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Downsizing (temporarily)

So as I mentioned in my last post, my family has recently relocated to the Beehive State. (It’s okay, I didn’t know that Utah was called the Beehive State either. It has something to do with honeybees and industry and the Book of Mormon – the actual book, not the musical. No, really.) We made this move rather quickly, so we will be living in an apartment for about six months. Although my hubby and I initially recoiled at the thought of downsizing to approximately 1/6th of our current home size, after the first two weeks, I am loving it. Here are the virtues of downsizing your life, even if it’s just temporary.

  1. There is so much less to clean! Ohmygod, you guys! The boys “helped” me clean last Monday and we did the entire place in an hour. You know that means that next time if they’re not around I can bust it out in 30 minutes. I have no words for how happy this makes me. (I am a lazy slob. I suck at housekeeping. This is huge.)
  2. We had to very carefully go through the house before we left and curate only the most precious items to come with us. The boys were each given a milk crate to fill with their treasures. No overflowing. They did beautifully. They have their special books and some new ones, their loveys, random knick-knacks for which only they understand the value, a few nerf guns, and some art supplies. They each have their cardboard box treasure chest in their side of the shared bedroom closet. My treasures were primarily limited to kitchen must-haves. Although we bought an inexpensive set of dishes for the apartment, there was no way I was leaving my nice pots and pans and knives at home. Cooking for 6 months using crappy materials would have made me ugly. The upside of culling your stuff is that there is so much less clutter around. Which means less to pick up. Which leads right on back to #1 above – less cleaning time. See what I did there? But it also really makes you focus on figuring out what stuff is truly important. What can I not live without for 6 months? Calphalon and my to-be-read book pile.
  3. Read my lips: no shoveling snow.
  4. Crazy convenience. Think about it – most housing developments are set in nicely organized suburbs created by nicely organized city planners who put houses in one area and groceries, dining and shopping in another. When you rejoin the land of multi dwelling units, you’re welcomed back into the fold of the mixed use development. I have a movie theater, grocery store and over THIRTY restaurants within WALKING DISTANCE of the apartment. Allow that to sink in for a moment. Sure, there are several chains mixed in there, but there are also some really great independent local places. And a Nordstrom Rack. I mean, it’s like nirvana over here.
  5. Gym, hottub and pool without club or HOA dues? Yes, please.
  6. When I forget to grab something to put in the laundry, or when I have left my purse in the bedroom as I’m leaving the house, I don’t have a flight of stairs and fifty paces to retrieve said items. I have five to fifteen steps. Happiness! Told you I was a lazy slob.
  7. So much closeness with my sweet family! Last night the boys and I cuddled on the couch eating popcorn and reading our books. It was idyllic. (Not as idyllic was poor Andrew alone in the bedroom because he was last to catch the stomach bug that ravaged the family. Another less appealing side effect of living in close quarters is that the germs thrive in our little petri dish.)

Now I know what you’re thinking, and yeah, I have to own up to it. This downsizing move is a far cry from the hell hole of an apartment where Andrew and I started our life as a couple 23+ years ago. There is no overwhelming stench of garbage, stale beer, and various bodily fluids in this apartment building. I’m fairly confident I won’t run into a rabid raccoon on my way to the trash dumpster. Also gone is the stereotypical nasty little old lady who works in the front office that seemed to hate our very existence. She’s been replaced by pretty, well put together millennials making apartment leasing their first career.

And yes, there are drawbacks to downsizing…two flights of stairs and a teeny pantry closet makes Costco runs just plain stupid, constantly telling the kids to quiet down, having only one room to send them to when they’re on the verge of killing one another, and having precious little private space in which to retreat when we’re all on each other’s nerves. But for now, I’ll focus on the happy stuff and try to save the complaints for June.

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