Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Five Favorites - Small house living edition!

Linking up with Hallie and friends per my usual!

When I got a link to this article from Apartment therapy in my inbox the other day I thought...how perfect! I can write my five favorite things about living in a small house!!

As I've said before, our house is 800 some sq. ft. (and is probably even smaller because the kitchen takes up the whole downstairs and we do most of our living upstairs!). I've often told the Abbot how much I love living in a smaller house! I think out square footage is maybe about 100 less than the house we lived in when we first got married...I feel like we truly use every inch of it!!!

-1-


Small houses are perfect for raising small children and babies in!

Veeeeerrrry early this morning, I woke up to this little face nuzzling against mine, informing me, "I'm soaking wet!" (She was pretty damp...guessing she wet herself during the night at some point and didn't realize until she woke up.) The little sweetheart quietly rolled out of bed, walked down the hall, and woke her mommy up very nicely! (It definitely doesn't happen like that every morning...she and the Abbot don't roll out of bed excited that it's morning the way I do, haha!) Anyway, it was only a matter of a few steps to the bathroom to change her out of her wet clothes and let her use the potty for real, and a few more steps down the hall to her room to put on fresh pjs and change her sheets. Then, half an hour later, she pitter-pattered down the hall again and crawled into bed with me for a bit (which I didn't mind at all, because I wasn't falling back asleep anyway, and I'm just trying to soak up as many snuggles as I can with her before her sister is born). Half an hour of snuggling later, we walked the short distance from the Abbot's and my bedroom to the couch in the living room (which shares a wall with our room). When the Abbot woke up shortly thereafter, it was only a few steps from our bedroom to his home office (where he works most days, and which is the "spare bedroom" next to Stinky's room). 

All in a matter of a few steps! As a mama in her third trimester, I can't tell you how amazing that is! So much energy conserved! Even when she was really little (Sister Stinky was only 8 months old when we moved into our current house) I could leave her alone in another room, because no matter where we are in the upstairs/main floor of our house she is never more than a few steps away! I have especially appreciated this after staying at my in-law's house (which is definitely bigger than ours and has the living area on a different floor than the bedrooms). I was so exhausted at the end of each day there, simply from climbing so many stairs and having to walk longer distances to the bathroom, kitchen, etc.!

-2-


You have to learn detachment.

Before moving to our current home, I wasn't in any huge rush to purge things (although our belongings definitely would have benefited from a purging!) because we had plenty of space to store things. Also, most of the rooms were bigger in our old house (and we had more rooms period) so clutter just didn't show as readily. Not at all the case in this house! A little clutter makes the house feel messy, and I've been on an ongoing quest to purge all the things we don't use or need so that our home doesn't get too cluttered - and it is so freeing! The majority of my mental nesting list involved decluttering different areas of the house and I find it sooo satisfying! The blessing of this house is that it's forced me to become more detached from some things I otherwise would have held on to. Still not perfect at the whole detachment thing...but getting better!

-3-


A place for everything, and everything in its place.

I look back on the home we lived in when we were first married/first became parents and I know I didn't use that space as well as I could have! I also know that if we still lived there, something like a homeschool space (or maybe even a whole homeschool room!) would have been easy to whip out, without having to re-arrange a thing! Not so in this house. It took alot of creativity and out-of the box thinking to manage our "preschool space" as well as a "family/living room" space in a very small front room! Now, getting ready for the birth of the fourth member of our family, we're continuing to have to be super creative. Our bedroom is pretty small, but already I'm brainstorming ways to de-clutter and re-organize so that Baby Sister's bassinet can fit in there, and maybe even one of our rockers! 

Our small little house has forced me to find a good place for everything, and to do the best I can to return things to the place where they belong. I feel like I've had to be so much more creative, living in a small house, but I also feel like have a lot more space than I actually do, just because I've learned to use it well!

-4-


Clean and simple.


