Ever since I got back from the mini round the world trip I made with my husband in 2011/2 I have been wanting to sell this house and downsize. Affectionately known as Willow Towers it was great when we had young children and their friends to stay. Yet it is too big for us almost empty nesters.
Three and half years later, two more trips to Australia and one to New Zealand and lots of short hops to Europe, the DH and I knew we no longer needed this house, the stuff and the hard work to keep it clean.
It is sold. We have found a much smaller house to move in (the total ground floor of the new one would almost fit into my current kitchen) and money will be freed up to do what we want to do.
This may be a camper van, a small house in Crete, house sitting around the world, but whatever it is, travel is the plan. We have some things to tie up in the UK, so for now we need a base here for a short while, so we have invested in another house.
It has not been a smooth journey. Is house moving ever easy?
As I listed my very precise requirements for the new house to a friend (who has also recently moved house) she remarked ‘you don’t want much do you?’ That shook me for a while and I thought I may have to compromise. The thought of not getting what I wanted had not occurred to me.
Things moved much quicker than I had anticipated. We received an offer for the house on the first day it went on the market. We had not found a house that met the precise requirements. I panicked and went into meltdown.
My lovely life coach told me to write a list. Where will the new house be? What do we need from the new house? When do we want to move by? Who do we want to buy the house? What will it feel like when we have moved?
It turns out that I don’t have to compromise. Because I made that list and the house chose me. I was torn between two houses, the tiny house and one a bit bigger.
Both had pros and cons. Location, size, decor… and then I realised that the house we rejected I liked only because it was similar to the one we currently live in. And it had a garden room. Where I could hide the clutter I hadn’t yet got rid of.
And getting rid of stuff was high on my list of priorities. Less stuff, more travel.
And as the photo sifting continues, today, I found the photos of Willow Towers in July 1998.
It reminded me of how far we had come, we took a sad house and made it happy. And now it is time to move on. Let a new family grow in it.
The compromise was really the house we decided not to buy. It was my get out clause.
What I was doing was planning where to hide all my stuff. I cannot take any crap with me now as there is nowhere it could hide in the tiny house.
I lost sight of the fact that there is only three of us and the plan is for me and Phil to travel more.
Which means most of the time there will only be one adult in the house.
We don’t need a three storey, six bed house.
I wasn’t happy in the big house anymore. I didn’t want lots of cleaning. I didn’t want to pay to heat rooms we didn’t use. I didn’t want to be surrounded by clutter.
And we don’t want one that needs work to do to it because for 30 years all we have done is buy, renovate, move. We did normal. We walked the work, watch, spend treadmill. I thought that was what I wanted. It turns out I don’t.
The house we have bought is very similar to the one we lived in, in 1986. We have come full circle.
All we did to that was install a new kitchen and in the new tiny house we will have to improve the kitchen, because it is small, so small that only one person can be in it at a time. Willow Towers has been a 17 year project and Phil and I are fed up of that now. Weekends taken up with housework and lawn mowing are no more. Small House, Small Garden and pay others to make the improvements.
This move is the key to living the life I want to live now. An authentic life.