52 Comments

  1. I often think our house is too big for the two of us now, but when the “kids” come home for visits and for Christmas, the spare rooms fill up again and I appreciate the extra space. Once it gets to be too much to look after then we’ll know the time has come to make a move.

    • Laurie Stone

      Leanne, Its a tough call and I’ll admit, I also like a big house when we entertain. So far, we’re letting time decide for us. In the meantime, we’re happy.

  2. Susan

    Another thought-provoking piece Laurie. Houses definitely do have personalities (not to mention ‘energy!’) It’s hard to contemplate leaving an old friend where so much of one’s history resides… And there’s always the question, where do we put the kids (not to mention the grandkids!) when they come home?? “Tis a puzzlement!”

    • Laurie Stone

      Susan, Good question about the grandchildren, but that seems so far away, although you never know. Tis a puzzlement, indeed!

  3. Lois logan

    The way you love that house, the next woman will have to peer in those windows while you’re still there! Keep the blinds closed!

  4. How wonderful that Fate came calling a second time for you and your house. I really do feel as if houses are living things sometimes, absorbing all the love and insanity that goes on within their walls. When we sold my parents’ house, where they’d lived for 50 years and where my sisters and I had grown up, it was as if a family member had passed away. I still can’t bear to go past it on visits back to Pennsylvania.

    Nowadays, I’d like about three small houses allover the world…after that lottery win, I guess!

    • Laurie Stone

      Lee, Wouldn’t that be wonderful, to have three houses around the world? Let’s see a beach house, city apartment somewhere… not sure where the third would be. I agree houses are living things that absorb our lives. A beautiful way to express it.

  5. I don’t think it’s crazy to say the house picked you! When we added onto our house, I felt like it heaved a sigh and thanked us. Like it knew it should always have been this way:).

  6. I’ve heard from other bloggers that when their kids move out, the feel awkward for a time because of the emptiness and the quiet. But many of them go on to say that it only lasts for a while, and soon they begin to enjoy the extra space (which is always handy when the kids come back with their families, of course). I’m not sure how you’ll feel about it. I guess everybody is different. But perhaps it might be an idea to wait a while before making any final decisions one way or the other.

    • Laurie Stone

      Sounds like a plan, Anna! We live in Connecticut, about an hour from New York City. Now I’m being advised by people to keep it so we’ll have room for grandkids! Getting confused.

    • Laurie Stone

      Beth, I’m torn. Part of me is ready for a more manageable house, but another will be sad to leave our wonderful family home of so many years.

  7. If I downsized, I’d be living in a box. 🙂 We raised 4 daughters in a 1300 sq ft home, the ranch style you mentioned, and it was tight but cozy. Once they grew up and left the nest, I enjoyed the quiet and turning one room into a guest room and another into that office that I never use because I, too, am used to the kitchen. Once two of the girls moved back in, I realized this house it way too small for 4 adults. One has moved to her own place but one remains here. And now, the house is not big enough for 3 adults. LOL Lovely piece!

    • Laurie Stone

      Thanks so much, Pam. Yes, I’ve heard of “boomerang” kids which make me nervous. I can see us getting into a smaller house and one (or both) sons move back in!

      • Guess you have the perfect “boomerang” shaped ranch for boomerang kids. I’m downsizing again. I can’t seem to want to stay in any one place longer than 10 years or so. Right now, we downsize to move in with my Mom who at 97 has never moved out of the house her husband built for her back in the 1940’s. I’m in CT too, and although I’ve lived in three different towns, I haven’t moved out of state….yet. That time will come soon enough.

        • Laurie Stone

          Jennifer, Are you in Fairfield County or upstate? I can’t believe your Mom has lived in the same house so long. That’s very cool. She must have been very happy there.

  8. I got all teary-eyed reading this. I also believe houses (homes) contain our spirits. How wonderful that you ended up in this house. I have been in the same small house (less than 1000 sf) for 29 years. We added on in 2015, a master suite with room for my home office which added a bathroom and 300 sf! Now that I have this house just the way I want it, I doubt we’ll ever leave. I have two guest rooms since both chicks flew away. Still small enough with a small mortgage (In California!). if you love your home, why move?

    • Laurie Stone

      Terri, Sounds like your home is ideal, not too big or too small. Its a lovely gift to have a home you love for many years. I know people who move all the time (sometimes to follow the husband’s work) and that would drive me crazy.

  9. Our house will never let us go, so we are never going to downsize. Maybe we will stop increasing the herd though. Six horses and everything we need to look after them including a red tractor called Scarlett, is enough.