Back in our old house, we mainly cleaned when we had overnight guests (which was pretty often, but still not weekly or even bi-weekly) and it didn't usually make a huge difference, one way or another (unless dust was really starting to accumulate!). In our little house, I find that I only need one cleaning day a week, to do the dusting and vacuuming, and I finish in less than an hour (not including the downstairs/kitchen area). The two main reasons for that are that the house is small enough to vacuum from one outlet (huuuge time saver) and I've also decided to keep out fewer toys and have very distinct places to keep each of the toys we have! Fewer toys are out, and what toys are out each have a shelf or a bin/basket of their own, making for much easier clean-up! I've had a few friends comment on how neat our house is, but that's the secret - it's just plain easier to keep clean because it's so small! And because it's so small, we have fewer things out at a time (I rotate toys and the "preschool space" materials once every few weeks, switching them for things in storage and that cuts back ALOT on the toy clutter). 

(I've got to admit, having a small house means I just don't have to work as hard at cleaning as a lot of other moms I know do! And I'm always hearing about these mothers who sweep or vacuum every day and I'm like, "WHAT?! Every day?!" So, small house living is very conducive for being more laid back...errr...okay, more lazy....about cleaning because there is so little to clean!)

-5-


So much gratitude...

It's a funny thing, but sometimes the less you have, the wealthier you feel! Having to be intentional about organizing things and purging things on a regular basis makes me aware of how much we have!  We have sooo much, and I always feel a little guilty when I realize that we can always make do with less. Having a small home makes me aware of how well we are provided for by God, and that we need less than we think we do! I still have a loooong way to go with fully embracing that, but the I definitely feel God pulling our family in a direction of simplicity and gratitude. And He's working through our small house to get us there :-)


12 comments:

  1. I love small houses too!!! Mine was originally two bedrooms one bathroom. I recently added another room and bathroom which left me with a tiny backyard, that's ok :) I could still learn to use space better and get rid of so many toys.

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    1. Me, too! It is definitely an on-going process!

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  2. I love that last picture so much!:-)

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  3. I hear ya on big houses being tiring! We stayed with my father in law for 2 months while looking for a place of our own, moving from a 700sqft apartment to his giant 5 bedroom two story house. With a baby just starting to be mobile, it was work to haul the baby everywhere and get any housework done. I love how you are focused on the bright side of small spaces!

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    1. It would have been even harder if she was on the cusp of mobility!!! At least she could walk up and down the stairs by herself and everything. And yes...the day we moved into our house i almost cried because the rooms were so much smaller than I remembered. But now I've really grown to love it, and hope we always live in a slightly smaller house (relative to our family size).

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  4. Small houses are great for babies and small children...that is so, so true. However, bigger houses are nice for bigger kids, so they can have their own space. We just moved from a relatively small house for our family size (1400 sq. 6 people, all on one floor) to a very large house we share with my parents (3 floors, probably about 3000 sq. feet) and it is exhausting being in a bigger house and having to walk on different floors for laundry, bedrooms, WITH the baby. That said, it is also super, super nice that I can be in the living and my 3 older kids can all be upstairs in their room and I CAN'T HEAR THEM or SEE THEM, so I have PEACE AND QUIET! It was definitely easier to have a mobile crawling baby in the smaller house, but easier to have bigger kids (5, 8 and 11) in the larger house. Make sense...and since we all have to live together, I think a medium sized house would be just about perfect. :)

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    1. I totally agree! I grew up in a small family, and when we were growing up we living in a tiny two bedroom, one bath apartment...and by the time we were in middle school it was rough! We moved to a more spacious house when I was in high school and our whole family breathed a sigh of relief! I think that once we have older kids I will definitely be itching for some more room. But with two very small ones, this is a good fit, so I'm just grateful we landed in a "small house" when our family was small enough for it to work. I think my husband and I both want to live in an older, bigger home out in the country once our brood grows a bit more ;-)

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  5. Our house is around 4,000 SF and although I love it, vacuuming and sweeping everyday are drains on my energy. Then there is the watching of the two stair cases, doing down two flights of stairs to do laundry. etc.

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    1. Your house IS lovely, though! But I can imagine it's a ton of work just walking up and down stairs so often!

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  6. I totally hear you on the small home and completely agree! It's so much easier (I think) when you have little kids and much, much easier to clean and keep clean. Those pictures of you and your little family are too cute!

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    1. Thanks! And I totally agree. After staying at my in-laws' house I have a whole new respect for moms of little ones in big houses...I don't have the energy for it, haha!

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