When we bought our first home in 2003 everyone said it was “a great starter home.”  And it was!  Was.

It had all new shiny-everything, a finished basement, a beautiful sun porch, a very big backyard.  The garden had been kept so meticulously,  we knew that the day we moved in would be the last time it ever looked so good.  When we moved in there were two of us with not much stuff.  It was a teeny-tiny bit above our price range but our dream starter home indeed.

But now almost 10 years later it has all old everything, a cluttered basement, an aging sun porch and a garden that is all but dead.  Now there are four of us.  The little ones bringing in more and more stuff each year.  We could never sell it for what we bought it for.  It has become my dream finishing home.  I dream of being finished here.  Finuto.  Done.  Sionara.

In the 10 years we’ve been in our home a lot of stuff has come in, but not much stuff has left.  I hate to say it, but a lot of times I feel a level of hatred at it, as if the house has personally reached out to betray me instead of our own passive stuff-hoarding junking up the place.

It’s  sad to articulate this, y’all.  I have loved our home so completely for so many years.  Once, Dave & I hosted a beautiful baby shower on our sun porch.  We used to have 35-65 college students watching movies in the basement, playing Taboo in the living room, playing Spades at the Dining Room table & eating pizza on the sun porch all while baby Ransom slept in his bedroom.  The house has served us incredibly well.  But now yeah, I sort of hate it.

When you have appreciate something for so long it feels wrong to want something different even though you just may need it.  I keep waiting for our house to rebel as Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium did when he threatened to die.

As I assess my readiness to leave I feel it is primarily around having outgrown it.  My boys share one small bedroom.  I don’t have enough room to store all their clothes in this one small room so the clothes are often strewn about.  I was majorly discouraged to find an incredible set of bunk beds on Craigslist only to find they wouldn’t actually fit in the boys small space.  MAJOR downer.  Ran’s mattress still lives on the floor and Rhysie’s crib —too big to fit in their joint space with a twin bed— is still in a messy basement bedroom.  Sigh.

 The hubs & I have a small bedroom which regularly leaves me looking like Dave beats me.  The room is so small that when I get up in the middle of the night if Dave has left a drawer open it blocks my path out of the room.  I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve hit a knee, arm, elbow or side complete with big purple bruises because of the size of our room.

Biggest of all, the four of us share a teeny-tiny bathroom with one sink which is maddening.  And yes, of course, like every other room it’s always a mess.  The strife our messy house has caused our marriage is EPIC.  Seriously, knockdown drag-out epic.

The very small room that worked for one small child, that fails miserably for two.

When Dave & I first married we moved into a cute 1-bedroom apartment.  After a year of attempting an office in the living room, I suggested strongly that we move into a 2-bedroom apartment just across the hall.  My plan worked beautifully.  We had a lot more space and a great deal more peace for having spread out.

You know when you need something different.  Trust your instincts.

I want to move into a different house.  My instincts are telling me we need to move into a different house.  One where I don’t get beat up in my own bedroom, one where my kids each have their own room, and a separate bathroom from us.  One with much bigger closet space in each room.  One where the yard isn’t so big and so complex to maintain that it takes away from our time together as a family.  One where I’m not feeling constantly stressed inside of.

Yes, I know the hubs & I are probably always going to be messy.  And yes, I know a different home isn’t going to solve all of our junk-keeping ways.  No need to lecture here.

I made the decision this year to move on from a job I loved that no longer fit and I left a person whom I loved very much, but no longer fit in my life in a healthy way.  Those sacrificial losses taught me something.  As I mentioned yesterday, our lives are much too short to be afraid of change, to keep around unhealthy people, jobs, weight or homes.  We can’t afford to not trust our instincts.

Our house was a great starter home, but I personally feel that I need to let it go, that we need to be willing to let it go, because I am suffocating.  So.  As much as I’d love to throw it on the market yesterday I need to first get my husband to agree that we should move.  And before you think this post is my passive aggressive attempt at getting him to see my point of view please know that my husband does not read my blog.  Ever.  (Loser).  <——– See?  Doesn’t read it.

It’s just a house, and I have no problem letting go.  On the other hand, it’s just a house, and I have to learn to maintain it the best I can while I’m here.  I’m smart enough to know at least that much is true.  I am miserable in it yet I have a strong sense that it will be important for me to not give up, though I’m certainly tempted to.

I read a beautiful -amazing really- post on SheLovesMagazine.com about women rising up to face whatever their “night” is.  And this doesn’t usually happen to me, but as I thought about our house and attempted to comment on the post I just bust out crying.  I am more overwhelmed at trying to figure out how to get rid of junk, how to organize rooms, how to maintain spaces with little kids around and with a husband who takes 5 million years to make decisions, than I’ll ever know.  I am so overwhelmed.  Wait, did I say that all ready?  Yeah, it’s bad y’all.  It’s really just inexplicably bad.

Yet, I must rise to face my horrible home night.  I subscribed to The Nester and Young House Love in hopes of getting inspired and amped up to face the nightmare the exciting journey ahead.

Is there anything in your life that you have appreciated for so long but you now feel like you need something new?  Something different?  Anything you feel like you need to trust your instincts on?  Is anyone else afraid of change?  Moving?  Anyone moved and been SO glad you did? 

