to buy a house. And so that’s kind of the catch 22. So, while I had thought, gosh, this could be a really great time to sell our house, I also was very conscious of that.
Wanted to make sure that we could, that we could go somewhere, you know, so it made more sense to just stay, put A) because we love our house and B) because it might be tricky to find a house that we could sidestep into.
After the house around the corner was off the table, Dave and I both kind of had the house hunting bug, you know, when you open that, it’s kind of like a can of worms. So, both of us were spending a little bit more time on Zillow, looking in what we, you know, our, our price range nearby and a couple of things popped up and a couple of things we started to notice.
I was conscious of how much I love where we live. Of course, there are so many more options with a bigger area. Just, it makes sense that as you expand the diameter of your search on a map, more options become available, and I have just fallen. So, in love with our neighborhood, our current lifestyle, the walkability, the real kind of sweet, slow pace.
Even though we live in the city limits, we can walk to the library. We can walk to the post office. We can walk to get a fresh pastry in the morning. I spend entire days not getting in my car once because I can walk or ride my bike most places on top of.
The public schools that my kids go to have been wonderful. We love the teachers and the staff and the administration and the values and the diversity. And it’s just been a wonderful experience. And so, my gut instinct was to not expand the search that of course made the options really, really limited. So, as we started to look just within a few miles of where we currently live, we saw like three, four houses, you know, that were available.
A couple of them were new construction that were far out of our price range, you know, in our neighborhood. And a lot of neighborhoods like ours that are kind of older neighborhoods with smaller homes, a lot of developers are buying the small homes and just leveling them and then building big homes on these small lots.
In fact, right across the street from us directly across the street, from where we currently live, our cute neighbors a couple of years ago, sold their house. It was about 900 square feet. It was leveled. And the house that they put up in its place is almost 4,000 square feet on the same lot. And it looks a little bit out of place.
And it’s a little bit weird, and this is just part of, kind of the natural turnover in older neighborhoods in great cities, I guess.
So, the looking for a house can of worms is open. Dave sent me a text with the Zillow listing one day, that was a home listed by owner. And it was in a cool area that is, uh, about a mile from us. The kids would be in the same school district. It’s a little bit different vibe of a neighborhood though.
It’s a little bit bigger, lots, bigger, more expensive homes. And this house was a fixer upper, which normally makes my heart sing, but because of the neighborhood and the size of the house, it was only about 2,500 square feet, but it was totally un-renovated and, in some cases, unlivable.
Like the, the man had started to renovate. And so, like there were bathrooms that didn’t have fixtures. It was like a mid-renovation project where some things had been done. I think he got kind of knee deep into it and decided it was a bigger project than he wanted to take on. He was selling by owner trying to just offload it so that he could move on to something else.
We made an appointment and went and looked at it and I really loved some things about it. I loved the bones. I have a soft spot in my heart for fixer uppers. And I could see like, as I looked around, I get kind of this, like, Like Google lens to my eyes when I’m looking at renovation projects or like design projects, I can see not what’s there, but what it could look like, what it could be. And I was just like, wow, this could be such a cool house, but it would cost a lot of money to get it there.
It would be a ton of work. And if we bought it. We would need to then undergo that whole process before we even felt like we could enjoy living there. I mean, it would just be such a big project. In addition to that, even though it’s a really cool area, I didn’t feel like it was as cozy and homey because the homes are bigger and the lots are a little bit larger. There’s not as much of like a neighborly feel. There are no sidewalks, it’s not as walkable.
It’s kind of more of like a little hidden nook neighborhood. So, for all those reasons, we decided to stay the course, we looked at each other, we said, we could do this. We’re not going to do this. We’re going to stay in our house for another year or two. We’re going to finish the garage, build the garage, which hadn’t even been started yet. And we’re going to just kind of sit tight.
The Right House Popped Up
Aren’t those like famous last words. It was. A week later, this is now the second week of December, we were getting ready for bed. And I usually pull out a book. I was scrolling on my phone a little bit, getting ready to put my phone to bed. And I hopped onto Zillow, which had become my new favorite pastime.
And I noticed a house for sale nearby. And it wasn’t a fixer upper. It had been renovated with a small addition it a couple years ago, and it was comfortably in our price range. I sent it to Dave. He was sitting next to me in the bed. I Zillow forwarded him that listing, and we looked at it and said, Hey, this kind of checks the boxes.
