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Feeling in the Minority - Page 2

post #21 of 51

My husband, myself, and our then-kitten lived for two years in a 600 sq. ft. apartment, which I loved. It had the bedroom on a corner, so it was always sunny and bright and felt very open. Didn't care a whole lot for the kitchen and laundry room/pantry...but it was acceptable...and the main living room and bathroom did not feel cramped.

 

We decided that we "needed" a house and started the hunt...and moved into our 1,600 sq. ft. home with a small backyard when I was four months pregnant. It's a three bedroom, two bath, two car garage house with a small attic and a bonus room we use as our office. It's a very nice house and feels very open. When we bought it we could see ourselves raising our kids here...as we never planned to have more than three and should we have needed to once kids reached the teen years and all wanted their own space we could have converted the office to a fourth bedroom since my husband is in the drywall and plastering business. It is PLENTY big for us...really too big...since we never use the third bedroom except for occasional company and really don't spend much time in the office...and since it seems we may end up with just two kids (after some scary stuff and big medical bills surrounding the birth of our first) we would never grow out of our space.

 

But funnily enough, we are actually looking forward to the time when we can put this house on the market and move to a space of about 330 sq. ft.!! Yep, we are gonna buy a 

fifth-wheel and hit the road sometime in the next 2-4 years!! Crazily enough, I'm actually looking forward to being in an even smaller space than we were in when we were in our apartment!! The layout of the living/dining/kitchen area is snug, but not claustrophobic, it will actually have 1.5 bathrooms, the kids room will have an entertainment center/wardrobe and two sets of bunkbeds and a huge open floor space (at least as much as Bug's room has now), and the master is big enough for a king sized bed and room to walk around it comfortably!! Who really needs more than that? If our second child ends up being a girl then at some point down the road we may install a curtain to divide the bunkroom for privacy...but truthfully, except for dressing what prepubescent child really needs an exclusively gender divided room?

 

I just think back to the time my childhood family lived in a trailer of only 192 sq. ft....where the couch became a bed for my sister and I, a curtain divided the back bedroom from the front room, my two brothers slept in a bunk over my parents double bed, and somehow another sister was conceived without any child seeing and having psychological scars!! If my childhood family of six (and then seven) could handle three years in less than 200 sq. ft....I am POSITIVE that my husband and I and two or three children can handle 330 sq. ft. with no problem!! :-D

post #22 of 51

Well. I of course think you're a weirdo :P But i have no clue.  Houses don't even come that big here. Like seriously.  We have a 900 sq ft ouse, with a basement we are finishing that adds soe extra space, and have 5 kids.  Its not super spacious but not awful either. 

post #23 of 51

We live in a "small" house by today's standards...  It's 1100 sq ft with 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and a partially finished basement.  I find that it's plenty large for the soon-to-be 4 of us.  I plan on the LOs sharing a room until DS is about 10, assuming the belly baby is a girl.  If it's a boy, then they can share indefinitely.  We are lucky to have a really great layout, and we have plenty of closets/storage as well as a 2 car garage with workshop, a shed, and half an acre of yard.

 

We live in a smaller home than almost all of our friends and family.  Doesn't bother me a bit, especially when I see how much junk people accumulate just because they have the space to warehouse it.  We're still in the process of paring down, but I'm a firm believer that we need less stuff and not more space!

post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bignerpie View Post




I love this!!!! It is so true. When my husband and I bought our 1200 square feet house it seemed so big, but we quickly filled it up. Now I'm in the process of getting rid of most of that junk! We have a toddler and a baby on the way, and I feel like we have plenty of space. Our house sits on 2 acres, and we all love to be outside, so we have plenty of room to "stretch out."

 

The funny thing is, my husband works on big, custom houses, and by big I mean 20,000-50,000 square feet! The kind of houses that have basketball courts in their basements and the maid's quarters are bigger than our entire house! The worst part is, it's always an older couple with no kids! Two people in such a big house seems like such a waste.

 


We currently live in about 1100 sq ft which is about 500 less than we had lived in for the 12 years before that.  Honestly, I don't miss the space at all (I do miss having another bathroom at times).  We are a family of four two adults and two school aged kiddos. I don't have particularly great guest accomodations, but we live about a block from a great bed and breakfast and could afford to put up any guests there (if paying their own was was a hardship)

 

DH and  good friend of his recently spent a night at the firiend's parents place.  They totally fit what you just discribed.  DH (a coffee geek) asked a question about the built in expresso maker in the kitchen.  They had never used it and ate out every meal despite having two kitchens.  When he went to bed he literally could not remember which bedroom he was supposed to sleep in.

 

post #25 of 51

Not quite the same, but similar -

 

Of all my single friends, I have the smallest place - and I'm also the only minimalist. They are constantly going on and on about how much time they have to spend on housework, taking care of stuff, etc.

 

I simply respond that I like having less space to clean/less stuff to take care of, because that means I can do what I want, not having to deal with so much stuff or space to clean. I'm involved in a lot of stuff, that people say they wish they could do - or have time for their hobbies.

