My husband and I have a son who is a musician. When the time came to have him go to conservatory we realized that we were no longer going to need a great big house. We started planning on downsizing from our large Cleveland Heights house to a smaller one.
We looked originally for land thinking that we would build something. Then we thought we would look, at the same time, for an existing house that needed work. The house we are in had been on the market for over a year and our realtor who had pretty much seen every house in Cleveland Heights said, “Why do you want to see that house? I don’t think I have been in that house.”
We walked in and as soon as we saw the space we knew it was going to work out perfectly. Our furniture was going to fit, the book case was going to fit, and we were going to be able to do the modifications to the house that we wanted without having to completely rebuild from the ground up. So, that was how we came to start on a nine-month process from purchasing the house, going through the architectural board of review and then the contractors and all the builders to finally moving in.
When we designed the house, I was thoroughly taken with two ideas. One was to use and go into every room every day. The second was not to have a lot of chaos and extra things. Instead we were intentional about streamlining our possessions and spaces. The house doesn’t have either an attic or a basement.
After clearing out my parents’ house, who had saved every possible thing that could ever be saved, it has been very cathartic, well not to live minimally, the house is certainly full of art and books and music. But each possession was deliberately chosen to be here. It was a purposeful process to go through. It was very nice to move some items along to other people.