When Tim and I decided to get out of Florida, we were living in a 5 bedroom 2 bath house. Our house was huuuuuge when it was just the two of us but perfect when everyone was visiting. And this is something we kept in mind when house hunting in Sevier County. Our house hunting started in February when we came up from Florida for a weekend. I had contacted a few realtors, letting them know that we were looking for a rental – we were not ready to buy. So when we came up, I thought it would be smooth sailing.
Not Smooth Sailing and “Just Look on Craigslist”
Unlike Florida, it turns out that Tennessee realtors don’t deal in rentals. Like at all. All of these realtors I had emailed, spoken to on the phone, and explicitly told we were NOT looking to buy, didn’t feel the need to tell me that until we were actually 30 mins from meeting with one of them.
Completely caught off guard, I asked where I could find a rental house then, since there are only about 3 apartment complexes in town. I was met with a very nonchalant “Just look on Craigslist.” Without skipping a breath I blurted out “Isn’t that how people end up murdered?” The realtor did not find it humorous, though Tim nearly spit out his coffee.
November Great Smoky Mountain Fires
I followed the November wildfires that roared through The Great Smoky Mountains very closely. Having vacationed here so much as a family, it was heartbreaking to watch the news. With so many people loosing their homes the rental market was practically nonexistent in February when we were house hunting. The few houses we did find on Craigslist were almost immediately scooped up. We would call 20 minutes after a house had been listed only to be told someone had already provided first, last, and security.
We found 2 apartment complexes in town that had open units, neither of which we would get to pick our move in date. The conversation included “What do you have that we could move in before March 17th?” leaving us little say in how many bedrooms or anything else.
The choice came down to 2 apartments: a more expensive one that was closer to work for me OR a cheaper apartment with a 45 min commute to work.
We chose the closer option. The catch? We never saw our apartment before moving in! And the conversation went a little like this:
“We are looking for a one bedroom”
“Does a July or August move in work for you?”
“What do you have to move in before March 17th?”
Moving in…. Unseen
We had a very general idea of what our new place would look like, but not much other than dimensions to go off. That made getting rid of things a little harder as we didn’t know what we were getting into. Literally.
The biggest issue we faced is that our kitchen was tiiiiiiiiny. Like teeny tiny. Like mouse size kitchen. Coming from a giant kitchen to one that had not one drawer (literally no drawers in the kitchen), meant we had a lot of adjusting to do. Our apartment had no pantry, so we had to get creative on that front (we ended up using an old armoire to store our pantry goods).
Another challenge we faced was closet space for Tim and I. The master bedroom’s closet is much smaller than what we had in Florida, though still a walk in. Tim decided to take one of the guest bedroom’s closet while I took the master.
Get to the Point….
Enough backstory! So, why does any of this matter? Well, glad you asked! Tim and I have decided to finally go in a more minimalist direction with our lives. The goal is to eventually go tiny. And we will be documenting our downsizing – from 5 bedrooms to a 3, to a one bedroom and finally to less than 400 square feet.
We never really downsized from Florida because we didn’t get to see our apartment before moving in so the delayed downsize is happening now!