 

But when people realize I have the freedom for my activities because my place is small and stuff minimal, it stops them cold in their tracks. They get that they could have all their stuff or the activities they want. And most don't want to give up the stuff.

post #26 of 51

Tradd- I don't know if your single friends are Orthodox, but you can always say that you're trying to imitate the asceticism of the saints!  Of course, not all the saints were ascetics, but there were quite a few of them...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post

Not quite the same, but similar -

 

Of all my single friends, I have the smallest place - and I'm also the only minimalist. They are constantly going on and on about how much time they have to spend on housework, taking care of stuff, etc.

 

I simply respond that I like having less space to clean/less stuff to take care of, because that means I can do what I want, not having to deal with so much stuff or space to clean. I'm involved in a lot of stuff, that people say they wish they could do - or have time for their hobbies.

 

But when people realize I have the freedom for my activities because my place is small and stuff minimal, it stops them cold in their tracks. They get that they could have all their stuff or the activities they want. And most don't want to give up the stuff.



 

post #27 of 51

But what if the activities you want to be involved in, require a lot of stuff? lol.gif

 

For me my interests include both art (painting, drawing, collage) plus I do scrapbooking as a craft. All these things require a lot of stuff.

 

Most of the stuff we have is related to having children. But even if I was still single, or married but had no children, I would still have a lot of stuff which I need to do my stuff... orngtongue.gif

 

 

 

 

post #28 of 51
Thread Starter 

I know hobbies take space.. I would love to eventually have a room to keep crafting projects/supplies... but we could do that in 3000 sq feet.  My parents have about 3000 and its plenty spacious :)  I guess maybe if your hobby was bowling you would need a really big house..

post #29 of 51

Okay, I might buy a house with a bowling alley in it... nothing too fancy.. two lanes...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chely7425 View Post

I know hobbies take space.. I would love to eventually have a room to keep crafting projects/supplies... but we could do that in 3000 sq feet.  My parents have about 3000 and its plenty spacious :)  I guess maybe if your hobby was bowling you would need a really big house..



 

post #30 of 51

Layout is big. You said your layout is fantastic. I expect some of your friends actually would be happier with a smaller house and better layout but they don't realize it.

post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

Okay, I might buy a house with a bowling alley in it... nothing too fancy.. two lanes...
 



 

 

LOL!  Our son has discovered bowling and my DH has realized it is fun (after years of professing to hate it).  He has been joking about building a lane.
 

 

post #32 of 51

The Heifer Int. newsletter had a graph in it last time it came about the average house size in the U.S. compared to the average house England, France, etc. I couldn't find the same graph, but this article sums up the insanity pretty well I think! http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5525283 (The part where they mention 3 playrooms for 2 children makes me sick and breaks my heart all at once...)

post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chely7425 View Post

I know hobbies take space.. I would love to eventually have a room to keep crafting projects/supplies... but we could do that in 3000 sq feet.  My parents have about 3000 and its plenty spacious :)  I guess maybe if your hobby was bowling you would need a really big house..


Organization plays such an important role in space saving.  We are currently a family of 3 (plus a dog) living in 925 sq feet.  I am a professional artist and enjoy other craft hobbies in my free time.  So far we have managed to house all of my work items plus supplies for knitting, sewing, paper crafting, and gardening.  Mostly it comes down to prioritization.  When I buy new supplies I also buy storage bins to keep it all in.  When I make more than I can store or use I give it away as gifts.  Living intentionally makes so many things possible.

 

post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post

Layout is big. You said your layout is fantastic. I expect some of your friends actually would be happier with a smaller house and better layout but they don't realize it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post


Organization plays such an important role in space saving.  We are currently a family of 3 (plus a dog) living in 925 sq feet.  I am a professional artist and enjoy other craft hobbies in my free time.  So far we have managed to house all of my work items plus supplies for knitting, sewing, paper crafting, and gardening.  Mostly it comes down to prioritization.  When I buy new supplies I also buy storage bins to keep it all in.  When I make more than I can store or use I give it away as gifts.  Living intentionally makes so many things possible.

 


these are both so true.  When we moved into our 1100sf house, we thought it was a tad small but perfectly fine for our three person family and our first house.  The longer we live here though, the bigger it feels.  The layout isn't the best and I can see that now.. the house ISN'T that small.. just not the best designed.  I'm also MUCH more efficient at organization and minimizing the unnecessary stuff.  Where we used to think our closets were too small (its an old house, so they ARE tiny closets) we now have extra space in them.  Between pruning the junk we never used anyway and organizing the junk we keep better... we now agree that we could even live in a bit smaller of a house even with a second child.

