5 Unexpected Expenses from Moving to a Bigger Home

The following post is from Rachel of The Minimalist Mom


Three months ago my family increased our living space by 300 square feet when we moved into a bigger home. We knew what we were getting with the move: an open kitchen with natural light, an extra bedroom for guests and more space for entertaining and for our son to play in.

While we’re enjoying this new home there have been some negatives to moving into a larger space.

Here are five expenses from moving into a bigger home:

1. Constant Clean Up

I’m still getting used to the increased time and energy I have to put towards keeping things in their place in this larger home. Be it shuttling discarded sweatshirts back to bedrooms or retrieving water glasses from night tables, it all takes times and energy. On a positive note, I think I’m burning a few more calories from this.

2. Out of Ear’s Reach

If my son is playing in his bedroom and I am out in the living area, I can’t hear him. And if my husband is in our bedroom at the back of the apartment he can’t hear me. I have to raise my voice if I want to request a laundry hamper be brought out or go have a peek at my son if I want to check in on him.  Because we’ve always lived in small spaces we’ve never owned a baby monitor but with this bigger home we could actually use one.

3. The cleaning. Oh, the cleaning.

Having less to clean has been one of the greatest gifts from simplifying our life. In our old apartment, I could plug the vacuum in in the center of the apartment and reach every room without having to change power outlets. Now, I have to switch outlets four times to reach all the corners of our new home.

4. Increased utilities

We knew our utilities would be more in this bigger home, but it’s still a shock seeing how much more. We raised our monthly gas contribution by 40% and our electrical bill is about 30% higher than in our smaller home. We budgeted for these increases before moving but each bill is a constant reminder that living in a bigger space is costly.

5. Filling up the Space

Our home is simply furnished with room to spare. We don’t own a lot of household items or decor since we radically downsized our possessions two years ago. I enjoy this style of living and yet… a few bare walls and some extra floor space has me browsing home decor websites. As Aristotle said, nature abhors a vacuum.

Enjoy your space but be conscious of what it costs.

Our new home has been a great fit for us in so many ways. We recently hosted sixteen people for a casual dinner: something that would have been impossible in our old space. My sister stays with us every six to eight weeks, and our extra bedroom is a home away from home for her. Having natural light in our kitchen and a bit more counter space has revived my love of cooking.  I’m trying new recipes and revisiting old favorites. Did I mention that my son’s daycare is four floors below us and my husband can walk to work in 20 minutes? Add in a spectacular sea view, and we feel like we’re on vacation most days.

But even with these perks I’ve found another lesson for living simply and living in a small footprint from this move. We were happy, if a little inconvenienced, in our old home. Living there taught us that we didn’t need a lot of space. Living there taught us that a home is made up of a lot more than kitchen features and second bathrooms.

A home is made up of us – not our stuff.

What expenses have you encountered when moving to a bigger home?

Rachel Jonat is a world medalist rower turned marketing professional turned SAHM/writer. At The Minimalist Mom, Rachel writes about living a rich life with less stuff. Currently living on a windswept island in the middle of the Irish Sea, Rachel owns two pairs of jeans, loves taking the bus and is attempting to become a tea drinker.