Is bigger better?

Less square footage means more head space.

When my family and I first moved into our "now home" nine years ago, I was all about escaping my previous tiny home office in the basement, and of course, no window. I loved the large bonus room above the garage in the new space and proceeded to grow into the space. That was not hard.

Who hasn’t been wooed by the idea of living in a large space? Haven’t we all been conditioned to strive for that ‘corner office’ mentality? I embraced the "bigger is better" mentality of the suburban lifestyle. In fact, when we moved in, I had this feeling that I could ‘breathe’ again. We had enough square footage (1,900) to afford everyone their own room. A lovely master bedroom and ensuite, hell four bathrooms! No one would have to wait to do their business.

And with all of this, who would have even dared to say that there was a downside? The more space you have, the more you fill it with. Period.

Below is a perfect example of how easy it was to fill the rooms with 'stuff'.

BEFORE: Upstairs ‘craft/homework room’ for the kids.

BEFORE: Upstairs ‘craft/homework room’ for the kids.

BEFORE: Bonus room office space. My office-mate’s desk and shelving/storage for all my office stuff.

BEFORE: Bonus room office space. My office-mate’s desk and shelving/storage for all my office stuff.

Today, as I rethink the "more is better" mantra, into less is more. I now have a smaller desk space where I focus on my projects and work. Keeping in mind I did still need space to create and store my planner publishing, building and shipping space.

By opting to move into the smaller ‘office space’ on the upstairs floor and giving my husband the run of the basement for his online sales business and I have been transforming the spaces to mimic a future lifestyle as well as to showcase each room for it's functionality and sense of space.

Before and After

So the previous craft room/kids homework space turned into my own personal solo home office.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

And the large master office has been transformed into a family/media room. The before photo was taken in June 2018 and one of the images I had included in my Property Brothers application for the Buying and Selling show. The producers opted to only focus on our main floor so it was up to us to do the work of painting, new carpet, staging as well as removing the nasty angled arches to the bonus room. The whole home feels much more modern now.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Focus.

A smaller office has given me the opportunity to focus on the work. I no longer have the office-mate to share with so I do enjoy being able to own the desk and not be distracted by his coming or going as well his ‘organizational style’ (A.K.A. piles everywhere).

Yes ladies, he is ALL MINE.

Yes ladies, he is ALL MINE.

I will admit each time I see an old photo like the one above of the blue walls, my heart aches. Just looking upon the colour gives me energy and a makes me smile.

Now my space is more about getting work done, than storing stuff. Less distractions?

Now my space is more about getting work done, than storing stuff. Less distractions?

One of the benefits of this space are the windows, especially the south facing one I am blessed be warmed by the afternoon sun during these very cold days.

As fun as my husband is, I am taking advantage of fewer distractions. But I also keep in mind that since we don't see each other as often in passing, making an actual effort to sit down and connect is something new and I think good.

Intentional.

Now that my space is focused on the work at hand, I am not as inclined to fill it with ‘stuff’. Sure the fact that I am still working to purge our extra stuff for our eventual downsize, but any purchases or additions need to be intentional and add real value.

I have two printers, one for the large output for my planner covers and the other for general use and also where I produce each page of each planner. When I tried to keep both in the office space I felt confined and overwhelmed with how they took up so much space. So I moved the big black beast to the basement where I produce my books and kept my big white printer just around the corner in the bonus area. I also kept my cabinets for decor in the bonus room that also serve as storage space.

Kitty corner to my new office, my printer and storage.

Kitty corner to my new office, my printer and storage.

Back end of the newly organized bonus room. Wall space for shelving.

Back end of the newly organized bonus room. Wall space for shelving.

And there you have it. An inside peek into the work I have been figuring out in our home. Overall, the mission was to downsize as well as improve the staging of the house to showcase how functional, and spacious the house is. In the current Calgary real estate market, it’s for buyers, not sellers and we are doing our best to market the home against the newer subdivisions just north of us.

If you are keen to keep in the loop on all the updates on my mission to downsize and aren’t already subscribed to my INK News, you are invited to join me. I make it a mission to share my insights as a self employed creative and the challenges of being a ‘Company of One.’