I’m sure most of us have seen the shows by now, the ones where people trade in their houses to live mortgage free in these tiny houses that range from 400-600 square feet. I’m sure we’ve all also said ourselves, “Kudos to them but I could never do it”. There are some of us that see it and think a little bit longer though… “What would my life be like if I had no mortgage and next to no utility bills?” “What would it be like to not be paying insane property tax rates each year or HOA fees?”
When I was 21 I decided it was a super fabulous idea to build a house that’s roughly 4000 square feet including garage. I decided to build in Indiana to be close to family and friends though I was in California and traveling a great deal of the time. Of course I added every customization possible, including ones the builders had never done before and had to outsource outside of their usual contracted people. The house is in fact so customized that it doesn’t make much sense for most people besides a badass business lady that lives by herself with fabulous cats.
To the average person seeing it that isn’t buying it, they say,”This home is beautiful and perfect! You’ll have no issue selling it at all!” Well, surprise, this house was on the market once before when I was living in LA full time and the biggest complaint was the extra bedrooms, they aren’t small, they are average size but when people see this house I think they are expecting something grand for their children as well (most people in Indiana have kids, we aren’t in West Hollywood anymore Toto). Now, I’m not exactly sure what they want their kids to be doing up there, cartwheels, sprints etc, but they want massive rooms for their children, plus there are only 3 bedrooms total including the master which doesn’t seem like much to a someone in Indiana that hears that a house is this large. I’m going to park this thought for now and circle back to it.
The first time I thought about getting rid of this house was actually shortly after I moved into it. This was the first time I owned a home so I went out to Ethan Allen and had them decorate the whole thing top to bottom, including custom oriental rugs and lavish window treatments (You’d never believe how much tassels cost.) At this point, when the house is done and fully decorated I am 23. One day as I’m in my massive house all alone I begin walking past each item and through every room, caressing things as I walked by. With each item I touched I’d think in my mind, “and this doesn’t bring me happiness, and this doesn’t bring me happiness..”
Within a year after building I was living in LA full-time. I got the cutest tiniest 600 sq ft apartment and I LOVED it. I bought new furniture for it as it would have cost more to get my things across country and the place was perfect besides the fact that it was in the valley. After a year of living there I quickly realized I needed to be in West Hollywood and after sometime, I found the cutest loft apartment that I again, LOVED so much. It was in living there that I realized how little I actually needed.
When I had first moved to LA I came back to my house in Indiana often but as the years passed, my visits became less frequent to the point where I didn’t return at all my last year. It was in that time that I had listed it but at the price I wanted for it, wouldn’t budge. I eventually took it off the market and decided that I didn’t want to be in LA anyways, I wanted to be in New York City, which has always been my dream and my personality matches them much better. For anyone that doesn’t agree; you don’t know me.
I came back to Indiana and decided it’d be a nice place to take a break, write my book then get this house sold for real this time and move onto my dream of NYC. The book has proven more difficult than expected, not due to my ability to write, but rather the contents. I got to Chapter 4 then laid in bed for a couple weeks due to a mass depression it put me in. It’s difficult to write things that I’ve worked my whole life to forget. While taking a break from writing I met the most beautiful girl that is now my fiancé. Wasn’t expecting that to happen in Indiana, again, another blog for another time. So I take this fantasy girl to NYC to see what she thinks and she’s like, “Yasssssssss” So boom, after we get married, we’re taking off to start our lives on the East Coast.
This brings me back to the house; the last thing I want us to worry about as newly weds starting our life in NYC is trying to sell this house and its contents so I’ve met with a listing agent. That part is easy, my house continues to drive up in value as I built in a very up and coming neighborhood however the contents… the contents… what was I thinking…
I am way to embarrassed to admit how much I spent on furnishing a 3 story house in Ethan Allen top to bottom but lets just say- it’s a lot. Not to mention all of my clothes, gadgets etc. Things still in boxes, still with tags… basically because I’m a terrible person filled with gluttony. Also, I receive a lot of gifts that are great but just maybe not the most practical so they remain in packaging.
So I think “tag sale”. Well, long story short, the tag sale guy told me there’s no way in Indiana I’m going to get even a percentage of what I put into this. Well then my friend from Boston (a real city) told me about a place online that will come clear the whole house and sell everything on a global market, I checked it out and they were getting great bids on furniture meaning the most I’d lose is 50% on most of my items which would still be a hefty chunk of change for me in the end but SURPRISE- they don’t service Indiana. I asked if I could bring everything there on a truck but first they need me to take an individual photo of each item… each item… individually and well, since I only have about 18,000 items in my house this is a no brainer right? HAHAHAHHAAHHA omg I want to die.
So I have 2 options, tag sale and make next to nothing or (let’s just go by the most valuable items) take 500 photos, email 500 photos, get 500 photos approved and then load 500 items onto a truck without damaging anything and dropping them off in Chicago (the closest real city to me).
I guess I’m going to get to taking photos…
Living small seems great as long as you’re not coming from something too large or extravagant.
Update on my feels: I’m going to have my own tag sale with friends and see what I can move on my own before I get into photos and hauling things to Chicago.
My wish is to get everything out of this house and get it sold by summer so that by fall we are in an apartment and we can have a nice easy move to NYC with just the things we truly care about and want.
P.S. Before any criminals try to break in and haul bookshelves and dressers away, I have 3 guns with hollow point bullets, cameras on the entire exterior and interior of my home, a security system like out of the movies and most importantly, a no hesitation shoot to kill if someone is breaking in.
P.S.S If anyone has any advice please let me know! I’ll take all the advice I can get! Thanks!