Decision made, we are staying put

marti8aJune 18, 2010

I think we've finally reached a final decision to stay here, even though this is NOT my dream home. It was actually dd#2's boyfriend's parents who convinced us, and we've never even met them! They were in a mid-size house that they had been in for years, and had a comfortable mortgage. Then, last year, they decided to sell and build their dream house with all the bells and whistles and twice the size of their old house. This is AFTER all the kids had left, but his income had increased and they could afford it if they put everything they had in it. Now his union is probably going to go on strike, and it will probably last 3 months. If it does, they are afraid they'll lose the house. They can't even make it one month without his salary.

So not only are we too tired to start over with a new place, we're comfortable and want to stay that way - even if our bedroom closet is too small for 2 people.

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Congratulations! There's a lot to be said for living reasonably and well within your means! I hope your home now might become your dream home eventually!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:09PM
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Hi Marti,
Being broke is no fun. Living on the edge financially is no fun either. Lots of people did the same thing your DDs friends did - I almost did too. The lure of the 'right' house is powerful.

I'm certainly not living in my dream home either. For years I wavered between moving and staying. Finally I took a hard look at my situation and decided that I wanted to retire more than I wanted to move. When I made that decision, it became easier to decide how to make my house function for me as best I could. The biggest and best decision I made was to use my 3rd bedroom to enlarge my bedroom and make a walkin closet. So I no longer have a guest room, but I figure close family can use the airbed and others can use the hotel! In the end a bigger house was trumped by 'mortgage-free' house.

There are lots of things you can do to make your house more confortable without breaking the bank.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 2:29PM
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that's what I did too Loretta. I was planning a large new doublewide on my land. Then I got sick and had to leave work. the beat up trailer I was in 'temporarily' I'm still in! but I decided if I never got a decent place to live or a new car (so far neither!) so be it - I was just too sick.

the other yr dbf bought a rather large and nice doublewide from a friend of his because he was losing his land... dbf is always buying stuff like that. he did it to help his friend out of a mess. So 1 single guy lived in it for 10 yrs. It does look a bit like he fought with the kitchen tho - lol! but not too bad. Knowing I have no way to get anything else, it looks like a palace to me! it'll double my space and make room for both dogs to come in sometimes. and give me a fairly decent (compared to what I have now)kit even before changing anything. dbf got it really, really, really cheap and he can do the work of setting it up, hauling it here etc. it has a/c (or will have), heat and a shower without a tub! no more climbing over the tub edge for me (soon I hope). that's rather dangerous for me.
It didn't start out as the 'home of my dreams' but it has become that now. i'm very ok with that - I've lived in a few big very beautiful homes in yrs past. They're nice but certainly aren't my priority (weren't then either). kids are gone and i couldn't keep up a big place or pay to heat/cool it anyway! shoot, walking thru one or up/down stairs would do me in these days - lol! there's lots of windows and the skylight so I'll get lots of light - might even be able to have a house plant again!

dbf says he is coming out in the morning with a buddy to check the land and see if there's a better place to set it. He's a man. The place I picked just can't be right... lol!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 1:27AM
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Becoming debt free as soon as possible is a worthy goal. It takes a lot of determination to get there. Lord knows I have a long way to go but that is the goal.

"His union is going on strike" - I never understood the concept of allowing someone else decide when I was going to work and when I wasn't.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 9:28AM
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Yes, you are all right, being debt-free is much better than a new house, though I wouldn't go into debt for one. At this point in my life, I am more like desertsteph, and I'm just not up to the work.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 11:20AM
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marti I think it's a good decision to play it safe and not get into too much debt either. My house is not my dream house but the mortgage payments have always fairly low so I've always felt secure that no matter what we would never lose it and that's a good feeling to have. Im like idie in that Im trying to make this house more comfortable changing things to suit my needs. even small changes can make a difference to how the house functions. From your pics it looks like your bedroom is pretty big. Is there a way to add more storage in there? It seems like the lack of storage has been bothering you for a long time so I think you should really see if there is a way to make it work better for you

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 2:37PM
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marti - how about posting a layout of your bedroom, surrounding rooms, hall and see if we can figure a cheaper way to get you a bigger closet?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 11:42PM
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Ok, I'll see if I can draw it out in a bit.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 11:17AM
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This is a crude drawing, but it takes too long to measure & do it on software.

