Most Asked Question: When will we move out of 600sqft?
More than any other question I get asked about our life, online or otherwise is... "when will we move out of 600 square feet?" or "what will we do when the kid's are older?". The funny part is, it's the same question we've gotten since we first mentioned that we were thinking about having kids. We MUST move out of our 1 bedroom city apartment! Before the baby is born, before I get pregnant again, before baby 2 arrives.... before, before, before.
Instead we have taken a wait and see approach. Have a baby and see if the apartment feels too small. Install a wall bed and see if it helps. Have another baby and see if it's NOW too small. Purge, minimize, and re-prioritize. And in that process almost 5 years have passed!
Financially speaking (which I rarely do on this blog as it is not a strength of mine), we have contributed to our mortgage for 5 years longer, paying off more principal and avoiding a larger mortgage or higher rent (than our current mortgage) for a bigger home. We also haven't moved in 8 years. That alone has saved us money as moving is a large expense. With the smaller overhead due to our small space we have been able to travel often, something that means a lot to our family. Also, I was able to leave my corporate job for part-time freelance work that is more fulfilling personally and creatively. I also like to think that our smaller space has kept our spending in check. Not to say we are perfect at this, as aesthetics are important to me. But staying small limits our ability to buy most new things. We don't have room for many impulse buys and usually instantly regret the space they take up. And I am aware I am speaking from a place of privilege, as we choose to live small in one of the most expensive cities in the world and I don't take this for granted.
In the end I can't answer the question... "when will you move out of 600 square feet". Ultimately, when it stops serving us as a family. When our most creative use of space stops working. Or the kids ask repeatedly for more privacy or space. I get the feeling we will just know when our time is up. But from where I am sitting right now, I'm so happy we didn't move because we were supposed to. And I feel there is still more to learn from this space. I want to simplify our possessions to even fewer, better things. Have clean and organized closets that are highly functioning. Be able to clean the house, top to bottom in 30 mins rather than 1 hour. Have all horizontal surfaces be clutter free the majority of the time. While we can still do better, I consider the achievement of staying and thriving in 600 square feet as a family of four, as something I'm really (albeit weirdly) proud of.