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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok...so the title pretty much says it all. we are a family of 4. dd is 2 and ds is 1. our house is 1000 sq ft, 3 bed 1 bath AND a full unfinished basement.no other storage (no garage, shed, attic or big closets). we are more crowded now then when we bought our house...but we were newly married and no kids then. we will most likely move from this town to another in 2 - 4 years so i want to just stay put where we are. dh wants a bigger hosue...says we have outgrown where we are and we should look now so we cna enjoy a bigger space for several years.<br><br>
help...how cani make my house feel bigger? i dont' want more space to collect more stuff and have more to clean. i'm not crazy, am i?
 

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Welll, it all depends, do you own your home or are you renting it. If you own and need to sell then what will you do? I wouldnt buy with having to sell in 2 yrs.... If you need more space I would consider renting for a couple years...<br><br>
I can see needing more bathroom space...but can you scale back furniture to make the living room seem larger? Would your DH like the idea of finishing the basement?
 

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Have you talked to your DH about how you feel about stuff/space? That would be the first step. The second step would be to declutter and get rid of heaps. A 3 bedroom seems big to me for only 2 kids. Basements dont even exist here so we have a 2 bedroom and NO storage space whatsoever and it feels big. It started feeling too small til I changed my attitude and decided we were staying put forever basically. Then I changed things around, sold anything which was no longer useful. Even if I loved it. Even if I wanted to use it once the kids were older. It went. I havent regretted any of it. Im still doing that now, as soon as something outlives it usefulness it gets sold or freecycled. Our house seems really spacious now that I let go of the junk. Sometimes I wish I had storage for just a few items, but I know if I did it would only enable me to collect more junk. I like that Im forced to keep on top of things. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'd finish the basement. You'd get to enjoy it for a few years (or he would), and it would add to the resale value. Don't you have to live in a house for at least five years to recoup moving costs? And that was in a good market ...
 

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Have you asked your dh what exactly he's looking for in a new home? Space is to broad of term. Is it the one bathroom thing? More kitchen cabinets? Bigger closets? If you give us some specifics it would be easier to give you pointers on how to make that area better.
 

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I could totally see my DH saying this, and I would throw a total fit!<br><br>
No way am I going to pack and unpack and move all that stuff for just a few years, and no way does it make financial sense by the time you pay realtor fees, closing costs, etc.<br><br>
Plus- your hosue sounds plenty big- you have a full basement for storage so why would you need shed, garage, etc?<br><br>
Go on a major decluttering spree- get rid of any furniture you don't love & need, and get rid of knick knacks, toys, piles of clutter, old baby stuff, etc. The house will feel much more open and spacious the less stuff you have!
 

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no, it's not worth it. it would be way smarter to make your current space work. how are you using your basement? just storage? even without finishing it, you can use it as a more functional part of your house. if you get a shed, you can move the stuff from the basement to the shed; then paint the basement, put a couple rugs down, and set up a play area, a craft/sewing/office/mancave/exercise area, and storage area for stuff you do want in the house rather than the shed (off-season clothing, pantry overflow, whatever). especially if your laundry is down there, or if you plan to use it for sewing/crafts, it will be really nice to have a play space. you can keep the bigger toys down there, and just have small items upstairs for easy clean-up. bring in electric baseboard heaters if needed.<br><br>
if you need another room upstairs, what about having your kids share a room, or having ds in your room?
 

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I know this is cliche (and been mentioned) but really- since I started decluttering and organizing, my house feels SO much bigger! And I haven't even gotten rid of that much stuff (yet, it's in bags to go out or be garage saled), but just having it in a more pleasing order really has helped our house feel bigger. We didn't want a bigger house before, we were just sort of being suffocated with junk, honestly.
 

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It'd likely be cheaper to declutter and finish the basement into some habitable rooms than it would be to sell your house (which involves, in this market, often updating your house, paying buyer's closing costs, etc.) and buy a new one (which involves closing costs, inspections, down payment, etc.).
 

