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Small Home organization thread - Page 2

post #21 of 52

subbing

 

2 adults + 3 kids + 1 on the way in a 950 sq ft house with basement and only 2.5 closets...

post #22 of 52

re: gifts:

I keep the ones I want and either sell, return, or donate the rest!! I don't feel one bit bad about it because it is a GIFT. And sometimes you can't gently "suggest" a wish list no matter what. Depending on the relative, I might snap a photo of them opening it or playing with it before it goes and include it in a nice thank you note. 

post #23 of 52

I return unwanted gifts or donate them. My in laws are terrible about buying us tons of crap... toys, clothes, and even second-hand clothes for the kids (BAGS of them) etc. Wish lists don't really work with them b/c they sort of halfway understand what we want and then get some bigger, more plasticky version of what we wanted. Sigh. Problem is when the kids decide they like the stuff, ugh. Usually I can wait a little while and then get rid of it when they get over it (or it just gets "lost" though I don't like doing that to them..) Hopefully this year we'll actually get stuff we need.

 

Magnetic strip for knives- I am so looking forward to that over the knife block (which I sold before I moved)

 

post #24 of 52

I loved the homemade entry closet in Delight's photos. We are sorely missing a place to hang coats and put shoes. We have an enclosed front porch and most shoes go out there but it's no fun to put on a freezing cold jacket so those stay inside piled on a chair for now. Not the best.

 

My only tip so far is this: if you are just starting to conquer clutter or if you are working  at it slowly but surely, have designated clutter zones. Right now we have one bit of countertop in the kitchen that we use for this (down from several clutter zones). I aspire to have everything in its place but I find it takes me a long, long time to figure out a system that will work for our family (i.e. one that makes sense, is adaptable, and is easily accessed). 

 

I'm also a big fan of minimalism. My kids only have the clothes that will fit in their drawers (each has one for now but they are still small - I know they will need more as they age). DH and I only keep those clothes that will hang nicely and fit neatly in the closet/dresser. He does have an underbed box with 10 spare dress shirts (has ten in reg circulation - this is down from 40+ when we got married). I tend to be a bit of an ogre about this - especially with myself as I find I really avoid putting clothes away when it becomes a matter of stuffing them into drawers/closets.

 

We also had a spare room built in our basement as a playroom/guest room and it has made a world of difference. My kids never really "played" with their toys. They would dump them out, fling them around, leave them there, and play with the vacuum cleaner. Now all the toys are neatly in the basement where they can dump and fling to their hearts' content and it doesn't clutter the rest of my house. :)

post #25 of 52

notes2.gif our home isn't as small as some but I definitely need organizing tips!

post #26 of 52

Subbing for now- trying to get dinner started : P  we are building a very tiny home in the woods and are defiantly looking for advice! 

post #27 of 52

I started this thread a little bit ago about our tiny house project (and I included some pictures of our progress- not too much so far, but we are hoping to have it livable by July/August. 

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1258749/families-living-in-very-small-spaces-need-advice-updated-with-pictures#post_16049168

 

This isn't so much about organization but........I would like to ask all you other small living space families- our space is going to be just about 650 +/- square feet spread over 2 floors. Right now there are 3 of us (DS is 19mo) but there is a very, very good chance that I am pregnant again, although I haven't tested yet... I am nervous about the space. Do you think we could make it work? Am I completely insane for even thinking we could do it with 4 of us in such a small space???? I don't know how long it would be until we could add more on (as we are already adding on to accommodate for a bathroom and stairs) To be honest, I'm feeling a bit stressed about it at the moment... 

post #28 of 52

Green- I absolutely think you can do it. It's all about how you want to live and working with the space you have. Vertical space is important,looking for potential in all spots of your home. Items that do double duty- A  covered basket now for diapers, a toy box later. I see the pics on your FB page and it is fabulous. Maybe a little extra shed or something so you can swap out winter/summer clothing and winter/summer items that you use around the house. Nothing huge, just something that is sealed and easy to access.

post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscharm74 View Post

Green- I absolutely think you can do it. It's all about how you want to live and working with the space you have. Vertical space is important,looking for potential in all spots of your home. Items that do double duty- A  covered basket now for diapers, a toy box later. I see the pics on your FB page and it is fabulous. Maybe a little extra shed or something so you can swap out winter/summer clothing and winter/summer items that you use around the house. Nothing huge, just something that is sealed and easy to access.