The master bedroom is on the corner of the house and is about 15x11. The closet is the width of the hall and a little wider at 3x5. When we bought the house, there was one rod across the width of it, and I took it down and put rods across the sides instead, so I could stack 2 rods. So now there is 9 rod feet instead of 5.

When we first moved here, we had planned to extend the house to enlarge both the master bedroom and the other corner bedroom. Both those bedrooms are about 10x10. But it will be expensive because the a/c unit is there and that is where the electricity comes into the house underground. And the ground drops off there so there would be a lot of fill and we've already had foundation problems because of the fill under that end of the house. Plus, we just don't want to add on any more; we've done enough, or will have when the dining room is complete.

My thought was to bump the closet wall into the bedroom space a couple of feet, but dh thinks that will hurt our resale more than having a tiny closet.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 3:06PM
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The easiest, and cheapest thing we can do, and should do, is to just get rid of the clothes we don't wear. But we are both on "diets" and have this pipedream of wearing those clothes again.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 3:17PM
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well, do you really need that hallway bathroom? lol!

looks like you could put a door from your room into that hall bath tho - and make your bath another closet? ok...not.

and if you're concerned about resale better not bust thru your closet into that other bedroom...

'spose you have those other closets filled up?

you've gotta work with me here...

did you by chance include a closet in that DR?

ok, ok...

how about the storage above the normal 1 shelf in a closet?
is there space way up there that isn't used? there usually is... sometimes you see doors above a closet door to access that space up there. if your ceilings are 8' high and the closet with shelf is about 6' plus about a foot of stuff on that shelf = about 7', leaving another foot of space up there to use.

or do you have anything stored under your bed? do you have beds in either of the other 'bedrooms'? under bed storage is great! put stuff in those flatter plastic storage boxes and slide 'em under!

do you have an attic?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 5:41PM
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Marti, this may not help you at all, but I figure if we throw out ideas it will give you lots to think about.

I have a friend who wants to do the same thing I did with my bedrooms. She asked me to help her come up with several plans to cost out.

The least expensive plan we had was to just turn one of the other bedrooms into a really large closet! Since her bedroom is really small, we thought she could move her dresser and bureau into the 'closet' too, and make her room feel more spacious.

She decided move her dressers first and live without them in the room to decide if she's satisfied with how much space this frees up. If no, she can always knock the wall down.
If your girls come home at the same time, they can maybe share the guest room, you can have more closet space, and you will still revert back to a 3rd bedroom if you need to sell later.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:42PM
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I am with Loretta on this one, use the bedroom on the other side of your closet as a closet. Put a door in the back of your closet wall, then do a great walk-in closet for yourselves in that bedroom. If you must preserve a sleeping space, put up a wall that cuts that room in half (running north and south in the drawing you did) and shove a single bed up against the wall by the other closet. Or do a sideways Murphy bed there that looks like a bookcase by day, but folds out to a bed at night. It might work best if you reverse the doors on the two 10 x 10 bedroom closets. Have the first closet space be for the newly tiny "den" with a bookcase (that folds down to a bed) toward the back and an easy chair near the door. Then have the closet that is now for the new den room become the closet for the other bedroom. Then the guest won't have to try to walk around the bed to get to the closet.

You can easily take down the dividing wall and close up the door in the back of your closet when you need to sell.

Steph's idea is good, too. We had a storage platform bed in our bedroom in our first house.

Here is a link that might be useful: We had the double-stacked king

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 11:06PM
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marti so that room across the hall from your bedroom isnt being used? is there much stuff in there? Since the doors are opposite each other you could get away without putting another door through since it's the same distance and just use it as a big walk in dressing room or storage area.

a quick fix would be to get some clothing racks to put in there and put some shelves in as well with a big full length mirror on the wall. You could keep work clothes and everyday clothes in the closet and start sorting all the other things into that room to free up closet space. It would be ideal for all those clothes that dont fit at the moment, spare bedding, special occasion clothes, other stuff that doesnt really belong in the closet but ends up there - you could sort it into sections so you know what clothes are where.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:36AM
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Bear with me here. I'm going to ask a few questions first.
1. How far away from the corner is the door into the bathroom?
2. Do you have room to put floor-to-ceiling shelving about 12" deep on that wall around the window? And, could you put a window seat/chest under that window?
3. Do you have any other windows in your bedroom besides the one on the back wall?
4. What is that little area in the hallway beside the door to your bedroom? Is it a linen closet?