Like it’s the right size. It’s four bedrooms and three bathrooms instead of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has two living spaces. So, there’s like a kitchen living kind of a more open space. And then there’s a front kind of entry living space. It’s not huge. It’s just over 2000 square feet of finished living space.
And there is like a little partial kind of storage basement area and it’s, it was close. It was, you know, within our same neighborhood, within walking distance to all the things that we love, we thought this might be. Something that we could look at.
It had gone on the market on a Friday, we were looking at it on a Monday and I immediately texted my friend who is a real estate agent and said, “Hey, could you get us a showing at this house?” She, knowing the market said, if they listed it Friday, it may be already had offers all, get in touch with their agent. You know, this may have, this may be a done deal already because things are going so fast.
So, we waited to hear back and about a half hour later, I got a text that there were people interested in it that were looking at their financing, but there weren’t any offers on the house yet. We could go see it in the morning, Tuesday morning, 10:00 AM Dave. And I go and do a walk through this house and we just sort of feel like it fits. Just the right size. It’s not huge, but it’s just a little bit bigger. It feels like we could grow up into it. Like we won’t be all on top of each other. We would give each of the kids their own room.
A Home To Grow Up Into
We’d have a little bit of extra space for the kids to like to be watching a movie in one room while we sit and chat in another room. It was recently updated. And so, it’s move in ready, even though it’s not completely my style and it needs some love and some design kind of working to make it feel like home for us.
It’s totally move in. Ready, like turn-key walk in and set up shop.
And we loved that it was in our neighborhood that it was nearby, and we would still be able to maintain our friendships and our neighbors. And so, we just thought, okay. Jump!
We don’t have a permit for our garage yet. We’ve known we’ve needed a little bit more space. Our criteria for having a house that was a little bit bigger, but not huge in our price range in our neighborhood and move-in-ready. Like not a big fixer upper felt like it was a pie in the sky criteria. And here we were walking through it.
There were a couple hiccups, a couple stumbling blocks. One was that I said, well, why don’t we go ahead and put an offer contingent on the sale of our own house.
And our agent said, there’s no way that people are accepting contingent offers in the market right now. So, you need to see if there’s a way that. Buy this house without the contingency of selling your house, that felt a little scary and big, especially when we were not expecting to buy a new house, right that minute.
We put in an offer. And we GOT IT!
It was a very long day of conversations with lots of different people from the banks to the loan officers, to our financial advisor, to family and friends, and just trying to work all of this out. And we submitted an offer by that evening. Dave. And I looked at each other, like, are we doing this?
Like, what is, you know, it seemed like just such a fast turnaround in such a whirlwind. And sometimes, you know, sometimes things happen like that when they’re kind of just like the door that opens right in front of your face, you, you step through it. So, we went to bed saying, We don’t know if we just made a huge mistake, but it feels kind of right. And we’ll know if we don’t get it. Cause there were other people interested in it. We know if we don’t get it, that it wasn’t meant to be. And if we do, then it was. And so, we kind of went to bed saying, okay, so this is December 7th. We go to sleep. We’ve seen the house one time in, you know, in 24 hours.
I wake up to a text that says, “Pack your bags. You got it. What? Oh my gosh. Now the real fun begins because we not only just, but you also know, went under contract on a new house. We need to get our house ready to sell, like as soon as possible. And it’s December and it’s my daughter’s birthday. And we’re going out of town out of the country for Christmas. I didn’t even know where to begin.
NOW WE HAVE TO SELL OUR HOUSE!
Our real estate agent came over and calmly sat us down. We talked through the process of what it was going to look like to get our house on the market as soon as possible. She recommended that we do a coming soon, so that agents in the area would be aware that it was going to pop up. And then she walked me through the list of things that we would need to do to get it ready for pictures and showings.
I have thought about the resale of this house since we bought it. I knew, again, like I said, this was never going to be a forever home. And so, every upgrade that I’ve done, every design choice that I’ve made, although I’ve made it for me and my family, I’ve also made it think someone someday is going to look at this and decide whether they like it and whether they want to buy it.
And, I imagined that I would have, you know, a month or two to think about getting the house ready and how I wanted to stage it. And I had just put up our Christmas decorations that week before I said, do the Christmas decorate? Does everything come down? Like, what do we do? The process looked like basically moving 75% of our belongings.