I forgot to add, we also have a 6 foot basement for storage : ) DH is going to build a shed for his tools/our bikes and skis and things like that... 

 

We were not planning for another little one for some time, but it appears as though things might change! I am alternating between feeling completely overwhelmed and complete and total elation : ) 

 

Positive thinking is where it's at, right : ) 

post #30 of 52

We are 4 (2 kids, 2 parents) in 640 square feet. We have decided that we'll stick it out here for another 2 years or so (office and schooling reasons) and then we will need to move to gain outdoor space, since we have none at present. By then we will be desperately in need of a simple way to say "go out and burn off steam!" This is enough room for what we need indoor-wise, but my number one piece of advice for small space living is to redo/review your storage and declutter 2-4 times a year. We have relatives who overgift, and honestly, that stuff either gets donated fairly quickly or it becomes grandma's house toys. That does make battery powered stuff way less frequent a gift! Cuts down on the huge gifts too. But there's also space for items where "it's not my style, but grandparents really want to give it and the kids really want to have it." Just not piles of it! This is our house from 2 1/2 years ago or so when DS was just a baby: 

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/small-cool-2008-east/east-finalist-family-of-fours-two-bedroom-studio-050441

 

I can try to get some more pics of the newer set up when we get holiday decor finished.

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post

We are 4 (2 kids, 2 parents) in 640 square feet. We have decided that we'll stick it out here for another 2 years or so (office and schooling reasons) and then we will need to move to gain outdoor space, since we have none at present. By then we will be desperately in need of a simple way to say "go out and burn off steam!"

 

 



Yes - outdoor space is crucial to us, too. If we didn't have the big back yard/garden, we'd all go crazy together in the house. Kicking them outside is one of my favorite parts of the day - I get a bit of peace and I know being outside is doing them a world of good!

post #32 of 52


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elisheva View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post

We are 4 (2 kids, 2 parents) in 640 square feet. We have decided that we'll stick it out here for another 2 years or so (office and schooling reasons) and then we will need to move to gain outdoor space, since we have none at present. By then we will be desperately in need of a simple way to say "go out and burn off steam!"

 

 



Yes - outdoor space is crucial to us, too. If we didn't have the big back yard/garden, we'd all go crazy together in the house. Kicking them outside is one of my favorite parts of the day - I get a bit of peace and I know being outside is doing them a world of good!



God, I wish I had outdoor space! The first thing out of DD's (21 mo) mouth in the morning is "walk"? I'd love to have an easily watched fenced in back yard to send her out into while I make breakfast, do dishes etc., and then come join her! I'm lucky in that we do live in a pretty walkable area, it's very pretty with parks and a small lake, if not a lot in the way of shops or stuff to do.

 

I think if our apartment had a washer/dryer setup IN the apartment and easy access to private/semi private outdoor space it would be absolutely perfect. Oh and about 5 more tall bookshelves. :D

post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post

We are 4 (2 kids, 2 parents) in 640 square feet. We have decided that we'll stick it out here for another 2 years or so (office and schooling reasons) and then we will need to move to gain outdoor space, since we have none at present. By then we will be desperately in need of a simple way to say "go out and burn off steam!" This is enough room for what we need indoor-wise, but my number one piece of advice for small space living is to redo/review your storage and declutter 2-4 times a year. We have relatives who overgift, and honestly, that stuff either gets donated fairly quickly or it becomes grandma's house toys. That does make battery powered stuff way less frequent a gift! Cuts down on the huge gifts too. But there's also space for items where "it's not my style, but grandparents really want to give it and the kids really want to have it." Just not piles of it! This is our house from 2 1/2 years ago or so when DS was just a baby: 

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/small-cool-2008-east/east-finalist-family-of-fours-two-bedroom-studio-050441

 

I can try to get some more pics of the newer set up when we get holiday decor finished.


