The Downsizing Chronicles: Redecorating

A friend visited our new home today and had a lot of suggestions for how we could update it. I appreciate her input but I probably won’t take most of it to heart.

One of the things I decided over the course of our past four years as renters is that I spent far too much time thinking about making changes to our previous homes and then, eventually, making those changes. Yes, it’s fun, but it sure is time-consuming, and I just don’t want to spend that kind of time on a house anymore. I’ve decided I will appreciate the house as it is, and not spend too much time obsessing over changes. Yes, there will be changes, I’m sure, but I’m just not willing to put a lot of time into thinking, planning and executing them.

I didn’t make this decision on purpose. I think it’s a byproduct of living in a rental house after 25 years as a homeowner and enjoying the freedom of looking at ugly carpeting and thinking, “If this was my house, I’d replace that carpet, but since it’s not, I don’t care,” and then going on to do whatever it is I wanted to do for fun because I finally had the time. There’s a certain freedom in renting that I really enjoyed, and I guess subconsciously I’m trying to retain some of that freedom even though we just became homeowners again.

Another thought: we completely remodeled our first house, and bought our second house new and then completely decorated it. Maybe I just got burned out on all that decorating and now I don’t care as much? Who knows? What I do know is that I appreciate our latest house despite its dated wallpaper borders and various-shades-of-80s-beige walls, and that is very liberating.

How about you? Are you at this stage yet? Or would you agree with my friend that the box light fixture in the kitchen should be replaced with can lighting, and the basement walls should be painted a color other than white?  🙂

7 thoughts on “The Downsizing Chronicles: Redecorating

  1. I am so thrilled to hear there is another person out there like me. I am not a decorator, and really do not care much for spending money and time and thought on things that just really are not that neccessary. We moved into our 40 year old home a year ago, it had been abandon for a few years and was in disrepaire. Several good meaning friends, suggested we tear out all the cupboards in the kitchen and update. Instead I tore down all the 70’s panaling that was falling off the walls and we worked on things that needed to be done (electrical work etc). We had terrible ugly bathrooms (with 40 years of grime I could not get clean). Although I did not like them as they were, I was blessed to have working bathrooms and would not have gone out of my way to change them if it had not been for a really bad water leak. It’s not that I do not want a pretty house, I just do not want it consuming me and the things I have been blessed with (time thoughts money). My house is virtually undecorated because I have little ones and do not want my time taken taking care of unneccessary things when I could spend it with my children. Many have commented that it is a sign that I am an empty person, I am not, I am very content and the rest will come when it is suppose to. But like you I will not let it consume my thoughts. When I get the urge and have the time I will pick up paint and paint the wall otherwise its out of my mind.

  2. Wow, Teresa, a sign of an empty person? That wasn’t very nice of them to say to you. It sounds to me like you have your priorities straight. Your little ones aren’t going to stay little for long, and you’re wise to keep them as your top priority. There will be plenty of time for decorating in the future. Sheesh!

  3. LOL, lots of people think it is ok to say their opinions to me, I know who I am so most of the time it just makes me laugh (and remember to not do that to others:).

    I found out a long time ago if I focus on the things I do not like and want to change then that easily takes up most of my thoughts (like you said) and I become discontent. I want to see the blessings in all things instead of not having…… I really like the way you worded it, and is this what I really want consuming my thoughts.

    Enjoy your new home and your white basement:) Its ok to have white in a basement!

    The downsizing is hard though, you will get through it!

  4. I think I’ve been at this stage for a long time. We rented for six years and then spent 21 years in parsonages. You get used to living with what you’ve been given, with very little opportunity to make even changes as simple as painting, much less taking down walls, changing light fixtures, or remodeling bathrooms or kitchens. And yes, I agree, there is a freedom in not having to spend energy on beautifying.

  5. Thanks for the encouragement, Teresa. I like your avoidance of whatever creates discontent. We can all learn a lesson from that!

  6. Susan, you’re way ahead of me on that one! Four years of renting was fun but it’s nice to call a place home and know it’s ours (I reserve the right to change my mind once we start getting property tax bills again……)

  7. Wow. I would think a greater sign of being an “empty person” would be having an obsession with one’s house (i.e., a thing, an inanimate object) over prioritizing what really matters (relationships, especially with one’s young children and husband). There are things I’d like to change about our house and things that should be repaired…but, as lovely as our house is, it’s just a place – and a temporary one at that (i.e., we can’t take it with us!). Thus, I’ll happily devote my time and whatever spare cash we have to my kids instead.

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