And now for a suggestion:
1. Widen your closet door so you can actually walk into it, or at least have a better look at your clothing.
2. Go back to the original closet rod orientation, but put a low and high rod. That is 10' of space right there, more than the 9' you have now. Then put some of those shoe cubbies in the corners, just wide enough to hold one pair of shoes each, and stack em all the way up.
3. Get a tallboy chest that is also longer, and put more of your clothing in drawers instead of hanging them up.

I'm assuming you have 8' ceilings. Look into the wire closet configurations they sell at Lowes and Home Depot, manufacturers like Closet Maid make some good ones. I bought a Closet Maid kit to outfit a closet 5' to 8' in width--whenever the closet gets built.

Be strict about keeping in your bedroom only the clothes that you wear. Move the others into that other bedroom. And, you do not need to modify it in any way. Except, you can build a platform bed which has storage beneath it. A nice mattress on top can be high up enough that you could slide plastic totes beneath the platform. A good really full bed skirt out of heavy duty upholstery fabric would go far in disguising the platform and making beaucoup storage hidden from the casual observer. Even a single bed can have a platform as its support. make it as high as you like.

I was pleased to have my platform bed plus mattress and a feather/down topper delivered yesterday. I slept on it last night. And it was so comfortable I overslept this morning. I've had a background living on boats for so many years, where every inch of your space has to work, that I became less than efficient in organizing my belongings once I moved into a real house. At first I rattled around like a beebee in a washpot, but not now! It sort of got away from me.

I'm going to suggest that all those clothes you do not wear now but HOPE to one day, those are the ones you MUST BOX UP. I'm afraid you will discover that when you get to the right size to wear them, they will be out of style. Of course, I remember some of my teachers whose clothes looked dated, and they cared not if they did. If these clothes are of wool, moths might destroy them. Don't encumber yourself for years and then find out it was all for nothing. Make some hard choices now, and maybe you will feel like I did, that a heavy burden was lifted from your shoulders.

Look at it this way. Say you and the DH are in a big balloon with all these things in the basket with you. Up ahead is a mountain range. The air is getting colder and it is thinner too, and the balloon MUST RISE to clear the mountains. Put on the coat that fits and will keep you the warmest. Then, start choosing. Start tossing out. It will lighten your load, and you WILL RISE ABOVE THE OBSTACLES.

Sometimes the choices we must make are not as simple as downsizing to live happily in our existing space. Did you see the movie SOPHIE'S CHOICE?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:43AM
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I am sure I posted to this last night but I guess it never went through.

This is my take. I would suggest trying to create a closet in the guest room next to your room closet. I would not do doors or change walls I would first try it using furniture and screens. Like the storage behind a corner bed like ML was talking about. Do the winter summer switch out or just use the room as a dressing room .There would still be room for a bed when needed as guest room. And for a few company days you can gather the clothes you would need from the room to your bedroom area. This way you can get a feel for moving your closet in there. If you did not like it you are not out any money. Or much. They even make great clothes racks on wheels.

Or narrow bookcase or small but tall storage cabinet coming out from the wall at door way and creating closet behind it. So out of sight when room is entered but easily accessible. You could even build it into the room for very little $$$

I did the same as Loretta at our last house and made the house work for me. I had no idea we would be moving again back then. And this move I was so lucky to make this house just for us. Well for the most part I was able to. 10 by 10 rooms are what I had to work with on the two extra rooms we had in the last house. One was my office, I worked from home then and really needed an office. It was also my studio room. The other room was guest room and storage.

Of course you know this. But repeating. My mantra was/is.This is my house. I live here. I need to make the house work for me! Course this includes hubby but only a little bit. Hehehehe


    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:52AM
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