The way that I looked at, it was leaving the furniture that I wanted to be in the house for showings as if I was just staging it and only leaving the clothes and shoes that we would need for our trip to Paris and the couple of weeks that we would be in the house after that. So, I packed up over about one week’s time from the ninth until the 16th I packed up all our clothes and all our games and the extra tech and the movies and the books.
I pulled down shelves from the wall that we didn’t want to be in the house for the pictures or the showings. We moved furniture. We moved our exercise equipment into storage. Not only got like a little U box pack thing that we could leave on the street and move things out into, but we got a storage unit so that we could just move, basically move, basically move out except for the kitchen.
Most of the kitchen staff stayed because it’s well organized and we felt like that would be great for people to be able to open kitchen drawers and see how everything fits well, even though the kitchen is small.
We left our closets just with like single. Hangers, you know, we have a minimal closet anyway, but we cleared it out so everything was staged, staged beautifully. Then I cleaned, I cleaned like I’ve never cleaned before. And then I went through and did all the whole patching wall sanding touch up, painting, trim painting. There were a couple light fixtures that we decided to switch out. I spent probably 10 hours a day for the entire week at the house.
And then we accommodated for the animals. So, we took the cats to a cat sitter. We packed up the dogs, we moved all the pet stuff out. We moved into a hotel on Plum’s birthday, which was December 15th because the house had been fully cleaned that day. And I didn’t want anyone to go back in it after it was cleaned.
So, on December 15th, we moved into a hotel. We spent two nights in the hotel, both celebrating Plum’s birthday, which was fun. And she thought it was special. And because I just didn’t want anyone to touch anything before showings. The house hit the market on December 16th, the showings began on December 17th and our family drove out to West Virginia for the weekend.
We were able to spend the weekend in my in-law’s house. They, my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law their kids had flown out to Utah for the holidays. And so, their house was empty, and it was so nice because we were able to just, after such a crazy couple of weeks, we were able to settle in and basically just wait with bated breath as people walked through our house.
In the beginning, when we first were like, okay, we must sell the house. I was a little worried because it was Christmas time. And I thought, who is looking for a house right now? And I had to keep reminding myself, well, we weren’t, but we bought one. So, there’s, there’s got to be people looking and there’s not a whole lot out there right now.
The inventory on the market was low. There was potential for our house to get a lot of attention because there wasn’t a whole lot else out there in our neighborhood. There also was the potential for people to be shopping and eating out and getting ready for Christmas. We put it on the market just with fingers crossed and had an incredible whirlwind of an experience.
There were over 50 showings in the three days that showings were available. There were people coming in and out every half hour from 8:00 AM till the evening. And we had 12 offers submitted by Monday when we were set to review offers, it was incredibly emotional. Like I felt so relieved and grateful and vulnerable.
To have you know, people over and over again, walk through your house and look at your, your things in your designs and your choices and how everything is set up and put together. And I kind of cried on and off all weekend. Just like had so much stress and overwhelm and expectation, and just tried to like to give myself a chance to feel it all, which I, I did.
And, you know, I had moments where I thought, what are we even doing? It’s the holidays. And rather than, you know, being just like settled with my own family, I’m basically like huddled away from my own house. Again, even enjoy my own house this last Christmas. And it was wild and very exciting to have so much interest in this space that I have put so much energy into so much wonderful, creative, positive energy into over the last couple years, felt exciting, and fun.
So, we come home on the 20th and we’re under contract and we’re feeling like, okay, we’re just going to be able to kind of now ease into Christmas and then remember that we also have the inspection. So, while this offer didn’t waive the inspection, they put a monetary amount towards the inspection. It was just another hurdle though, but we got through it.
They finished the inspection on Thursday, so I had to kind of get everything ready again and get the kids out and have the inspection on Thursday. That’s December 23rd. We’re able to come home, have Christmas Eve, just try to relax, pack up. And on the 25th, we got on our flight for Paris.
A Complete Whirlwind
In basically two weeks, we saw our new house for the first time, put an offer on it, prepped our whole house. Did showings had offers one under contract, finished our inspection, had Christmas celebrated, Plum’s birthday and left the country.