 

would love to see new pics too!

 

Love the under-stair storage. We have an under-stair area in the new apt. Other things are being done right now that are more pressing (new floor, new toilet, new stove) but my mom was talking about knocking out under stair area... I think even to make a pantry would be nice, since its directly next to the galley kitchen.

 

At least in NYC people don't think its THAT crazy to live in small spaces.

 

Outdoor space is a good point. We're going to be 4 in 550sf, but we do have access to a small walled-in yard. DS (6) can go out there but never wants to be alone. DD (19m) would love to go out alone but is too young. Go figure. I plan that by the time it warms up in spring, we can convince my parents (whose house and yard it is that we'll be living beneath) to let us put in a very tactful tub for water and sand play- I am thinking some galvanized steel tubs, not too ugly... also I will make DS a woodworking bench out there- he had one in San Diego and he liked that. This is all a ways out though- its going to be too cold to do much out there for a while. We're also half a block from Central Park so can easily get out and get moving. I haven't been a mom in the cold weather though... we were in so cal and I could easily boot the boy out back (communal lawn) to play ANY time.

 

Alright. I am inspired and I'll try to get some "before" pics snapped today, for the record, but also maybe I'll put them up and see what you guys think!

post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post

We are 4 (2 kids, 2 parents) in 640 square feet. We have decided that we'll stick it out here for another 2 years or so (office and schooling reasons) and then we will need to move to gain outdoor space, since we have none at present. By then we will be desperately in need of a simple way to say "go out and burn off steam!" This is enough room for what we need indoor-wise, but my number one piece of advice for small space living is to redo/review your storage and declutter 2-4 times a year. We have relatives who overgift, and honestly, that stuff either gets donated fairly quickly or it becomes grandma's house toys. That does make battery powered stuff way less frequent a gift! Cuts down on the huge gifts too. But there's also space for items where "it's not my style, but grandparents really want to give it and the kids really want to have it." Just not piles of it! This is our house from 2 1/2 years ago or so when DS was just a baby: 

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/small-cool-2008-east/east-finalist-family-of-fours-two-bedroom-studio-050441

 

I can try to get some more pics of the newer set up when we get holiday decor finished.


I love your layout! I would defiantly love to see more pictures/ space solutions. Here are some things DH and I were pondering last night:

 

-how and where to store dirty laundry/ cloth diapers/ clean towels and sheets 

-how to store clean clothing- we have dressers right now but I don't really want to bring them as they are HUGE 

 

Overgifting is a huge issue for us with DH's mom being the biggest offender : P This weekend she tried to give us this nasty three foot tall plant in the biggest pot I've ever seen. Last weekend she showed up at our house with garbage bags of stuff saying "Dad and I cleaned out the barn, here is some of DH's stuff from high school, thought he would like to have it!" Uggg we didn't even look through the bags, we just threw them all out because it was all junk. She does stuff like this all.them.time His grandmother is constantly trying to give us VHS tapes and DH is too nice to say no. I'm a hardcore minimalist, so it drives me crazy. I also end up looking like the bad guy when I say no to the random junk they try and give us : P I am dreading Christmas this year.....

 

We are very fortunate in terms of outdoor space - our 3 acres is on a mountain bordering 500 acres of wooded land owned by a friend. I want to try and get some pics of the land and mountains next time we are up there, it's absolutely gorgeous. It gets so dark so early now, it's hard to get up there before dark during the week! 

 

We're also building a small attached greenhouse- DH thinks there might be enough room to hang a sky chair from the ceiling, so I might make it my secret hideout : P

post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaegbert View Post


At least in NYC people don't think its THAT crazy to live in small spaces.

