I mentioned yesterday that we moved.
I would love to tell you it was to a micro-house. Six hundred square feet efficiently equipped for a family of three to work, live and play.
But it wasn’t. Not sure there is any such thing here on the Isle of Man.
What did we move into?
A renovated three bedroom flat in a very old building. I would guess it is somewhere between 1100 and 1200 sq ft. The building is 100+ years old. We’re on the top floor.
Why did we move?
We knew our first flat here wasn’t our forever Isle of Man home when we moved in. It was a case of choosing something fast out of limited stock. The plan was to move at the end of this summer but after keeping tabs on the rental market we knew it would challenging to find what we wanted for a specific date. This flat became available and we snapped it up.
Our last flat had some challenges for a family of three. The biggest was that the kitchen was enclosed and windowless. Not only was it a dreary place to cook but I was constantly battling safety issues. I either had to lock Henry out of the kitchen (only possible when husband was home) or let him in to play while I cooked. A small enclosed kitchen is not a safe place for a two year old to play.
The other challenge with our previous flat is that there wasn’t a desk, or space for a desk. My husband’s desktop computer took up half of our dining table. We considered buying him a small desk but there wasn’t an easy place to put one. The furniture in the small flat was house sized leaving very little floor space.
It’s okay to experiment with downsizing.
I don’t see this move to a bigger home as a failure of downsizing.
Rather, this was a chance to learn about what we’re comfortable living with and without.
We also know more about the housing and rental market after living here for almost a year. We know what area we want to live in and the types of housing available in that area. If there had been a suitable flat that was 800-900 sq ft we would have taken it but there wasn’t.
Our new home is a great fit for us: furnished, great location and those sea views that we love so much. We are also confident the owner won’t be selling the flat anytime soon. That was a constant threat in our last home.
Downsizing experiments = cash in hand.
Living in a small home for 11 months and negotiating a rent reduction saved us money. Our rent was below what we budgeted for and so were our utilities. We saved more money in the last year than we ever have before. A big part of that is being out of debt but another part of it was living smaller.
I think as a family we’re now open to the idea of radically downsizing for a short period of time to meet a goal. When we someday leave the Isle of Man I could see us living in something very small while we start new jobs or careers.
Has anyone tested the waters with downsizing only to turn back? The other things we have tried, and are still doing well with, are no car and no smart phones.