Small Space Thriving #2

Small spaces.

Some people love them and there is even a major tiny home movement that is becoming all the rage!  In fact, we love watching episodes of Tiny Luxury and other Tiny Home shows.

However, there are also many home shows that feature couples viewing 2,000 square foot homes and referring to them as “small”.

It really depends on the person, I suppose, and probably a lot on what they are accustomed to.

So, what do I LOVE about living in a small space?  Yes, I said “love”.  Not tolerate.  Not appreciate. LOVE.

Of course there are challenges and things that I really don’t enjoy, but I am going to focus on the benefits!

  1. Easy access:  It is usually fairly quick and simple to find anything I need.  I don’t have to go far or reach far for much!
  2. Child safety: There are no stairs, and minimal rooms my children can be in.  They are never far from me and thus we have avoided many of those issues where a child has sneakily destroyed some part of the home! Ha!
  3. Cleaning: I already feel that housework is difficult to keep up with, so I can only imagine how this would be magnified in a larger home.  My cleaning responsibilities are much smaller, which frees me up to do other tasks.
  4. Freedom: Similar to the child safety benefits, I can give my children freedom when they play.  I can hear them from any room in the house.  Now that my older two are almost 5 and 3, I can send them in the yard and hear them from the kitchen/see them from the family room.  Thus, they can play freely, while I tidy up inside or sit on the couch to to my Bible study.
  5. Organization: You would maybe think this would be a difficulty rather than something I love, but being in a small space has forced us to analyze everything we have and how we store everything we have. The extreme organization has freed up a lot of time and removed a lot of stress from our lives.
  6. More outdoor time: Because the space is small, we take full advantage of our yard, which is a wonderful size.  We eat outside when the weather is nice. We have outdoor pets instead of indoor ones.  We keep a small garden.  We have many outdoor activities for the kids: bikes, mud kitchen, sand box, rock wall (to be installed), playhouse, etc.
  7. Tight Knit family:  We are always together.  We can not escape one another, ha ha!  This is one of the reasons why, if we are able to move someday, I do not want an overly large home.  I love that we can be in the same space and be close to each other, even when we are doing different activities!

Small Space Thriving #1

                             (source)

I’m sure you have heard me mention the size of our home.

A mere 816 square feet.

We love watching shows about people who live in Tiny Homes and we are drawn to many minimalist lifestyles as well.

We joke that we basically live in a Tiny Home if you factor in how many people live here.  We also pretend that we are minimalists since if we moved all our stuff into a 1600 square foot home, then it would appear to be a minimal amount of stuff.

All joking aside, we love our little home, but it is not without its challenges.

I posted some tips on purging and digital decluttering the last few months and we have been following those tips diligently. My husband estimates that we have purged, donated, thrown away or sold at least 800 lbs of stuff since January.  This is both exciting and embarrassing (how did we own that much CRAP?!).

Mostly, it is liberating.

Here are some examples of the types of things we have been purging:

  1. Pictures: I went through all my old albums and photos and tossed duplicates, blurry photos, photos I don’t care to save.
  2. Extras: Do we need three plastic ladles?  No!
  3. Papers: We had a bonfire with all our old forms and documents and only saved three years’ worth in small boxes.
  4. Toys: How many stacking toys does one baby need?!
  5. Outdoor Equipment: broken squirt guns, old chairs, superfluous sand pails.
  6. Random Stuff: What does this cord even go to?! Are these batteries new or old?
  7. Art/Decor: Can you say mason jar hoarder?
  8. Clothing: Haven’t worn it recently, can’t wear while pregnant or nursing, looking shabby.
  9. Gift wrap/Party supplies: If the bag says “baby girl” it goes.  Generic gift bags only!
  10. Linens: I always wash and dry our bedding the same day, so extras aren’t necessary.  Threadbare rags are gone. Newborns don’t get bathed very often, so only a few hoodie towels are needed.
  11. All the expired things!

You get the picture.  Pretty much every closet, drawer, and cabinet in our house is being re-evaluated, rearranged, and ransacked!  The garage, shed, and outdoor toy box have begun to be re-evaluated as well.

This is one of the easiest ways to live comfortably in small spaces.  It frees up your space and your time.  Each time I open a drawer or cabinet, everything is easily accessible.  So, if I save 30 seconds each of those times, then gradually I am saving more and more time and stress.  It also allows my children to have more responsibility and to be more helpful as they can easily find and access items that I ask them to fetch for me.

I have created a bit of a monster and I am still obsessing over purging and organizing and rearranging more things!  I’m sure a little bit of nesting is to blame as well!

 

So, let me have it!  What kind of space do you live in?  How do you go about purging and reorganizing?  Any tips or inspiration for me?