Image Credit

  • Laura G8ch

    Grace, I feel you. We lived in a 3 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor at TEDS for four years with 3 kids. I absolutely loved our neighbors and the community we had there, but by the end, being in our home itself was driving me CRAZY. It totally stressed me out and demotivated me. In His goodness, the Lord has now provided us with our own home in A2 with much larger space, more bathrooms, and adequate storage. I can breathe again. (But we desperately miss our TEDS neighbors.) But that is not why I wrote – the point of this comment is to say: have you considered hiring a personal organizer for a stint? One of our neighbors here is a personal organizer and looking at her website, I realized what a lifesaver a really good one can be. It sounds like she can help you tackle clutter and total chaos and keep your sanity while doing it. She even has some kind of certification in assisting hoarders, so you KNOW this woman can handle even the hardest tasks. Anyway, your paragraph near the end that started “I read a beautiful…” made me think of that.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Laura, woah 3 kids in a 3 bedroom apartment —you *almost* make me feel guilty for complaining. =) SO glad to know things are better for you guys in A2. The neighbors thing is sad though…for us, we have a couple we really like but haven’t majorly bonded with anyone. R1 has a few friends he’d be sad to leave but doesn’t play with them that often, so it’s a hurdle I think we could get over. Anyway, will you send me the link to that website? I’d love to look into it, we could use some serious help. AGain, when and if we ever move, we still have to learn to manage our house right now in it’s current condition, I understand that and any help would be really really great. thanks so much for commenting and letting me know about that!

  • Karen

    One year ago we moved to a city where I did NOT want to go, but was much closer to my husband’s work. Guess what…..other than being 40 minutes further from my family (I was already an hour away), I love it here. We found a church we loved 2 days after our move—and it had NOT been on my “churches to check out” list. We have less traffic, we live much closer to Lake Michigan and totally enjoyed that all summer long, and we have a wonderful landlady who shared her garden space with us. While we are thankful for the home we are renting it is 1000 square feet, and our son & daughter (age 4&5) are also sharing a room. We will (Lord willing) be closing on a house in just a couple of weeks from now, and hope to move in early December. Moving always provides a great time to go through stuff, but even though I’ve done it numerous times, I find moving to be overwhelming. My best moving tip is pack the kitchen last and unpack it first. (Along with beds & bedding). My husband has saved up vacation time for this move, so I will have lots of help packing & getting ready, so thankful for that!!! Very excited to be moving into a bigger home–more suitable for our family, homeschooling, and hospitality.

    Do you ever think of putting the money into renovating the house you have now and making it fit your family better? One of my friends really enjoyed the addition they put on their home. I would love to find a good contractor and do a renovation some day. Sadly, me and hubby are NOT good at fixing stuff. :)

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Karen, can so relate, DAve & I are NOT fixers either! We aren’t rennovenators either and both of us feel particularly overwhelmed with projects of that sort. Dave has some inkling though of wanting to renovate a bit to stay in our current home, but the cost would be so much (likely $20k or more) that I’d rather just move than spend that kind of money and probably not get all of the changes that I really feel like our family needs. It’s good to hear what your saying though about moving…if we ever do I will certainly be asking you for tips!

  • Marci

    Ugh! I can so relate! I have 3 kids in a 2 bdrm (832 sq ft) home! My husband and I sleep in the living room cuz the baby is still in our bedroom and she wakes up if she knows we’re in there. :) I refer to my house as the House O Sunshine but lately have been getting ANTSY to move on! We are waiting for God to move us in big ways so for now I’m trying to brainstorm ways to survive the winter with 3 kids in a very small house. Hoping for mild weather so we can be outside!

  • http://www.peterdehaan.com/ Peter DeHaan

    For me the same pattern applies to every job. They start out exciting and end up as drudgery. The only variable is the length of the time in the middle.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      so true in so many ways! Though I will have to say, this was not true of my time in IV. the drudge would come but then pass…it was always a cycle…I can honestly say I loved it far more often than i was dissatisfied with it.

  • Dina at Causerie.typepad.com

    I’ve had it with my house, as well. It’s a very old house, with very old floors, and walls that have seen the wear and tear from four children. My instinct is to take a match to everything (though, of course I would never do that) so I’m trying to find ways to scale down, and tap into a more creative side of my pityful and boring decorating ideas. I love Nester for this reason alone.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      the nester has really inspired in some important ways, chiefly LEARNING & teaching yourself to be content with what you have and to work hard to make it beautiful in it’s own way. i know that can-do spirit with my home is deep DEEP DEEP down in there with me…I just need to embraceit & go with it!

  • Erica

    We are also looking to move in the next 6 months. We moved from our starter home to a 2 bedroom apartment. I have loved living here simply for the peace of mind. Our neighbors are nice & we are in a great school district. But now it is time to move again, our rent keeps going up. Plus my husband loves to invite people over so we need a bigger space to entertain. We are looking at renting a house and see how that goes. Good luck convincing Dave to move!!

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      thanks for that luck, I’m gonna need it! Same for you! It’s hard to go backwards from a home to an apt! though i know downsizing has it’s upside. Hopefully you can find a great place in the same school district, that’s what I want as well!

  • http://www.deidrariggs.com/ Deidra

    Last year, we moved from a really big house to a teeny tiny house. We moved from paying a mortgage to paying rent. It was the right move for us, but it took a long time for me to get with the program. My husband had gently suggested (for years) that we downsize, but I was all about the multiple bedrooms and bathrooms and ginormous backyard. Then, one day I looked around and realized my children were grown and gone and there was an entire half of a house that I never even saw anymore. Once I realized that…and realized I was still paying taxes on that unused half of my house…I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough. And also? The Nester rocks! :)

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Deidra, what a helpful dose of perspective! It really isn’t always going to be this way! I sometimes forget that kids grow up, don’t need a bunch of giant baby equipment and eventually move out! (wow). Also, the crazy thing is I’ve been feeling so much better about the situation since I wrote the post…decided to start cleaning first of all, taking a bunch of stuff to goodwill to de-clutter & a friend called to offer to help me clean and organize the closets. I think feeling sorry for myself helped me to get my bootay in gear! =) Also, you are so right, the nester does rock —it’s inspiring, I just may frame a picture too. =)