we're moving to NZ because we bought a holistic health center there. it's also an international film hub, but the community is more like "old hollywood" where people are just starting out and creating together. I teach yoga; DH is in film (pre-professional, technically, but he has contacts in NZ).
our family is all here (pennsylvania), but are not "elderly" and definitely are self-sufficient. my family will likely move closer to my sister as they age, and DH's sister will likely move back here in a year or two anyway, so she'll probably manage DH's family as they age.
in regards to the apartment, i am getting hardwood or laminate floors throughout. we had this in our 1300 sq ft place and i loved it. we lived without it for 8 years or something, and i had a terrible time with the carpet.
and just now, my DS vomited all over the little area rug at our friend's house, and i just spend the last 45 minutes scrubbing the darn thing. to an extent, i really even hate area rugs. LOL
i am a queen of small space design. first, i love ikea. second, i love minimalism. third, a large portion of our travel involves living in small spaces, coming home and down sizing. i'm very good at keeping things to a minimum, keeping only what i use and purging frequently, and organizing like crazy. i'm just good at it.
i really look forward to living in the smaller space. the biggest challenge is how DH ends up with clutter and "can't figure out why!" a part of it is because he just sets things down. for example, i put a whole bunch of plastic bags of his mail and other papers from his mother into a laundry basket. tonight, we go through all papers before our move.
well, he doesn't know how he ended up with so much paper. it's because he didn't go through it before; he didn't declutter as things came along--which is the key to keeping things clutter free. if i say to him "what is this?" in an effort to declutter it right away, i get a bit of push back. but i've told him--NO CLUTTER in a small space. so, hopefully, he'll work on it, or i have to go through his paper.
yesterday, as an example, i deeply offended my MIL. in addition to our mail--including junk mail that she saved--she also gave us a crap load of newspaper clippings and magazines with tagged articles to share. all of them were somehow "relevant" to DH such as a friend from high school getting an award, his second cousin being interviewed in a seattle paper about her research, etc.
so, she hands me this massive bag and i sit down right away and go through it. recycle the junk mail right away. then pull out the bills and put them in my receipt holder. pull out the checks to deposit and get rid of the envelopes and put those checks into my wallet. go through the articles and have DH read them (since the ILs ignore us for the first 1-2 hrs that we are at their place, it's the perfect time to read them), and then recycle them.
so, we leave with no bag, no extra papers, just the checks and bills. we get home, pay the bills online, and i shred and recycle that paper. put the checks in the bank today, file receipts, and put them into the computer ledger that i keep.
MIL is *furious* that we "don't care about the articles." we read them, we don't need to keep them for reference! she was deeply offended that we wouldn't take the magazines, after all they are "cluttering up her space!" duh, i don't want it cluttering up our space and we can't take it to NZ!
she is our US address for mail, and very shortly, the only things we'll be getting there is US checks (from DH's consulting business) and junk mail. i told her to forgo sending us obvious junk mail, send only things related to taxes. she is on the account to make deposits, so she'll be depositing checks for us--i told her to email us the amount and receipt number for the ledger, then shred and toss the receipt. I wouldn't be surprised if we get a package every quarter with a bunch of clippings and receipts that will just have to be recycled in NZ. LOL
anyway, i love to live minimally and clutter free. and, it's just the three of us afterall.
in the apt where we stayed in Denmark--easily about 300 sq ft--a family with 4 children lived in what was essentially a small kitchen, a small bath, an entry hall, and two rooms. all four children shared the back "bedroom" and then the parents slept in the main room which also had a dining table. it was pretty amazing.