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I read a book which started with you deciding on the use for each space, then making sure only things that belonged there stayed there. That helped me a LOT.<br><br>
It's also pretty easy to frame in large closets in each bedroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wow...thanks mamas! our basement has flooded ...twice. sewer backup, not rain water. so finishing it is out of the question. (we have had the run of plumbers and the city look at it and "fix" it but wound not want to put $$ into finishing it). all storage down there is up 2 ft on shelves. we do have the kids big toys, swings, bikes, etc and we use it for themto play while i do laundry. our bedrooms are small...too small to add a closet. dd has a room, ds is still in ours and will be moving in with dd soon. the 3rd room is a guest room/office. we have overnight guests about once a month, soneed to keep that.<br><br>
hmm...we do own our home. if we move, we would buy again. my program will actually end 4.5 years from now, there is just a possibility of transfer earlier if dh's job necessitates. we actually live in a very desirable neighborhood...8 houses on our street have sold since we moved in almost 3 years ago. i'm not worried bout selling. we bought this house FSBO and would likely do the same again for buy and sell, so that helps with relator costs.<br><br>
i think the big concern is lack of common space. we only use bedrooms for sleeping...the 2 with queen beds have very little floor space. we don't have dressers...all clothes go into the closets.<br><br>
i know theanswer is DECLUTTER <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> but i am just having a HARD time getting started. dd is 2 and ds is 1...we are hoping for more children so i don't want to get rid of everything baby. but, i am keeping only what i loved and is in excellent condition.<br><br>
hmm...what else. we have traded out the entertainment center and huge TV and huge couch in the family room for a small couch and bookcases. they hold books, toys, a small TV and family photos. our dining room is small but we all 4 eat at the table, so not sure we could do a smaller table.<br><br>
thanks for all the help...itis just what i need to get myself going and fill up the truck for a run to the thrift store. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/treehugger.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Treehugger"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>zebra15</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14740835"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Welll, it all depends, do you own your home or are you renting it. If you own and need to sell then what will you do? I wouldnt buy with having to sell in 2 yrs.... If you need more space I would consider renting for a couple years...<br><br>
I can see needing more bathroom space...but can you scale back furniture to make the living room seem larger? Would your DH like the idea of finishing the basement?</div>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Logan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14740991"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you talked to your DH about how you feel about stuff/space? That would be the first step. The second step would be to declutter and get rid of heaps. A 3 bedroom seems big to me for only 2 kids. Basements dont even exist here so we have a 2 bedroom and NO storage space whatsoever and it feels big. It started feeling too small til I changed my attitude and decided we were staying put forever basically. Then I changed things around, sold anything which was no longer useful. Even if I loved it. Even if I wanted to use it once the kids were older. It went. I havent regretted any of it. Im still doing that now, as soon as something outlives it usefulness it gets sold or freecycled. Our house seems really spacious now that I let go of the junk. Sometimes I wish I had storage for just a few items, but I know if I did it would only enable me to collect more junk. I like that Im forced to keep on top of things. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Delicateflower</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14743729"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I read a book which started with you deciding on the use for each space, then making sure only things that belonged there stayed there. That helped me a LOT.<br><br>
It's also pretty easy to frame in large closets in each bedroom.</div>
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</tr></table></div>
 

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Personally I wouldn't dedicate a whole room to guests. They can sleep on the couch or a blow-up mattress in the living room. I'd use the third bedroom either as a bedroom, or as a office/family room to give you more space.<br><br>
Honestly, I think buying and selling is a hassle, especially so with kids. Plus the financial aspect makes it not worthwhile to buy a home for just a few years.
 

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since your shortage is common space, i have a couple of thoughts.<br><br>
if your kitchen and dining room flow in to each other, could you potentially gain space by making it one large eat-in kitchen?<br><br>
could you make the three rooms (kitchen, dining room and living room) two larger rooms instead of three - an eat-in kitchen and a bigger living room?<br><br>
if you don't have a need for formal dinners, can you merge the living room and dining room into one big living room, eating on cushions around the coffee table? or can you eat at a breakfast bar in the kitchen?<br><br>
eta: can you add on a three-season porch, or enclose/finish an existing porch, so that you'd essentially gain a family room for most of the year? or all year if you insulate and add baseboard heat?
 

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I would also never have a guest room. If I had that many guests Id get a fold-out couch. Seems like a huge waste of space for something that is only once per month. You're making an entire room of your house for people who dont even live there. Which means your family is living cramped every day so others can feel comfortable.
 

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Another guest room thought: Coudld you set up the guest bed in the basement? Our basement floods occasionally, but it is just a 1/4" of water. We have all the furniture legs sitting in plastic cups (or old yogurt containers, etc). On the rare occasion it floods, the bed will be fine, and in the meantime the bed can be sued by occasional visitors.<br><br>
Another idea would be to get rid of one of the queen beds, depending on the quality and age of the bed set, and replace it with a full. Our guest bed is a full, and that isn't the most comfy sized bed for 2 adults, but if youa re staying at my house for a weekend, you can suck it up! The amount of space it saves is significant.<br><br>
If you don't have clsoet space in the bedrooms, it is time to get rid of clothes! Seriously downsize the amount of clothing you keep- most people end up wearing the same few things voer and over so just toss/donate the rest, even if it is "perfectly good".
 

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We have a futon in our family room for guests, but on rare occasions that we have more than one guest, DD is ousted and put in her brother's room with a sleeping bag... which they get a kick out of. (I should say, DD has a double bed in her room)
 
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