We’ve known for a long time that we will need to upsize our home eventually. Our goal of buying our next house debt-free is becoming more feasible with each passing month. But I worry that I won’t be able to let go of our current home. I’m torn between a longing to move and the desire to stay. Can I prepare my heart for our next home now so that I won’t miss this one so terribly when the time comes?
Why do we long to move?
We love our current home. It has served us well for 13+ years, and we have remodeled it to suit our needs. We’ve added smart storage solutions throughout – without which we would have been compelled to move years ago. With 1400 square feet, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and no basement, it is cozy for our family of six. Yet we long to move for several reasons.
More Outdoor Space
I would love to give our children more space to roam than our current quarter-acre lot. My desire is for a half acre to one acre.
A Dedicated Office
We are grateful for our open-concept office/dining/kitchen space, but my husband longs for a room devoted to being an office. We may also need this space to store our homeschool books.
Space for hosting guests is currently quite limited. We barely have the room to have our nieces and nephews stay with us each summer when they attend WinShape Camp.
Our kids share their rooms, but there is little extra space even with bunk beds.
A Basement … Maybe
For years, we’ve been telling ourselves that we need a basement. Now that we have less clutter, I’m not so sure.
- Additional storage space (no more attic trips for bins of hand-me-down clothes)
- More space to hang out as a family
- A safe place to go during a tornado
- Potential risk of water damage from heavy rains
- Too much space
- We risk storing unneeded items indefinitely just because we can.
- Our family might drift apart if we add so much space that we stop spending as much time together.
A Little More Privacy
When our kids stay overnight with their grandparents, we generally opt to stay in and enjoy their absence. Watching a movie with surround sound, a volume level higher than five, and no closed captioning is much more enjoyable than the alternative. We hope that our next house will provide a little more privacy all around.
Why am I hesitant to move?
- Sentimental reasons
- We’ve lived at this house for our entire marriage.
- It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere.
- This is the only home our children have known.
- We’ve left our mark on this house by remodeling it inside and out.
- Financial reasons
- A bigger house means a bigger budget to cover increased utilities, insurance, and property taxes.
- It may also mean more furniture and other items to best utilize the additional space.
- Fear of the unknown
- Houses that fit our desired criteria sell quickly in our town. I fear missing out on the right house by buying too quickly or not having our offer accepted.
- Our current home meets our needs the majority of the time. What if we go to all of the trouble to move, and the new house doesn’t work as well for us?
What could help me let go?
Recently this blog post sparked an idea that may help me move on from our current house. The author mentioned photographing sentimental items in creative ways as a method to capture the joy that they evoke. At the time I mentioned the idea to my husband, whose hobby is photography, thinking that he could do this to help others let go of sentimental items.
Then it occurred to me that my most sentimental item is my home. What if my husband could take artistic photos of our home? The highlights. The mundane areas. The parts we take for granted. Maybe, just maybe, this would help me hold on to the memories but let go of our home when the time comes.
Testing the Idea of Letting Go Through Photography
In the midst of writing this post, my husband started the photography project with the room that was always our nursery. We are soon letting go of the baby crib that has served our family for more than nine years. I have been dreading the emotions wrapped up in this event, but after seeing the photos he took of the crib and the room, I think I’ll be okay.
What’s more? We got the kids involved. They had fun posing for pictures with all of them standing in the crib dressed in their pajamas. They even pretended to curl up like babies and sleep. Our kids will look back on this day with fond memories, and they’ll have these photographs to help them remember the crib that was once such an important fixture in our lives.
Preparing and Trusting
Though I’m nervous about letting go of the home we love, we are trusting that God will lead us to the next house that is right for our family. We are intentionally preparing our hearts to let go of our current home so that we can be ready to enjoy the next one.