We get asked “why did you move?” a lot. Even though it’s been over a month since we moved, there are a lot of people I talk to on a regular basis that question why we moved. Here’s some background. Before we moved, we lived in a gorgeous 4 bedroom 4 bath house with a full basement on a wooded lot. Our house was 10 minutes from my work and 15 minutes from Andy’s. Our babysitter literally lived around the corner and on nice days we could walk (which ironically we hardly ever did). We had the most awesome neighbors, awesome neighborhood pool and awesome restaurants and stores around us (less than 10 minutes to 2 different Targets!). We had it all and we loved it so much. In fact, the day of moving, I cried. Cried like a baby. The closing was embarrassing and yet so comforting. When you sell a house, you don’t get to screen the buyers when you use a realtor. Our realtor lived across the street from the house and are very good friends. Our kids go to the same babysitter. But I digress. It was so comforting for me to sell our house to a young couple who are excited about the house and neighborhood and wish to soon start a family. It was comforting to know that they would love the house just as much as I did. Andy and I poured a lot of love and memories into that house. It’s the only house our children knew at that point. I’ve decorated two different nurseries in that house (here and here). We’ve painted rooms multiple times. Invested money into making our backyard an awesome and magical sanctuary where animals would often come visit (even the coyotes which did worry me a bit). So why did we sell and move 20 minutes away? I’d thought it would be fun to summarize this question that we get a lot with some photos.
In all seriousness though, here’s the reasons behind our move:
I know people are genuinely curious (well most of them) on why we decided to leave a perfect house, neighborhood, neighbors and commute. And I do the best to tell them but sometimes decisions are just feelings and this decision felt right. Downsizing is something we’ve wanted to do for awhile. We so wished we could downsize at our last house by just demolishing a few rooms we didn’t use. There were about two rooms on each floor that remained untouched with furniture or memories for the whole 4 years. It costs money and time to heat those rooms, furnish those rooms, and keep those rooms free of dog hair. Cleaning the large house for our family of four took way too much time and resources. We loved everything about our house, just wish it was smaller. It’s funny though because looking back four years ago when we sold our first house while I was 8 months pregnant, desperate to find a new home quick, we turned down a lot of homes that were smaller in size. “You definitely want the typical suburban home for a growing family, no less”. This thought was on constant replay. Four bedrooms, no less. Full basement, no less. Everyone always talks about how nice it is to have the space to entertain and for kids to move their toys all around but no one tells you about the chaos to keeping that large house tidy (this also comes after the fact I read and am a believer in the KonMari method). There was so much space for all the kids toys on every floor of our house that we kept bringing stuff into the house. Stuff we didn’t need nor necessarily didn’t want. We brought it in because we had the space, knowing our kid would never play with that toy again. My husband and I love organization but with a big house, there is always room for stuff in any room. We struggled with keeping an organized lifestyle. The funny thing is, my kids also love tidy, well Liam more so than Payten. He would even get frustrated when his toys were not in order when he woke.
So back to the question at hand. Besides downsizing to reduce tidyness and cleaning time, we also moved in part for our dog. Barkley has really bad hip dyslplasia, meaning he can’t go up and down stairs anymore. Problem is, he still would. And he seemed to only do it when I was the only one home. Barkley is 125lbs. To get him back up or down the stairs with little to no pain by myself while the two kids cry in the corner because I accidentally stepped on their milk cup that was by the said stairs I was trying to get Barkley up and milk was everywhere (yes true story)….well, it was difficult. This was not the primary decision for moving or downsizing but did aid in the decision that if we moved, it would be a ranch to help him (and me) out.
But the over arching real reason we moved can be summarized in two words: friends and family. We looked at a lot of houses in the neighborhood right next to our previous neighborhood to keep all those said benefits I mentioned above. This neighborhood was full of small ranches that fit what we wanted. However, if we were going to move, this might be the opportunity to move closer to family and that thought was the over-arching thought that led our discussions. The location had to be right. We needed to be close to family and close to the highway since we were keeping our jobs. We now live 5 minutes away from my sister and BIL and see them multiple times a week. My MIL is 10 minutes away which has been really nice. Most of our friends that live up here, well let’s just say all our children are in the same school district. It has been so awesome living up here so far. My commute is now 25 minutes and Andy’s is 35 minutes but we are big podcast and audible people so the personal time has actually been really nice.
Overall we are really happy with our move north. For us, it’s the relationships we value more so than the possessions. It was hard leaving our one true home but the experiences we’ve been having now that we are closer to family and friends has been amazing. When people ask “why did you move”, the answer is easy but I still get emotional thinking about that old house. We have lots of plans to make this house ours, with the simplest being paint. This house doesn’t feel like home but the area and people around us make us feel like we are home.