It all started when we made a huge decision to move our little family over 600 miles away from the majority of our family, and out of our beloved first home. The home that we spent countless hours gutting and rebuilding with my father in-law and other help from family and friends. Our blood, sweat, and tears quite literally were poured into that house, and a piece of my heart will always remain there. The decision to leave was easily the hardest decision we have ever made, but we had gotten to this place in life where we realized we were seeing less of each other than ever before, and that was counter productive to our ultimate goals and dreams. We were starting to feel like we were more of roommates than a married couple.
Aaron worked a fairly normal work schedule, but typically had at least one late night meeting per week, and sometimes two. I worked as a hairdresser out of the basement of my home. I only worked 20-25 hours a week, but the majority of those hours were evenings and Saturdays. The evenings that I didn’t work were the evenings that Aaron tried to schedule his late night meetings so that I could be home with the kids, and of course he was home with the kids while I worked the other evenings. After I was done working on Saturdays, Aaron would usually spend the rest of the day mowing and doing other yardwork. Sunday was our family day. We’d go to church in the morning and then we would usually spend the afternoon with family or friends. The weekends always felt like a whirlwind and then it was back to the work week again in the blink of an eye. The time we had together as a whole family was scarce.
So we decided, why wait when we could have more time together now? There are other ways we could have accomplished this besides packing up our entire lives and moving several states away, but moving South was always a dream of mine, so we decided if we were going to make big changes anyways, why not try it in an area we’ve been talking about moving to for years.
Aaron ended up getting a job in North Carolina with a great company. We re-worked our budget several times so that we could afford for me to be able to stay home with the kids, and we found an apartment 12 minutes away from where he worked that had a pool and a playground.
Once we had everything in place we started selling what we didn’t want to bring, and packing what we did want to bring. We soon figured out that we had acquired a large amount of stuff, and I mean… it was a ridiculous amount of stuff… We sold a ton of it, we gave things away, donated things, and threw out what we didn’t need and couldn’t donate. We even stored things that we thought we might need again eventually if we buy a house instead of renting an apartment. After all of that, we STILL had a lot of stuff. I couldn’t believe it. We filled a 26ft long trailer FULL of the remaining things we owned and had it driven to our new apartment in North Carolina. Our house in New York had about 3000 square feet including our basement and garage. Our new apartment has 1365 square feet. So we had to downsize quite a bit. It was the most stressful event that I have ever been through, and I don’t ever want to own (or move) that much junk again.
We’ve been living in our new apartment for a month now and we’re absolutely loving all of the extra time we have together as a family. We get to eat dinner together almost every single night. (Something that was rare before the move) Aaron gets off of work on Friday’s at noon, so we have two and a half day weekends every weekend, which feels like a week compared to what we had before. We’re realizing how important time together is and how much joy it brings to us all.
Since the move we have continued to get rid of more things, and it feels amazing. The less stuff you own, the less time you spend organizing it, putting things away, cleaning/washing things, and stressing about where it should all go. The more stuff you own, the more your stuff starts to own you. I want to spend as much time as I can with my family doing things that we love to do.
Another huge benefit from learning to give up what you don’t need and being happy with the things you already have is spending less money! When you are very intentional about your purchases, you end up spending a great deal less, and buying quality over quantity. We’re working hard to give up the impulsive buying and get out of the habit of consumerism. The less you buy, the more you save, and now we’re able to focus even more on reaching financial freedom goals. I don’t know about you, but I want my husband and I to be able to retire early WAY more than I want to have a wardrobe full of all the latest styles and trends. I love clothes, so this one is a tough one for me, but I’m chipping away slowly and realizing that I actually like owning less clothes. Keeping only the items I truly love makes picking out what I am going to wear so much easier and less stressful, and also makes my closet a lot prettier. 😉
We took an adventure moving to North Carolina and we decided to turn it into a new lifestyle as well. Spending less, saving and investing more, while also spending more time together. I’ll be writing more specifically about the things we are changing in our lives to make this happen in future posts. My hope is to inspire and encourage others who may be looking to do the same thing.
Until next time!
- Are you considering making a big move with little kids? Get a glimpse of the decision process my husband and I went through before we took the leap here! – 6 things to consider when deciding whether or not to move away from family with little kids