After posting about our moving dilemma a few weeks ago, Josh and I have had a lot more time to think over our future plans and have actually reached a decision! Basically, we were torn because our house is small, and we have baby #2 on the way. I wanted a playroom, a space for baby, a guestroom, but still felt it was important to save our money for as long as possible. Your comments were super helpful in forcing us to think outside the box when it comes to our situation, and the past month or so has involved a lot of brainstorming and number crunching.
Final verdict: we are staying put! We felt that the most important thing for our family right now was to build up our savings and get the rest of our student loans paid off before we upgrade to a larger, more expensive home. Once that decision was made, my eyes were opened to the potential of this little house, and we have every other “problem” solved or in the works to be solved! How cool is that?!
1. Toys, Toys, Toys
One of our big issues was not having a proper play space for Jonah. We toyed (hehe) with the idea of converting the guestroom/office space to a playroom, but didn’t want to lose an entire bedroom to play things. The toys were taking up so much of the living room that I was going crazy, but I just couldn’t figure out what to do apart from donating all the toys and making Jonah play with pillows and kitchen utensils for the rest of his toddler years.
Then one day I’m standing in our kitchen staring at the large dining area which houses our very large dining table. We ate at a corner of that table a few nights a week as a family. We had guests over and used the table maybe once a month. If I squinted away the table, I saw this huge, empty space just waiting to do more. So what does the pregnant, crazy lady do? I take the table apart and move it OUT, and our playroom is born.
Just try to imagine a large table here right under the window. Now that it is gone, Jonah has a place for his play kitchen, table, and toys. We bought a little bench for seating and threw down a rug. It makes the space feel like it is supposed to be there and cozies it up a bit. And don’t worry, we still get to eat. We pulled the dining room chairs up to the “bar” and have the perfect spot for our casual little dinners.
The other great part about this plan is that our dining table is not gone. We pushed it into a corner of the guestroom but can pretty easily pull it back out and set it up if we have a dinner party. Problem #1 solved, and Jonah loves it!
The other big problem was that we wanted to maintain our guestroom/office, but still needed a space for baby. Here is the plan so far. Baby will stay in our room in the cradle for at least 6 weeks. After that, we will remove guestbed from guestroom and set up crib. Baby will sleep in one half of the room, while the office area stays intact in the other half of the room. Eventually, we want to get a sofabed for that room, so that we can still have guests over. But I figured we could fit that in the room with the crib with a little rearranging. I feel much better about not over-planning this aspect of our dilemma because we really won’t know how baby sleeps best until baby arrives. This is what we have for now, and I am totally happy with the idea!
3. Save Money
With our plan to make this house work for as long as possible, we are going to be saving close to $500 a month than if we moved to a larger house. That adds up really fast! I’m so glad we didn’t make a rash decision and move without really giving this house a chance.
I know things can always change in a heartbeat, but we are so happy with this decision as of now. Thanks again to everyone who gave their input and encouraged us to stay. And hooray for play spaces that were right in front of our eyes the whole time! Who knew?!