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Downsizing Your Home to Save Money

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I’ve heard of people selling their larger home and moving into a smaller home. In the process, they save a lot of money and time. There’s less house to heat/cool and less to clean!

There’s no way that we would be able to go through a move right now. The real estate market in my area is over saturated and selling our home would be very tough. Although buying a home would be pretty easy because there are so many available, there’s no way we could afford two mortgages and our home would need more repair before we could think of renting it out.

So what do you do?

What we are going to do is maximize the current use of our home. That means closing up some rooms and moving things around.

Our home is around 1,100 square feet and has three bedrooms. My husband and I have a bedroom as does my son. The third bedroom is my home office. I need a space where I can close the door and avoid household noises (for telephone calls). The bedroom that my office is in is not heated. For some reason, no one ran heat up to that room. I used a space heater a little bit last year, but I learned how much electricity those things take. It’s a lot.

My son’s room is the biggest bedroom in the house and it gets the morning sun. Mom and dad’s room is on the other side of the house and gets the evening sun. We are going to do a switcheroo. Then, my home office is moving into our bedroom since there is enough room to have a desk as well as our full size bed.

With doing this, I will now have the sun in my office/bedroom in the morning (I didn’t have that before) and that will help keep me warm upstairs so the heat can be set lower during the day. Soon after my son gets home from school, the sun will be shining into his bedroom so that will help heat his room for when he is playing in it. My old home office can be closed off completely.

We are still thinking of ways we can maximize the downstairs use of our home. It doesn’t have the best layout, but we could possibly move my husband’s office (which is technically a dining room) to our living room. When someone built the addition where our living room is located, they didn’t think about insulating it well. The room gets very cold in the winter. Moving my hubby into the living room will help him keep warmer and he will not have to use a space heater. But our living room is small so it will take some creativity to make it work.

It’s sort of fun trying to do this…trying to purposefully shrink what you have now to see what you can comfortably live with. In the process, we’ll save some money on our heating bill this winter 😉


13 Comments

  • Reply JW Thornhill |

    We live in a 1400 sq ft house, with three bedrooms, a living room, 1 bathroom and a kitchen. Our two sons share a room and our daughter is currently sharing her room with two of my nieces. Mornings are crazy in our house. With everyone vying for their turn in the bathroom it becomes a rush to get in and out. Despite it all we are able to make our monthly mortgage comfortably.

  • Reply Blake |

    For me, its not just how much space I have to heat. Its insulating windows, using ceiling fans instead of A/C, using curtains in hot rooms, etc.

    Also, minimizing how much STUFF is in my house makes it feel more spacious and less work! I have almost no tchotchkeys other than pictures.

    Love your blog!

  • Reply MOMM |

    I don’t regret us buying our current home, but it is too large for us. My Mom was just visiting and asked if we thought of selling it and buying something else in the area – heck yeah we have, but like so many others the market is saturated and we run the risk of losing money selling.

  • Reply Christi |

    I couldn’t have found your blog at a more perfect time in my life. I am trying to MAJORLY save some money and be smarter about how I spend the money I do bring in. Your blog is bringing me one step closer to being able to do that.

    Thank You!

  • Reply Mrs. Micah |

    Thant sounds like a lot of fun! 🙂

    With a 1-bedroom, it’s more about downsizing our stuff just to get it in. And I love how we don’t have to buy new furnishings and such. We don’t have to fill space.

  • Reply Sharon Firebaugh |

    Hi, have played switch-a-roo most of my adult life. Had to move often in compliance to husbands’ jobs, divorces, etc, from the east to west. Anyway, I have always loved it, the decorating (or lack of) that is! Too many of my friends’ homes are so bland; if you have seen one, you have seen them all.

    But, mine is INTERESTING! They call me the hippy from the sixties, not really (the owls and wolves disappeared sometime ago), but each piece in my home has a special story behind it, for some reasons most textures, colors, or design are perfect, and I feel such love for each.

    My heating? Varies, in this old farmhouse that I grew up in and returned to twelve years ago to care for my mom. I definitely use windows for fresh air, ceiling fans both summer and window, a portable air conditioner for ’emergency’ cooling, oil filled heaters, a coal/wood heater, and a wood burner, plus, wall propane heaters, on the family fireplaces.

    Of course, I rarely use more than two of these sources, but the time was, that each made a difference in my/our survival and comfort. God bless you for this blog. Don’t get to tune in everyday, but when I do and open several at a time, I have a real fest! Thanks, for letting me share, Tricia. And, God bless and keep you and your family. Your openness is what we need more of; sometimes you say what the rest of us wish we could!

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    My wife and I live in a medium sized townhome. The tradeoff though from our apartment is our bedrooms and full bath are upstairs, kitchen and living area main floor, and my office and entertainment area are in the basement. My wife likes to be upstairs working on school stuff while I like the basement because it’s cooler. We run the A/C and heat at various points of the year (although the house holds heat very well) so our costs usually balance out. If the electric bill goes down, the gas bill goes up, and in the summer the electric is higher and gas bill comes every other month. I’m seeing a need to insulate the basement a bit because it was really cold last winter, so I plan to do that soon. Keeping the blinds open to let the sun heat the house in the winter also helps on those utility costs.

    Good use of switching up the rooms to make your place more efficient. It might even seem new again, like rearranging the living room.

  • Reply Kyle @ Rather-Be-Shopping |

    Great move for your family! We did something similar this past winter and switched some rooms around. Also, one of the kids bedroom gets sun all afternoon and really cooks in the summer, so we invested in a black out shade. Expensive, but really helped keep that room cooler. Money well spent.

  • Reply StaciCarsten |

    We always buy just a little less house than we need — so are never in that predicament! One thing that really saved us a lot of money this year is that for the first time, we bought a house without an air conditioner. I’m from Phoenix, so it didn’t bother me, but my husband and the babysitter suffered a little bit. Air conditioning (outside of the blazing desert) is a huge waste of money in my opinion. I’m also happy to freeze in the winter rather than pay for heat.

  • Reply Rob in Madrid |

    1100 sq ft actually is a reasonable size for 3 people that is also slightly above average for a European family (except instead of a house most have apartments). I’m not sure you could find a place much smaller than that.

    The better half and I are hoping to buy a place her in the next 2-3 years so the housing bubble burst will work to our benefit (Spain is a few months behind in that regard). As well one thing I insist on even though there are only 2 of us is 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. That would put us in the 1200-1300 sq ft range (depending on how you convert sq meters to sq feet)

  • Reply Angie |

    I think this was a great choice for your family! I recently did a project kind of like this with moving a bunch of the rooms around for a change. It came out looking pretty well.

So, what do you think ?