 

I don't think people truly appreciate just how BIG 6000 square feet is.... and how if you just keep filling up your house, even 6k can feel too small.  Not everyone needs to be a minimalist like I've become, but it is silly to spend money on a bigger house for things that won't pay you rent.

post #35 of 51

shy.gif  i have a ginormous amount of stuff related to my interests/hobbies.  i always have!  and up until recently, i lived with a musician/recording person with an obscene amount of gear.  somehow we managed to fit it into our tiny apartments, our first little house, and our current normal (imo) house.  (small by other people's standards but i think it's plenty.)  i guess we make room for the mountains of fabric, for the piano, the guitars, etc because they matter to us.  other people make room for a huge movie collection, or two sets of dishes, glassware and flatware, zillions of books, or a huge wardrobe, whatever it is that they care about.  in fact, most of my friends live in modest homes, yet are musicians/artists/crafty, so there must be some way to combine these lotsa-stuff activities with small space living.  admittedly, sometimes that "way" involves an off-site studio, but that's not a must.  we all manage somehow.  wink1.gif

 

on the other hand, my aunt and uncle live in 5000 square feet and he still can't get his music-listening room that he's always wanted.  ha!  no way, gotta have a craft room, a play room, an office and a guest bedroom, formal and informal living, formal and informal dining . . . to each her own.  (and i do mean her own.)  i guess they're candidates for a bigger house.  orngtongue.gifl

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clutterwarrior View Post

But what if the activities you want to be involved in, require a lot of stuff? lol.gif

 

For me my interests include both art (painting, drawing, collage) plus I do scrapbooking as a craft. All these things require a lot of stuff.

 

Most of the stuff we have is related to having children. But even if I was still single, or married but had no children, I would still have a lot of stuff which I need to do my stuff... orngtongue.gif

 

 

 

 



 

post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CC_muffin View Post

The Heifer Int. newsletter had a graph in it last time it came about the average house size in the U.S. compared to the average house England, France, etc. I couldn't find the same graph, but this article sums up the insanity pretty well I think! http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5525283 (The part where they mention 3 playrooms for 2 children makes me sick and breaks my heart all at once...)



that's a great article. "Back in the 1950s and '60s, people thought it was normal for a family to have one bathroom, or for two or three growing boys to share a bedroom." ha!  i guess i'm back in the 50s.

post #37 of 51

 

Yowza. I'd happily daydream about what I'd do with all those square feet, just like I can daydream about winning the lottery - if I can add a housekeeper to the daydream. But I think that normal crazed-consumer American life can be quite comfortably lived in, oh, a 500 square foot base for the first person, plus 200 square feet per added person. There are two of us in a roughly 1000 square foot house, and it's ample space for us and more stuff than we _should_ have, if not quite enough space for all the stuff we _do_ have.
 
I do think that, while a luxury and not a necessity, having a private space for each person is something that adds a great deal to one's quality of life. But it doesn't have to be a big space - my beloved den is about the size of a modest full bath. I would _like_ twice that space plus a walk-in closet, to have room for tons of hobbies, but that would still add barely more than 100 square feet. I can't imagine making much use of another couple of thousand. (Unless I were really, really big into model trains. Then I could see it.)
 
Crayfish
 
post #38 of 51
We are six in 1000sqft and its cramped...especially win my tween and teen. I fantasize about 1400 sqrt and mult living areas so that I don't have teens up to my eyeballs when the older kids.each have a friend.over. im not moving though so I will just have to be more creative.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltlmrs View Post

Tradd- I don't know if your single friends are Orthodox, but you can always say that you're trying to imitate the asceticism of the saints!  Of course, not all the saints were ascetics, but there were quite a few of them...
 



 



That's great! Most of them are Orthodox, so I'll just have to remember that! Thanks!

 

post #40 of 51

We're a family of 3 in 750 sq ft (2br2ba) and it feels MASSIVE to me.  We moved recently before this we were a family of 3+cat in a 450 sq ft 1br1ba.  When we got our current place I was actually pregnant so we had intended to have a 4 person family in this space. One thing that certainly helps, though, is that we live in a large apt complex so we have tons of shared outdoor space/pools/BBQs/party space etc.  If we want guests over they never have to even enter our apt.  winky.gif I love it this way because then we don't have to feel like we need to use these extra amenities if we don't want to (like I would if we had a massive place of our own) but we can if we do want to.  What's the point of having a huge pool or all these extra dining rooms if they only get used a handful of times per year?  Plus I love the social aspect of having so many other families around, people to talk to.  I'd get sort of freaked out in the middle of nowhere, I'm definitely a city girl.  bag.gif

 

We'd like to have another kid or two so we're looking to buy a 3br2.5ba (just over 1000sqft) in the same apt complex that we're currently in.  The layout is amazing so that's why you can fit so much into that space.  We've always planned on having our kids room together (DD's room currently is barely used at the moment since she still sleeps with us, for instance) so if the next kid or two are both girls we'll just pile them all into one bedroom and make the other room an office/guest room.  I've already even picked out the most beautiful wooden bunkbed that has a built in desk/drawers that I want to buy for DD once she's old enough and another younger brother or sibling if we're so lucky. smile.gif

 

Oh, and seriously how do people clean that massive space?  We both work and our thinking of getting a cleaning lady for our small space (DH has really bad dust allergies so we have to dust/sweep quite a bit), how in the world do other people manage it???

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