August 31, 2012

An Update on the Sale of Our House


Many of my regular readers know that we put our house up for sale in the spring.  And some of you have been asking me about it, especially in light of our Year of Less.

The short story is that our listing ran out today, and we've chosen not to renew it.

With each child we've had in our little starter home, visitors and friends have commented that we'll need a bigger house.  Which each child, the pressure grew...we need more space for all of these kids.

And at some point, we started accepting that. We can't live in a tiny house with all these kids, can we?

But then we started the year of less, and we began to remove the layers of clutter that had collected in our home.  And we realized something: we don't need more room, we need less stuff!

We've given away a lot of stuff.  Between clothes and kitchen items and toys and  books we have gotten rid of thousands of items. We have less furniture, less linens, less laundry, less stuff!  And all the space we need.

So 6 weeks ago we decided that we would be content whether the house sells or not. And around that time, the phone stopped ringing completely. Not a single showing.  I don't know if it's a God thing, or the slow market, but to us it seems pretty clear; we aren't going anywhere just yet.

Plus, now that our basement is no longer being used to store things we don't need we are talking about finishing it.  That would give us all the space we could ever need, no matter how large our family grows.

That's not to say we aren't going to try to sell again at some point. It's just that we are choosing to be content here until God calls our hearts elsewhere.

And it's a good place to be.


So there you go, that's what's happening with us! Oh, and I'm super excited to not have to be constantly trying to keep the house showroom clean and to spend my time instead messing the house up with some fun craft projects and culinary adventures!

41 comments:

  1. I am in a similar situation except we have no way to sell our house right now. Can you e-mail me and help me figure out where to start decluttering?
    Homeschool Mommy of 4 in a 2 bedroom house!
    tanya@thecurtis.org

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  2. I don't know you, but I am very happy for you all! Looking at the front and back photos, gosh, why would you want to leave? :) My husband and I have looked at many videos of tiny homes -- talk about minimalist living! But families get along in those just fine, too.

    I've been purging stuff from our house, too, lately. Get a bunch of bags out and it still looks the same -- for a while. Eventually it starts looking a little less cluttered, and a bit more functional :) Our church is having a rummage sale in a couple weeks so I have a growing mountain (no, really, it's a mountain in my house) of stuff to take over there. I can't wait for that day to come! We could have had a yard sale ourselves, but this benefits the church, so its good by me.

    Love, love, love getting rid of stuff and checking in on your blog daily :)

    Also a Kelly
    (in Arizona)

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  3. It's amazing what some decluttering can do. We are a family of 9 in a 1040 sq foot house. 2 adults, 3 kids, 2 dogs (90+ lbs. each) and 2 cats (I didn't count the 4 fish because they don't really take up that much room). I love both your blogs and look forward to future posts. Keep up the good work.

    Cassie (Reno, NV)

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  4. Congratulations! I wish I would've learned to live with less years ago (including less house). I listened to all the voices telling me we needed more space as our family grew, and we ended up buying a house we couldn't afford, and later lost. Our family of nine now lives in 744 sq. ft. and we do just fine. We finished the garage for storage and work projects and we have a cellar for additional storage, and we're in the process of finishing a climb-up loft for extra sleeping space.

    My best advice for large family, small house living is to give everything a home. The rule in our house is if it doesn't have a home, out it goes. If it's not important enough to dedicate some of your limited space to, it's just clutter that will get shuffled around.

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  5. Great update! Peer pressure can be tough to deal with and we often don't even realize how much it affects us. What a blessing it is to be content, even more to realize that you had the space you needed all along. Yay for the Year of less and yay for eyes open to God's leading.

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

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  6. What a great way to look at it! I love the after-effects of decluttering. How wonderful that you are content to live with what you've got.

