This time next year we could be moving house.
Our five-year house share arrangement with my brother will have come to an end, and because I'm reluctant to get tied into another fixed term mortgage deal I'm probably going to downsize to a (much) smaller house, taking my daughters, the dog and my squashy sofas with me.
Or maybe not the squashy sofas, because no matter what I do they never look tidy. Washing the covers makes them shrink slightly and then after wrestling with them to get them back onto the sofa, it looks great for about a day. Then we're back to a messy looking seating area.
Here's the evidence. Before washing, and after. What a difference.
I should add that they're now back to the 'before' version.
Next time I buy a sofa I'll buy one that will look much tidier and not require constant washing and plumping of cushions.
One of the things I've been doing to prepare for the move, apart from decluttering, is to talk to the girls about the benefits of living in a smaller house. They've always been lucky enough to have their own bedrooms, and while that won't change they'll probably be much smaller, and of course there'll be less living space.
By coincidence, the first house I ever owned has come back on the market and I pass it on my daily walks with Alice, our greyhound. It's a tiny little cottage on a quiet lane and opposite the village green and I lived there very happily for over 12 years, and even though it was the tiniest two-up, two-down terrace everyone who visited loved it and I was very reluctant to leave.
Maybe it's a subconscious desire to recreate those happy days in my little house, who knows, but this time next year I'll be on the lookout for something similar.
For me, the beauty of living in a smaller house is eliminating superfluous items and finding creative and more efficient ways to furnish rooms and store belongings. I'm currently obsessed with Apartment Therapy and their features about small space living. So many gorgeous homes with small footprints that use ingenious ways to use the limited space.
And what about this tiny house, which I absolutely love, which is home to two adults and two children? Could you live in such a small place? I think I could, not sure about my daughters though.