There she is. A beautiful 2,400 sq ft bungalow in the middle of town. A ten minute walk to Starbucks, five minutes to the park and most importantly, Johnny’s Pizza a mere five minute walk away. It was perfect. With a 400 sq ft apartment/office above garage, it had everything we would ever need.
We built the upstairs into a child’s dream room, that neither of our kids wanted to play in. Real cool. At some point we realized that we really only use about half of our house. Could we easily scale down to half? Sure could… we wouldn’t even feel the tension if we did.
We started having conversations about downsizing. We sprinted to the idea of buying an RV. Maybe a fifth wheel pulled by a giant F250. Maybe just renting a small apartment. We toyed with the idea enough that we did NOTHING.
Not long after these conversations, I had a work trip to Rwanda. I spent a week traveling nearly the entire country meeting with families and non-profit leaders learning about their amazing country. I kept thinking about our conversations about downsizing. There was something about being in Africa that made it seem like a joke. Downsizing. First world probs.
I spent an afternoon that week with a family of 4 that lived in a 300 sq ft mud house with a dirt floor on the Congo border. These were the most beautiful, kind, loving and joyful people I’ve ever met. After hearing the single mom tell of the struggle it was to put her kids through school and provide food for the family, it was time to leave. As we left, I asked if I might snap a photo of their family. I left with this proof of joy below.
I knew that day that a family of four could live happily and joyfully with little. It inspired me. The main difference was that I knew how richly blessed I was. Living small would be a choice for us. For many in the world it isn’t. The question would be (and still is) if we downsized, what would the purpose be? I’ll leave this unanswered for now…For dramatic effect.
In December 2017, we located a piece of property with a small abandoned pool house/ rv garage on the land. We started making offers but it took about months to close the deal. We wanted to build a house in the shell of the rv garage. See future posts about these details.
So, downsizing it is. It’s happening. We had a lot of things to whittle down. Cassie more than the rest of us. She had a stylist friend come to our house to create outfit options. Things that could go a long way… you know like that black and red 1980s skirt and nirvana shirt.
I have 10 of the same shirt. Three different colors and two pairs of jeans. Downsizing was pretty easy. I did get rid of a coat that didn’t fit, so we all made sacrifices.
We knew about how much closet space we were going to have, so we taped off floor space so we knew how much stuff we could keep. If it fit, you could keep it. We downsized enough to fit everything we owned into a rubbermaid. One rubbermaid per person. We were headed to Las Vegas for the summer to launch Purchased: Vegas so we packed up our rubbermaids, sold the house and headed west.
Liv and I stopped by the empty house to say goodbye on our way to Las Vegas.