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  7. My husband grew up with 6 siblings in a 3 bedroom +1 boxroom house. It had its challenges, but overall they all grew up fine :)
    It can be quite humbling to go to one of those open air museums where you can see houses that used to house entire families (sometimes several generations at a time!) several centuries ago. There are only a couple of rooms!
    Not saying that we should go back to living like that, but we can certainly make smaller spaces work :)

    I'm so glad you don't have to deal with all the upheaval that comes with moving house. Especially with everything else on your plate :)
    Enjoy your sweet home :)

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  8. Amazing. I love it and I love that you are going against the grain of what people *think* a large family ought to have in terms of space and stuff.
    Looks like a fabulous house! :) (And I'm in love with your other blog too! :D)

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  9. My FIL grew up in a 3 room house with 12 people (9 kids) the house was always orderly and tidy, the kids and parents were clean and happy. Holidays were packed to the walls and they were HAPPY!! In Brooklyn most families lived small and I think you are brilliant for getting back to the old ways of living and making them the new, fresh, modern way to live! There are two blogs in particular that have inspired me to make my home a happy reflection of us, I have spent the last two years painting, redecorating, repurposing, decluttering etc and it's finally MY home, its bright and happy! Now since finding your blog, I have been concentrating on living with less and making life more simple, my goal is to have a simple and light (with stuff) home! THANK YOU!

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  10. I love your plan! Get rid of stuff and low and behold you have everything you need! I love following your blog. I am constantly inspired to be more organized and concise with what we keep in our home.

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  11. Congratulations on staying put!!! It must be such a relief to get to stay where you are AND find that you have all the room you need because you decluttered. I'm working on the same thing here--get rid of stuff so we are less crazy with cleaning, etc. Good joB!!!

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  12. Sometimes what we have is what we need! We live in a medium size 3 bedroom house and by making choices about what comes in and what goes out it works. Love my outdoor space so it would be hard to give up.

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  13. I love that first picture of your house.... We're in a situation where we can stay where we are, but it's a rented first floor of a private home. The house itself is good, the neighborhood is not. We will be leaving, that is certain. Not sure when, but special ed programs are our priority for my soon to be eight year old. I love the country but those are not the best areas for those services.... Unfortunately, depressed urban areas are.

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  14. Thanks for posting this Kelly! It was very encouraging to me! I complain about our house probably.....every day. I keep telling myself that God will not likely allow us to move until we are completely content with what we have. I try to be every day but you know how things are. Looking at your yesr for less blog and the happiness you find in the simplicity of things and owning less "stuff" has been a great eye opener to what is really important! Thanks!

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  15. i knew it! had a feeling you wouldn't move once you started getting rid of stuff. i thought the same thing until, like you, i started getting rid of a bunch of odd things around the house and realized how much space we actually have. its amazing! you get rid of 5 boxes of whatever and you suddenly have all this extra room.

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  16. The more space you have, the more "stuff" you collect. I have 40 yrs. of marriage to whittle down because we are building a 600 sq. foot in-law addition and my daughter and her family are moving into/buying our house. I have my grandmother's, my mother's and my own tables. We have done a yard sale, donated, and trashed a lot of stuff and there is more to go.

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  17. Less is definitely more. I am decluttering a little bit every day and it does make a difference. It feels good and unclutters the mind!

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  18. It's amazing the room you can find when you just get rid of stuff! I've discovered the same thing recently, and decided my house is actually too big! Have you read the book "7" by Jen Hatmaker? It's about simplifying your life...and it's great. funny too. I love clearing out! Glad you have peace about staying put for now.

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  19. Great update! Thank you!
    Ieva

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  20. Amen sister!!!

    Kristie in Alabama

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  21. Good for you. I think your house looks just lovely! Cheers, Victoria (all the way from Sydney Australia)

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  22. Good for you!! If it is working for you and your family why make such a life altering change? Selling a house and moving is so chaotic. Add in a bunch of kids and new baby and it's enough to make you loose your mind. It's frustrating how influences from other people in your life can cause you to rethink how you have been living.

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  23. Too true! We have lived overseas for many years --in 4 different countries, so we move A LOT. Every time I pack up our house I realize how much unnecessary 'stuff' we acquire. You are right in realizing how little you need. Plus, it always feels soooo good to purge your unnecessary stuff.

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  24. I have been wondering about your move, as I started reading your blog right when we had sold our house to move! I am glad you are happy with staying and don't have to move while pregnant, that is no fun! We have a bigger house now, and although it has it's benefits, there are challenges too - and truly our goal is to be like Paul writes in Phillipians 4:11-12
    "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need."
    Congratulations!

