Life Too Good? Sell Your House.

The Salwens at their former family home

Most people register some kind of dissatisfaction with their home: not enough bedrooms; the outdoor space is too small (or non-existent); the boiler's on the fritz or the kitchen woefully lacks a restaurant-quality stove.

The problem with the Salwen family homestead was a little different: it was too big. Too nice. The kitchen was fantastic. It was, in fact, a 6,000-square-foot Atlanta mansion, purchased in 1999, ostensibly to please Kevin and Joan Salwen's kids, Hannah and Joseph, then 7 and 5. "We never asked them. And my guess is that if we had, they might have said what they told us later, which is 'We don't need it.'"

Like a growing number of Americans, the Salwens came to the realization that less can be more. But they have taken this insight to a level that few others have dared.