We heard a few days into our trip that the inspection had gone great that there were no issues. And so, we were just set to close.
Our week of Parisian vacation not only felt magical because we were together in this beautiful city exploring new things. It also felt magical because it was the first time, basically the whole month that we were able to just be present, to be in the moment to not be working on something physical or emotional having to do with this move.
It’s just crazy. I emailed our contractor, the one who was supposed to be doing the garage for us and let him know that. You know, things may have worked out in our favor that because the delay was taking so long, we explored the option of looking for a house. We found one. And so, we weren’t going to need the garage anymore. We’d be happy to, you know, make sure that our balance was up to date for any of the work or out of pocket expenses that he had had so far in the process.
He was very kind and said, oh, I’m so glad. You know, things worked out for a reason. In fact, one kind of interesting thing that didn’t happen. He was going to send a crew over to demo the shed and to mark out, like plot out where the garage was going to go in the backyard and that hadn’t happened yet.
So, I’m sure that added at least a little bit of value to the house to have this beautifully redone clubhouse shed, storage second office, little studio hanging out for the kids, whatever the new owners want to use it as. That was intact and looked great rather than having like a big demo back there.
New Year, New House!
We are closing this weekend on both houses. We’re staying in our house for a couple of weeks, to just be able to move in slowly to not have to do like a big one day move, but to be able to kind of move things in.
There’s a couple small things at the new house that we wanted to maybe take care of before we move in. One of them is that it has an electric stove. I really both Dave and I really love a gas stove. So, we’re going to make sure that we can have that switched out and there’s already natural gas to the house.
It has a natural gas fireplace, so we know that’s available. We just need to have that stubbed in for a new stove. There’s also kind of a funky island situation. The kitchen has a two-tiered island like a breakfast island, which sometimes that makes sense on a peninsula or, there are some scenarios in which that makes sense.
And this is not one of them. And I don’t know. I mean, this is a new kitchen, it was installed in 2018. And so, I just don’t really, I don’t know what that design meeting looked like, where someone said they wanted to have a, a two-tiered island. It should be something that’s easy to replace.
The New House Is A Blank Slate
We’ll have a cabinet company come in and just cut down the island. So, it’s one flat space. And I think that that will open the room a lot. It will make it much more functional to have like one long, big kind of space where you can put things down rather than the bump up.
Now that I’ve sort of settled into this idea of this is really happening. We’re really leaving this home that we have lovingly cultivated and moving into somewhere new. I’ve been able to get really excited about the new house. It’s really kind of a blank slate.
It’s very basic. It’s all white walls right now. It’s an all-white kitchen. It was like renovated with kind of the thought of resale in mind because there’s no, there’s not a whole lot of risky decisions happening.
It’s all very basic, very beautiful, nice quality. There’s a lot of room for personality. There’s a lot of room for interesting design. There’s a lot of room for making it our own. And that’s something I really, really look forward to.
I’m excited about where, when we bought our current house, we knew that it had a timeline of a few years, this house feels like it has the amount of space that we can grow up into. Our kids will each have their own rooms, that there is a little bit more space for kind of entertaining and, and having, you know, a group of kids in one room and adults’ kind of hanging out in the other room.
It has a very similar yard to our current house when we first moved in. The yard has a small patio and a shed and then nothing else, like it’s just yard. So, we will be moving our hot tub over. We’ll be moving the chicken coop over. I don’t know the logistics of how that’s going to happen yet, but we’re going to do that. And then I’m going to take some time and kind of plot out what we want the yard to be over time.
I will be adding grow boxes this winter. Like when we move in, in January, probably February I’ll, I’ll build some grow boxes so that I’m ready to go for planting in March. I just had immense joy come into my life with the beginning of my gardening a couple of years ago. And I really look forward to having a garden in the new house.
And I think it may grow even better than my current gardens. It gets a little more sun. There’s not quite as many trees in the back as our current house has. So, it’s a whole new adventure.
Sometimes You Love Something And Still Move On.
Something that I have been thinking about as we’ve gone through this process is how sometimes, and this is the part that you may find relatable. Sometimes in your life, you can really, really love something. Love it deeply. And it’s like working for you in a lot of ways. And that doesn’t seem like there’s a, a real solid reason to make a change. And yet you still feel like you want to make a change.
