Do you really need to live there?

Do you really need to live there? | via the Rising Tide Society

by @pareandedit

We all know how busy life is. Yes we keep reading that “rest is the new hustle” but that concept seems like another loaded task to add to our already full lists. Do we crave the freedom to play, host parties, actually lie on a couch for more than five minutes? Maybe. Or maybe not. The list of reasons why we are failing to relax can seem endless – but when was the last time you questioned the relationship between where you live and your ability to chill out?

For six years I had a broken relationship with our home. Restless is how I would describe it. No one made us buy the place – I was a willing participant, excitedly unpacking while trying to ignore the extra bedrooms that might one day have little people in them. I can’t tell you exactly when I fell out of love with the space – only that I now know I never loved it. The thoughts would hit me daily – the need to escape. I would job hunt for my husband – attempt to convince him that his skills would be well suited to opportunities on some island, (…) with no snow and tons of palm trees. He wasn’t completely unwilling but he definitely didn’t share my desperation.. Early on I fell victim to the illusion that I had to have it all in order to be happy. Eventually I tuned into what was motivating this way of thinking. It was claustrophobia. Our backyard faced another eight backyards. Our front door was on the side of the house directly facing another front door. The street was narrow. There were homes everywhere. Traffic was the pits. I couldn’t breathe.

The problem was that I was in my own way. I was focusing on my dream life and it seemed so very far away. I believed the lie – that we need a bigger career, more stability, a stronger relationship before we could have that dream.

Two summers ago we were on the brink of a new transition – our twin daughters would go to school the following fall. It was time to make a move. Now, I love our new home with a mixture of fierce pride and lightness. Maybe it’s the forest in our backyard, or the openness of our space – or maybe it’s all of it and how that picture in my head was really just my inner self telling me that we needed a simpler, more grounded way of life.

I wish I’d had the courage to consider a change sooner.

I would love to share 5 steps to get you closer to living in your dream space: 

Do you really need to live there? | via the Rising Tide Society

1. Allow Yourself to Dive Into the Dream

Take ten minutes and give give yourself permission to live it. Where do you see yourself? What city, or is it more of a general environment (in a studio on the top of the hill surrounded by trees)? What does the space look like and most importantly – how does it make you feel? Jot down these thoughts. Fill one piece of paper and then stop, slow down and pause the dream again.

That felt good didn’t it? Allowing your mind to explore had the opposite effect to what you were expecting – tell me I’m wrong. We, as busy humans, are experts at denying ourselves.

2. Focus On Your Current Reality

When you walk through your door at the end of the day are you lifted? Our homes should invite us in, call to us during a stressful day. If you’re unhappy, let’s get to the root of your unhappiness at home. Did you overextend yourself financially? Are you tired of living in a fishbowl? Get out a new piece of paper and write all the reasons your heart just isn’t in your space.

3. Find the Constant

Now that you’ve done some dreaming and some searching – is there an underlying element at play? If you moved to somewhere less expensive would you have the funds to make it your own? Would that financial change make the rest of your life easier? Maybe you feel disconnected with your neighbors – is there a pocket within your city that more like-minded individuals reside?

4. Get logical

Think small – what would have to happen for you to be able to move? Start at the basics. Financially, can you afford the legal fees to sell your home and buy something else? Should you consider renting out your place as an investment and trying out a new location first?

We always jump to the intimidating. Our minds flood with images of all of our stuff. The mountain of to-dos to even contemplate selling our home. Reign those thoughts in.

5. Scout out your town

It’s time to think local unless you have a huge budget – then by all means – think global. Let’s become tourists in our cities and scout out new possibilities. You have your dream details – make a game of staying true to the constants of your dream but making them more attainable. You want to live in a forest – drive outside your city center past suburbia until you hit farmland then see how you feel. Or maybe you’re in suburbia and craving the hustle and bustle of city living. Whatever it is that’s driving your dream – dissect it until it’s workable for right now. You don’t need to change your whole life (career etc). Pay attention to commute times and balance that with your underlying neighbourhood ideals.

Don’t think of ignoring your dream space any longer. It deserves better than that (and so do you)!

Ashley Izsak

Ashley Izsak runs Pare & Edit and works with chaotic space owners to strike a balance between organization and aesthetics. She specializes in teaching her clients how to bring their space back to first-date-status. Ashley is also a fibre artist, recognized by her spirited use of colour in her woven wall hangings. She lives with ​her husband, their twin daughters and two felines in Osgoode, Ontario. Learn more of her tips on creating civilized spaces on her blog.


  1. Love this article and I can definitely relate. I love so many different places and styles, I’m always questioning if one of those loves would be a better lifestyle option. Without going through the history of our life and moves, I’m happy to say, I love the peace I feel walking into our home. For me, it’s a balancing act…I feel certain our surroundings here allow us to be our “best selves.” Having said that, I acknowledge life is ever changing and I want to always be open…As I love to say, the best is yet to come!
    Thank you for this wonderful read and the helpful steps to follow.

    1. Bonnie – I’m so glad you found it resonated with how you feel. If you feel peace when you walk into your home then you are doing it right!

  2. Excellent article! I’m in the process of re-evaluating everything, top to bottom…from my immediate space to the city I truly want to call home. This is all great food for thought…thank you!

    1. Oh city life can be tough or invigorating depending on what stage of life you’re in and how social you want your life to be. I hope these steps inspire you to take small action!

  3. This is the perfect timing for our one and only Ashley Ottawa local to have this featured! I’ve had “finding the perfect client space and home” on my vision board for a few months now. These steps were great to really make it gain a little more life aside from the vision living in my head and on my Pinterest board. The key for me was figuring out how I want my home to make me FEEL. all about the feels!

    1. Tracey – it’s definitely all about the feels! Always honour your gut. I can’t wait to hear about where you end up and I hope these steps help you figure it out.

  4. Glad you decided to make the move Ashley! Now your family has a forever home. I know that feeling & would often rather stay in then go explore the city that surrounds me.