Sunday, June 29, 2008

Is Bigger Better?

We are house-hunting. What a big thing to do! We had lots of wishes for a house, but I think we’ve decided that we need ‘enough’ rather than ‘too much’. It’s easy to want to have all those extra rooms and all that space – but in the end, you have to take care of it all. You have to not only clean it, but insure it and heat it and do the maintenance on it and so on. Now that’s a BIG thing!

Our decision was to look for a smaller house. If it has enough room for our family, then it’s good enough. We will pay less, have less upkeep, less to heat – and we’ll spend much less on maintenance over time because there is less of it to maintain. When you don’t have to pay all those bills, you might have the option of working less, and enjoying your family and your home more, too.

I read a saying once that said something about how we work hard and long hours to buy the house of our dreams – the one we never get to spend anytime enjoying because we are too busy working to actually spend time in it. I’d rather not do that. We live in a part of the country that has extremely high housing costs as it is – why make it harder for ourselves?

Being green isn’t just about the kind of cleaners you buy, or trying to use less gas – it’s about trying live in such a way that you have what you need, not more than you need. When you buy a car – buy the one that suits your needs – not the one that looks just right (and is maybe bigger than necessary)

I also think that you have to be careful not to throw away things that others might need. Whether you give it away or sell it – your old stuff, if it’s in good condition, can be of great use to another person. Something it can’t do from the landfill.

When we move, we plan on selling our bedroom suite – it’s not what we want anymore (it's actually a big 'big'!) , but it’s in perfect condition, so we’ll make sure it gets a good home with someone who really likes it. As for our new one? We’re not sure if it will be new or just new to us – that depends on what we find. I’m open to either if it’s feel right.

My lesson for today – think about what you need, aim for that, share what you don’t need, and try to be sure that whatever you buy is something you can enjoy.


Melody Owen said...

Good luck on the house hunting. It is a huge undertaking.

We have a place in Vancouver, which is small and expensive. I have to admit though I love not owning a car. I love the fact that my kids and I can't escape each other and have to work together to share the space we have. I love walking my kids to school in the morning and picking up our daily needs on the way back. I love working from home.

We have somehow managed to create a lifestyle that works for us. We have made choices, difficult choices. You are so right when you say that living greener means more than buying the right cleaner.

We each have different perspectives and needs and I hope in buying this new home that you find a lifestyle that suits your family now and for many years to come.

Peter and Roma said...

You describe Voluntary Simplicity very well. It's also so "freeing" to let go of the never-ending desire to have more "stuff".
We should remember to "Want what we have, not have what we want".
Really enjoying your blog, keep it up.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful post. I enjoyed it so very much and you certainly put things in perspective for me. Thanks so much. Good Luck with your new home.

Sharon xoxo