We could technically, logistically make our current house work for a long time. We could just, you know, keep doing it, keep being a little bit on top of each other and, and be patient with the garage and just make a little, make some accommodations in the way that we live to have it work.
We love our house. I love my house so much and it’s going to be very bittersweet to leave it. And at the same time, I feel like I love it so much that I’m excited for someone to move into it, who it works better for. I’ve done all that I can. I’ve sort of wrapped it up with a bow. And every part of it just feels special and thoughtful and beautiful and useful and practical.
This new family who moves in, we’ll be able to utilize and enjoy all of that in a way that our family can’t anymore. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for us as much anymore.
I was talking to a good friend this last week about something that she’s going through, where there’s a piece of her life, a piece of her business that is totally working on paper.
Like there’s no reason to make a change because the numbers line up, every outside source, like from every anyone else looking at it would say, it’s going great. Everything looks good. You know, you’re doing it just right. And yet she feels a pull to set it down. To stop and to move on to something new.
There is something sort of difficult about that transition. I think a lot of times we think if, if you love something, you should keep it. If you like the way something’s going, it should stay going that way. And sometimes you can love something and see that there is something better or different available. You also can love something and know that it’s not working out.
Different Seasons Require Different Decisions
Like it’s okay to say there’s nothing wrong with my current situation. And I still want something to. I want to create the space for a change. I want to create the space for something new for possibilities. I think especially with families, things change as our family grows. I know I talk about this a lot with decluttering, that something that served your family well for a while.
You may find the time where you move on from that. And it’s goes for clothes, obviously, because you know, kids grow out of clothes. And so, it, there’s a very physical moving from one piece of clothing to the next that fits. How do we judge that for ourselves when it comes to other types of belongings?
How do you know when you’ve moved on from a certain type of decor or books?
As adults, if your body isn’t, you know, continually growing, how do you know, how can you say, you know, I loved this and that’s okay that I loved it and I still don’t want it now?
It doesn’t serve me right now or toys. I know a lot of times people hang on to their kids’ toys for a long time, even after their kids are playing with them.
Why do we feel like because we love and have something that we must keep it?
There’s something really, expansive about the idea of loving something and not needing it right now. You can love the way that it has served you. You can love the way that it fits so well in your life and now it doesn’t. Now it’s time to move on.
This makes me think a little bit about relationships. I remember years ago, Jess Lively, who was one of the first podcasts that I listened to. I mean, years and years ago, before podcasts were really a big thing.
You can move on from something that feels complete.
She and her husband went through what she called a conscious uncoupling. They got divorced, but they didn’t feel like it was a, it wasn’t an angry divorce. It wasn’t you’ve betrayed me or, you know, this isn’t, it, this isn’t working out even, it was like, this is working, and we love each other. And our relationship is complete.
We don’t need to continue in this relationship, even though it has served us so well, we’ve learned so much together and we’re going to sort of set this down to open ourselves up to what comes next.
I feel like that with this house, I love it entirely. And I’m ready to set it down to open myself up to what comes next.
Is it a little weird to think about walking into a kitchen, an all-white kitchen that someone else designed with this weird two-tiered island that doesn’t feel like me at all? Yeah, it feels a little weird because every element of our current house is something that I chose that I thought about that I dreamed about that I mocked up on Photoshop. Some of it that I did myself.
And so, yeah, this feels a little bit weird, and I also recognize the huge privilege it is to be able to make a move to be able to choose where our family lives to have that safety and security. To even consider design elements as one of the things that I think about when I think about our home.
I am excited. Although I’m trying to not get ahead of myself. I am very excited to begin again, the design process, and I’ve already started mocking things up on Photoshop. That’s kind of my go-to started thinking about what color is feel right. I’ve already chosen a wallpaper for the dining room.
Kids in individual rooms.
We decided that we’re going to go room by room with the kids over the next several months and give each of them like focused attention to get their rooms the way that they’d like them, give them each a small budget and kind of work through their design. And Eliot will go first. He’s our middle son. And he has never had his own room. When he was a baby, a newborn, he lived in the closet, we called it the Dutch Cupboard Closet. He lived in the closet.
Our two-bedroom apartment Milo was in a toddler bed and Eliot, we built his crib into the closet like they do in Denmark. I’ll link in the show notes if you want to see the evolution of my kids’ rooms.