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  25. I love that. I am getting there myself, with a move back into a smaller, more beloved past home. Seems like A YEar of Less is something I am working towards. Happy blessings:)

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  26. How inspiring! Especially inspiring to be right where God obviously wants you to be!
    Keep on being there and doing that because it's people like you who cause others to see who God really is. Yay!

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  27. Amazing. We often talk about needing a bigger home if we have a third. But...the family down the street with five boys and a baby on the way lives in a house that is nearly identical to ours. And then we're convicted that we really can manage (nay, thrive!) here.

    I am often reminding myself that if I had more space, I would just end up with more stuff and feel just as cluttered.

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  28. That is fantastic. We are a family of 6 in a small 3 bedroom house and often talk of a bigger house. But the reality is our outdoor space is so amazing we can manage without an extra room (to put more stuff in!)
    Less is truly more xxx

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  29. Hi Kelly. It’s like a sign, isn’t it? It depends on how you see it. Maybe He is preparing something more special for you and your family. He knows best.

    “It's just that we are choosing to be content here until God calls our hearts elsewhere.” – Amen.

    Maybe the next person or family who is ‘supposed’ to live there isn’t ready yet as well. Who knows? In the next year (or month) or so, it will be a different scenario for you guys. Hang in there.

    Anyway, if you need some more tips on how to sell your house quickly, feel free to visit our website.

    - Amy of Mega Quick Sale

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  30. Oh yay!!! I am thrilled as I just get such a sense of your home from your blog. I love this way of thinking, get rid of things and nest, in your lovely home. We have been on a similar journey; do we build on to our home? No, we have decided, save the effort and time away from family. Save the money. Just empty the house of things.

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  31. I have just begun minimizing my home. My husband, son, dog and I live in a three bedroom 1400 square foot home, which feels too small except for the kitchen. I just went through my kitchen and got rid of everything that had a duplicate, that I didn't use, didn't like, didn't want and now my kitchen is too big. I can fit everything except my George Foreman grill, large turkey cooker, and crock pot in about two cabinets. My mom always told me that when I get a house I should make sure I have a large kitchen. Now I know that I don't need a large kitchen I need less stuff. Next step to minimizing will be my closet. It would be so easy to start with my son's toys but I want to set an example of getting rid of stuff first so I'm starting with my stuff. Sandy Bowman

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  32. May God meet you in the quiet corners of your home, speak to you through your children, and multiply your joy whilst serving others!

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  33. A friend sent me a link to your post on comments large families get. We each only have 3 and still get similar comments. Anyway, I started looking around and wanted to say that having a smaller house can be a blessing when the children are little. We had all 3 kids, 2 girls and 1 boy, in the same bedroom and they LOVED it. We could have separated them in some way if they wanted, but they never did. And they are GREAT friends.

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  34. Your house is adorable. It makes me happy that you are staying put. If you do find yourselves bursting at the seems one day it looks like you have land enough to add on an extra room :) -ellizabeth in KY

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  35. Great to hear!! it is amazing how much de cluttered your life can actually get when you have a home for everything you use.. We too downsized from a large home to a much smaller one.. it gets dirty quicker but it certainly is all the house we need!

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  36. Oh somehow I missed this post... that's great to hear that you are keeping your house! I think people probably make pointless moves all the time, just so they can fit more "stuff" into their lives... congratulations on realizing you didn't need that.

    My family moved around a ton when I was a kid, and I always wished I had just one house and one community to grow up in. I'm sure all of your children will enjoy that. :)

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  37. I'm thankful for this post. My husband and I are in a two-bedroom house (which is plenty of room for our family)...but it feels small because of all the pressure around, as you mentioned. I don't know what this "year of less" is, but I'm going to look into it. I think it would do my heart some good to be simpler and our family good to do with less. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  38. What a turn around. This year of less is a great concept! I try and have just what I need with a few extra's of course ;) The other fantastic thing you can do is try and make the year of less not just about possessions. It is great to use less power and less water and become a green house. Put some solar panels on the roof. Use a water tank with a pressure pump and use it to grow a vegetable garden. It is a great idea to bring the family closer together.

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  39. What a great way to look at it! I love the after-effects of decluttering. How wonderful that you are content to live with what you've got.
    Sell my house fast

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