 

 


: ) Right on, my family thinks we are completely crazy! 

post #36 of 52

 

 

Quote:
 I love your layout! I would defiantly love to see more pictures/ space solutions. Here are some things DH and I were pondering last night:

 

-how and where to store dirty laundry/ cloth diapers/ clean towels and sheets 

-how to store clean clothing- we have dressers right now but I don't really want to bring them as they are HUGE  

 

 

 I would limit towels to two per person.  If possible a shelf in the bathroom up high?  Clean clothing-under the bed storage boxes with the wheels so they roll in and out easy.  Clear plastic ones with labels on both ends.  Sheets-personally we have one set per bed.  But if you really wanted a spare set always store the set inside of one pillow case.  Those could also be stored under the bed.  Dirty clothes-what if you kept a rubbermaid tub in the trunk of  your car and kept them in there?  then you could just unload the tub at laundry mat , wipe out and reload with clean?  You could drill some holes in the plastic lid for air flow so things don't get stinky.

 
post #37 of 52
Thread Starter 



I'm stiill figuring out this new MDC and I KNOW I screwed up the quote.  Positive of it.  And I can't figure out how to edit either.  Geez.

 

Anyway, like I originally said, my 3 kids are in one bedroom and they have a 45inch wide by 36inch deep closet.  We hung a second rod underneath the original  to give us more hanging space and everything except diapers, socks, undies, and jammies are hung.  They have one dresser to share and everyone gets a drawer for their stuff.   Everyone has two towels and 2 sets of sheets for their bed.  We have a linen closet in the bathroom and store the extra sets of sheets and towels in there with meds and toiletries.  I took out one shelf in order to fit a hamper for dirty clothing as well.  I have to figure out where to put the diaper pail because right now it resides in my room.  ICK!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGranolaMama View Post



 

-how and where to store dirty laundry/ cloth diapers/ clean towels and sheets 

-how to store clean clothing- we have dressers right now but I don't really want to bring them as they are HUGE 

 

 

post #38 of 52

i have been working my butt off trying to get organized over here! i think the REAL problem is not having any money AND trying to organize! i cant afford the containers or wardrobes or all the great IKEA stuff! im trying to make do with the plasticy crap i bought years and years ago! (seriously i have a "chest of drawers" that a pink and sparkly and plastic that held all of my painting gear from when i was 12! im trying to make that work as my "dresser"

post #39 of 52

we have a niche in our bathroom that was inusable due to its height really. however i managed to get our old changing table in there and it has 3 levels on it sooooo top level is for CD, momma cloth, FC, on other side of shelf we have my toiletries and DH's. Second shelf we have all the towels and face cloths. third shelf we use for the hairdryer, TP, toiletries that arent often used and ECT. its working out great and i sort of up cycled the changing table!

post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post

 

 I would limit towels to two per person.  If possible a shelf in the bathroom up high?  Clean clothing-under the bed storage boxes with the wheels so they roll in and out easy.  Clear plastic ones with labels on both ends.  Sheets-personally we have one set per bed.  But if you really wanted a spare set always store the set inside of one pillow case.  Those could also be stored under the bed.  Dirty clothes-what if you kept a rubbermaid tub in the trunk of  your car and kept them in there?  then you could just unload the tub at laundry mat , wipe out and reload with clean?  You could drill some holes in the plastic lid for air flow so things don't get stinky.

 

 

A rubbermaid in the trunk is a GREAT idea : ) We kinda do a lot of laundry now and are spoiled with a washer and dryer, so I am thinking I am going to end up doing a bit of hand washing/ making an honest effort to try and re wear more than we do (which means putting a bib on DS every time he eats : P ) 
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by justmama View Post


I have to figure out where to put the diaper pail because right now it resides in my room.  ICK!


 


DH is terrified of the diaper pail : P so it doesn't surprise me that he is concerned about where it is going to live in our new place, the bathroom is yet to be built so kinda hoping there might be a little nook we can stick it in. 

 

Thinking about getting a couple of these for lighting in the kitchen area (not going to be doing electric stuff for a while but I saw these and fell in love ) - I was going to make them until I went to Lowes and priced fixtures- almost the same price as just buying them! And she's from Maine, so thinking I might be able to opt for pick up and save on shipping...

 

http://www.etsy.com/listing/63349644/vintage-canning-jar-chandelier-created

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