So, he lived there and then when we moved to our home in Texas, he and Milo shared a room. He was on the bottom bunk. Milo was on the top bunk and this cute, outdoor inspired boys’ room. And then when we moved to Richmond, all three of my kids shared a room. They had a triple bunk bed. They all were in one room for a year.
We moved into our current house and he and Plum now share rooms. So, Eliot was, you know, graduated to the top bunk Plum is on the bottom bunk. They’ve had this shared, you know, boy/girl neutral, cute bedroom, and they get along so well, and it’s worked out so well.
It isn’t that I feel like for any specific reason that they need to not share a room anymore. It has been great. And just for the long-term, more realistic. It feels like the right stage for us to move into for the kids to all have their own rooms.
We’re going to start with Eliot’s. And one of the things that we’ve talked about that he’s excited about is doing floor to ceiling bookshelves on one wall. He’s my total bookworm, like he always, always has a book in hand.
He’s usually reading two or three at the same time. He loves reading. We would love to just do floor to ceiling bookshelves on one wall of his small room with a rolling ladder. And we saw several different examples of these in Paris. It was fun to have that in mind, as we were traveling and kind of getting inspiration for our new house while we were abroad.
So, we have a lot to look forward to. We’ve got just these last couple of weeks of closing this weekend and then. Slowly moving in, getting a couple initial things done. Hopefully I can get that gas stove fired up before we move. But if not, we’ll be fine. We’ll do it in the, in the couple months after that.
And then a whole new chapter, a whole new stage of our family life in our new house. One thing I am very excited about is going through the Decluttered process with my session, my January session of Decluttered that begins on Monday while I am moving into this new house.
I’m going to Declutter along with you!
I’ve often mentioned that decluttering our home, whether you’re moving or not, kind of feels like you’re moving. When you take everything out of a closet and you decide consciously what to get rid of and what to put back and how to organize it. It feels like the process of moving in the last month, I have touched 75% of the things that I’ve owned.
And through that process, we probably got rid of about a boxer two of unnecessary things. We have some great systems that I teach in decluttered so that we are regularly decluttering. It’s part of the flow of our lifestyle to have things coming in and things going out rather than just things coming in, which is a more typical lifestyle where people are accumulating and storing, but not ever releasing.
So, I teach some of the strategies for that in Decluttered, not only over the next six weeks, which will be fun with the main group. Also, I’m thrilled that I will be able to do the Decluttered Plus accountability group. Along with that group, if you join Decluttered Plus accountability group, we’ll spend 12 weeks together with a focused area each week, decluttering, organizing, and designing an area of our home.
And I get to do that with you using my new home! So, this will be the very first time that I’m organizing the entryway and figuring out how to make it work and what I want to live there. That I’m organizing my pantry, that I’m organizing my closet. It will be fun to. Go through this accountability group and declutter my whole house top to bottom, organize it, all, set it all up, make it work for me while I’m helping you do that for you.
I think it will give me some new insights. I think it will be fun to go through that process together. So, if you feel a pull. Maybe you’re not moving right now. Maybe you are, maybe you’re you are moving in which case it is a great time to join Decluttered.
If you’re not moving and you want that renewed sense of fresh starting the year, having your home work for you rather than against you. Feeling like you’re not overwhelmed, you’re not stressed out by the things that you own, that they are serving you. They’re adding value. They’re making things easier rather than harder. Then jump over and join Decluttered.
New Year, New House doesn’t just have to be for me moving into a new house. It can also feel that way for you as I help you declutter and organize your home base. Also, your mindset, your energy levels, and the way that you spend your time.
How is that for the beginning of a new year? unexpected for me as well. I want to thank you for being here for tuning in. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed listening to this wildlife lately episode, and maybe gotten a little bit of an insight into something in your life that you’ve love and are ready to let go of ready to move on and open yourself.
For what comes next. This is also final call for Decluttered and Decluttered. Plus, if you are even thinking about it, like if you have the thought, gosh, I really wonder how that would work for me or how I would feel going through that. I want to invite you to give it a try. If you do a few lessons and it’s not what you expected, then we can talk.
I do believe that if you feel a call. If you feel an interest in jumping in and exploring how to reset your home and your heart and your head this season, give it a try. I would love for you to register and join me. You can find the links in the show notes, and I hope that you have a really, wonderful week.