When I found we were posted to Toronto I immediately knew this was my chance, my chance to embrace something completely new, not just our house but our entire lives. It took husband just a little longer to get on board with my visio but we both knew it was time for a new beginning and a fresh start. I’ve always had a fascination with people who can pick up and change their lives. I felt for many years that I just wasn’t living life right. On paper I looked good. Mother of 3, Airforce pilot, runner, baker, blogger, loving husband, big house. But inside I just kept thinking life was too hard, why does this have to be so hard? What am I doing wrong??
I think our tiny house discussions began after my spine surgery. I spent a lot of 2015 laying on the floor watching HGTV. Tiny house hunters became one of our favourite shows. Not that it was in our future but so fun to imagine. Right?! Ironically until last week our family of 5 lived in a 3200 square-foot, 3 story century home.
We purchased the house a few years ago, honestly it was a bit of a marriage patch. We were struggling between a deployment, 3 children under 5, me returning to work and retraining. Truthfully there was a lot of tension in our house and somehow it felt if we lived in a larger space we would have more personal space and thus create more space within our marriage. Our new home was fabulous, on a beautiful street with lovely kind neighbours, and over the years we became a community. It was last minute shared dinners, children flow freely from house to house, birthdays, holiday, wine and late night parties full of laughter. What I started to realize was that more than our home it was our community I loved, more and more the house faded into the background of what was bringing me joy. At the same time I began to notice that the space we actually used within our home was minimal. Despite having 3200 ft.² if you look at my photos you’ll see that the children are almost always within an arms reach of me. I feel like I am the centre of the family right now. I’m the grounding point and they swirl about me. Wherever I went within the house people (and always our faithful puppy) all gravitated with me, it’s not uncommon for four people to follow me to the bathroom! So here was the big question, If we are all just using 400 ft.² and just rotating that space through the home, do I really need all that space?
When this one year opportunity arose I knew we were going to do this! Husband and I sat down and discussed what was really important to us. What we came up with was; location, bright space, big windows, kitchen island big enough to hold two cookie trays, and minimum two bedrooms. (Husband thought we were looking for three bedrooms, but I knew we could do two so I just let him come around slowly and didn’t tell him I told the agent 2, shhhh). We ended up with a 2+ 1 bedroom condo, which means 2 bedrooms and a den. It’s an excellent location, it’s bright and open, it has incredible windows, and island big enough to hold to cookie trays and with a grand total of 968 ft.²
This was a hard choice, the downsize has been an incredible transition but I am looking forward to a year of living simply. I’m not sure most people look at downtown Toronto as “the simple life” but no lawns, no snow, less cleaning, soooo much less cleaning! Our building is amazing. Groceries, pool, green space. Everything about it so far makes me happy.
So our furniture is currently enroute to our new home. Husband is supervising our move. Today he got keys, he’s last minute measuring and trying to make sure everything will fit (last minute man stressing). I’m just trying to be mellow and envision what I want the space to look like and how I’m going to feel in it. I can’t tell you exactly how it’s going to work out but I am so excited about this upcoming year and sharing the experience. I hope you’ll follow along our journey and see how a family of five, plus puppy, fit into a 2+ highrise condo in the city.
I hope you have a beautiful day, wishing you happiness and joy.
This post was written for inclusion in the July collection of the Small Family Homes Blog Community. Read below for more writings on living small from our community of writers. Check back next month for a new topic and posts in the series and follow our community board on Pinterest for the latest small homes and family minimalism pins!
Minimalist Meg -“Our Story Behind Small and Simple Living” : Sometimes living simply and living small doesn’t happen because of a grand event. Sometimes it just happens and it’s not until after that you decide to keep it that way.
Little Bungalow– “Accidental then Intentional” : A visual tour of all the small homes we didn’t buy before we bought our most recent smallish home in beautiful Victoria, BC.
Fourth and West– “The Home That Chose Us” : Realizing the home we had was actually perfect all along.
Tiny Ass Camper– “Casita Life” : How and why we chose a 17′ Casita Spirit Standard as our home on wheels.
600 Sq Ft and a Baby– “How We Ended Up Living Small” : Looking back on why living small stuck for us.
Fancy Pigeon– “Why We Live Small” : A vlog on why and how our family has consistently downsized over the years.
The Streamlined Life– “Why I Fell in Love with Small House Living” : Sometimes our earliest memories have the strongest impact.
This Lovely Day– (that’s me!!)”Tiny Transitions” : Follow along with Kate Shaw, a retiring Air Force pilot, as she transitions her family of five from living in a 3200 ft.² century home to a 900 ft.² downtown high rise condo in the city.
The Justice Pirate– “Minimalism: My First Tiny House” : Once upon a time, a little girl dreamed of having her own tiny house and her dream came true…temporarily.
Family Pedals– “Finding Abundance in 1500 Square Feet” : In our culture it would be easy for us to view our house as a stepping stone to something bigger, something nicer. For us, the next step we’d like to take is to something smaller, something simpler.