  10. I love the idea of a house picking its owners. You put into words what I felt when I saw our ranch style home over 30 years ago. The house has witnessed a lot of change: one husband gone and another taking residence and a son who grew up and left home leaving it quiet and empty as you describe. Once I recovered from the grief of my son moving out, we turned his room into an office and that is where I sit typing this comment. We have two ‘fly by’ rooms but do use them often enough to enjoy them and they contain some of my most sentimental possessions – items from my parents, grandparents, and sister who have all passed. Our spare bedroom has been transformed into a room for two grandsons, complete with bunk beds, toys and the wall hanging that used to adorn their father’s room so many years ago. Our house has adapted to our lives and all its changes. Nope. Guess I’m not ready to downsize. Nice post, Laurie.

    • Laurie Stone

      Molly, We’re not going to downsize for a while. In a funny way, houses become like people. They’re part of our lives and its very hard to say goodbye.

  11. I imagine it would be hard to decide. I think it’s nice to have space, and I would feel very attached to somewhere if I had been there a long time. Plus I hate moving. But I also see the appeal of having less room to clean and maintain. I expect keeping extra space can be good if grandkids happen though.

    • Laurie Stone

      Despite all my bluster, I think we’ll stay for a while. We also hate to move, and you’re right, there’s always grandkids (gulp)!

    • Laurie Stone

      Christina, Go for it. We’re still in the casual, “sometimes talk about it” stage. I can’t see it happening in the near future, to be honest.

  12. Stacey W

    This brought tears to my eyes! I love how much you love your home. Isnt it amazing how some things fall into place in amazing ways?!!

  13. We downsized when my husband had bypass surgery. The kids had all grown and we had a huge house with a pool and garden to maintain. Downsizing was shortlived as for the last 10 years we have lived downstairs from my in-laws. That will be ending soon as my FIL passed away last year and my MIL is transitioning to a home. She is 90. We will finally be able to live in our apartment by the ocean. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have our house again but then I look at the ocean from our apartment and think ‘yes this is the life’.

  14. Laurie Stone

    Sue, The only thing that could lure me away from my country house is the ocean. Sounds like you and your husband have the right idea.

  15. I downsized a few times in my life…but bought a big old house 9 years ago..I would prefer to downsize again..its just too much work, both inside and out…

  16. As I get older I am more and more aligned with the “less is more” concept. We keep downsizing. Our house is on the market now. I want to live in a one level apt or condo next. Every place we have lived quickly becomes “home” to us.

    • Laurie Stone

      Ellen, I agree, we make home wherever we happen to be. I wouldn’t mind something smaller and more manageable.

  17. Don’t laugh when you say the house “picked you!” I had a relationship with the house I lived in most of my adult life. I loved it, treated it better than anyone else, and I believe it knew that. It also knew when I decided to sell it that it was time. All that energy’s that’s been living inside of a house has to go somewhere. Like Karma, it comes back to us. Brenda

    • Laurie Stone

      Brenda, I love to believe houses have energy. You can almost feel a house that’s been loved and one that’s been neglected. It always makes me sad to see a “sad” house.

  18. I really believe you’ll know when–or if–it’s time to downsize. In many ways, your house sounds ideal for aging in place, even if it’s bigger than what you may need. In the meantime, enjoy the memories–and making more!

    • Laurie Stone

      Roxanne, That’s where I’m torn. My husband wants to stay here forever and there are worst fates. Someday the answer will come.

  19. I’ve been seriously thinking of downsizing over the last few months. My dogs are getting older, so am I, and (same as you) I have rooms I don’t use. This house has too many stairs, especially as the dogs age. One of them has 3 legs. I shudder to think how I’m going to deal with him when he gets older. I carried their predecessor. He was 85 pounds, but I did it, at age 55. I don’t think I’ll be able to do that in 10 years when they are 15 (if I’m lucky enough to still have them with me. So, the D word? Yeah, downsizing for dogs! 🙂

  20. Our house is too big for just the 2 of us. But with kids and grandkids close, it’s great to have the rooms when the family gathers together. Downsize someday? Probably. But not now.

    • Laurie Stone

      Cathy, There are definitely many ways to look at this situation. I agree, there’s something nice about having a house that can still sleep everyone in a pinch.

  21. Hi Laurie! Good for you for recognizing that changes are coming. Most people wait far too long to enjoy all the advantages that downsizing can bring. Of course I don’t call it downsizing (that sounds like sacrificing!) I call it “rightsizing” and write about it on my own blog all the time. Instead of hanging on to the past, rightsizing is walking bravely into the future towards things that bring you the most peace, happiness and meaning in the days to come. I get that sometimes it is difficult to let go of the past, but I’m convinced that by holding a positive view of what’s to come and designing a life that will work for us now and in the future we will be ready for anything. Trust me. With all the money, time and energy you will save when you rightsize, you can rent a big house for the weekend when everyone comes to visit and have tons of room.

    • Laurie Stone

      Kathy, Thanks so much! I love the term “rightsizing.” And you’re right about too much time, energy, and money going into our present house. Wonderful advice and very timely.

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