More Space or Less Stuff?

My house is not small. It’s about 2,100 square feet. Downstairs we have a living room, family room, kitchen, dining room, foyer, half bathroom, and mudroom/pantry/laundry room. The family room has built-in shelves and a closet, the foyer has a closet, and the mudroom has a utility closet. Upstairs we have five bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and two linen closets. Since we have two kids, we use three of the bedrooms, and the other two are a playroom and a home office/guest room (that I am currently decluttering). Objectively speaking, it’s a large house with plenty of space.

Yet we constantly find ourselves saying “we should finish the basement” or “we should add on a sunroom.” The truth is, I like a large house with a lot of space. I spend a lot of time there and I like not feeling cramped. But when I talk about expanding, I want to be sure that it’s because I like airy, open space to move around and not because I need more space to put all my crap.

If we did finish the basement, I say I’d move the playroom down there and turn the current playroom into a guest room. Then I’d get rid of the bed in the home office and — what? What would I do? Fill it with something else? Do we really need a guest room, since no one ever stays at our house? If we finished the basement, we’d likely have guests sleep down there so that they could have some privacy. Of course, I dream of silly things like a yoga studio or a craft room (note: I don’t do crafts).

When it all comes down to it, we don’t need anymore space. We have more than enough space and too much stuff. I should continue to focus on reducing the amount of stuff we have, not on increasing the space in which to put it all. After all, stuff is like a gas, it fills the space its given.

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