living small

living small

November 16, 2017

living small // saying no to more // katharineschellman.com

#4: you might not need what you think you need.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that we recently movedΒ yet again. By the numbers, this is our seventh apartment in six years of marriage, not counting one stint of housesitting and multiple instances of crashing with friends/family between leases.

Suffice to say, we’re pretty expert at the moving process, though we have not yet figured out any way to make the process inexpensive. (In fact, it’s gotten more expensive, as moving while I was pregnant introduced us into the marvelous worldΒ paying other people to move your things for you, from which it is very hard to go back.)

Cost of moving aside, and not getting into our possibly questionable nomadic tendencies, there are things about moving and apartment hunting that still manage to surprise us.

This move, in particular, caught us off guard with what it revealed about our wants, needs, and priorities.

Given that B. recently landed a job at the local university, and given that we have a very spunky one-year-old, and given that we all sleep better if we’re not sharing a room and that we spent part of the summer blowing up an air mattress every evening and deflating it every morning while the baby enjoyed exclusive sleeping privileges in the single bedroom (that’s a lot of givens), we were very definite about looking for a two-bedroom apartment this time around.

One bedroom for us, one bedroom for the baby. All very logical. Certainly not an excessive wish.

And so we looked, during the worst time to look for a new apartment in a university town. We found apartments with windows that could not open; apartments with no windows at all in the bedroom; apartments on loud streets; apartments that hadn’t been updated or cleaned in approximately thirty years; apartments advertised as having a washer, dryer, and dishwasher that had none of them at all.

We decided we needed to move further from the downtown and looked at two bedroom houses in cute neighborhoods, homes with actual basements and driveways and yards that need to be mowed, that would require lots more driving than we’re used to and an hour of commuting time every day. Homes that caused us both instant existential angst about who we were and what kind of life we wanted.

“This feels like a home for a grown up,” B. said, looking uncomfortable.

“This feels like a home in suburbia,” I replied, not ready to let go of my city-person identity.

And so we went back to apartments. And we thought more flexibly, and we looked at more places.

And we ended up renting a one bedroom apartment. Another one bedroom apartment.

A beautiful one bedroom apartment with a two minute walk to the downtown, floor to ceiling windows, a wide balcony, a walk-in closet, and more appliances than we’ve ever had before.

Instead of sharing a bedroom this time, we’re studio-ing it up in the main room while turning the one bedroom into the nursery/playroom. And we are genuinely excited about it.

So there’s the moral for you: you may not need what you think you need.

Whether you’re thinking about the things you own or the salary you make or the number of bedrooms you need in your home, you may end up excited about making less work, and less may end up being more beautiful than more anyway.

 

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