We’ve moved across town to Dilworth, the first street car neighborhood of Charlotte. We moved from a ranch to a 2 story house, and I haven’t fallen down the stairs…yet.
At 1950 square feet, our new house is 250 square feet smaller than our first house. Not only is it smaller, but the layout is different than our first house. We had to get rid of many large items that would not have fit as well in the new house including 2 standard couches, a sectional couch and a china cabinet. We had a hard time deciding whether or not to bring our kitchen table as our new kitchen does not have an eat-in area. I thought the kitchen table would fit in the sunroom. It fits but not functionally, so at some point we will be selling the table.
I’ve been cooking on an electric stove for the last 10 years (the last 6 years on a flat cooktop) so I have been having to get used to cooking on a gas stove. We burned so many dinners to the bottom of our pots and pans on the old flat cooktop that we ended up with a rice cooker, slow cooker and Dutch oven to make clean up easier in the first house. I’ve successfully made rice on the gas stove twice without burning the pot! The rice cooker is now in the donation pile.
Our new Walk Score is 85! Within the first 2 weeks of living in our new house, we’ve walked to Bakersfield, JJ’s Red Hots, Lebowski’s, Harris Teeter, Tupelo Honey Cafe, Bad Daddy’s, Ru San’s and Be Yoga. Every neighbor that we’ve met has been super nice, and on nice evenings, people sit out on their front porches and wave to you! Even the mailman introduced himself to James the first weekend.
James has yet to try to bike to work or take public transportation, so you’ll have to wait for an update on how we are doing towards our goal of living with one car.
In living minimally, we have a rule not to spend any discretionary money on the house for the first 6 months. However, we already broke that rule by buying a flagpole holder to proudly display our UConn flag on our front porch and a carpet for the living room. We also had to buy toilet paper holders, which is not so much as a need but more of a want, but it makes ripping the toilet paper off the roll so much easier. But we haven’t bought anything big yet.
We were spoiled by having many built-in shelves in our den at the last house. This house has no built-ins, plus it has plaster walls which I hear are not the easiest to hang things on. I’m not anxious to try to nail or screw anything into the walls yet, so we have hung up decorations on the hooks that were left in the walls by the previous owners. We do have picture molding which I plan on eventually using once the 6 month moratorium on discretionary spending is lifted as I will have to buy the special hooks and string to hang the rest of our pictures. Due to the lack of shelves to store our books, we plan to get a bookshelf at some point.
Though there is no homeowners association, we do live in the historic district which means that any improvements or changes that we want to make to the house that you can see from the street have to follow the Historic Commission’s rules, the changes need to be consistent with the style of house you own, and they have to be pre-approved by the commission.
There are only 7 windows in the house that open, all of which are located in the sunroom. All of the other windows are original, and they are either painted shut or the sashes are broken. This is unfortunate since James and I are big on keeping the windows open during cool summer nights and at least 4 weeks each in the spring and in the fall to get fresh air in the house and cut costs by not using the HVAC system. Replacing the windows is a priority of ours. The Historic Commission insists on fixing broken sashes and preserving the old windows when possible. I’d love to do this, but when the sun shines through some of the windows it gets so hot in that area, you might as well go stand outside in the sun.
It already feels like home, and all the packing, moving and unpacking was worth it!