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Simplify and Downsize...You can do it too! - Page 6

post #101 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
Oh my goodness...seriously? : What kind of stuff are you talking about? Big items that are really obvious when they aren't there? I was thinking little things...plus my in-laws live 6 hours out of town, so they never know what we have kept anyway. And my mom and dad just don't pay attention!
Some of the things they've asked, "Where is it?" include giant stuffed animals (bigger than my DD), clothes for DD, lots of toys, a small kitchen table... The kitchen table actually caused a fight between my dad and I. He gave it to us in college and told us he picked it up cheap at an auction. It was rickety and peeled paint everywhere. When we graduated, we gave it away so we didn't have to move it 200 miles; when dad asked where it was and I told him, he got angry and tried to claim it was a priceless antique. Honestly, I think 3/4 of the things we need to downsize and clutter were given to us by our family.

Any way, I didn't mean to make your thread my vent space. I was just curious how you dealt with family like that, and I guess the answer is, "Move."
post #102 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by trini View Post
I just had to chime in here too with how beautifully decorated and functional your home is. Decorating truly is a gift.

I skimmed the thread, so this may have been mentioned. When I am home with ds, I like the option of going into different rooms to play. Gives us a change of scenery, new things to get into, etc. Do you ever tire of being in the same room day after day?

I admit we have more space than we need. We could afford more than we have, though, and I think it's funny how I feel this sort of pressure to upsize. People act like we have a "starter home" and it is 2000 sq. ft. Up until we got this home, we always lived in 800-1000 sq. ft. I have seriously decluttered and don't have much at all. Dh, on the other hand, seems to hoard things. Drives me insane. I'd love for him to look at your blog.
Whoa! Some people think 2000 sq ft is a starter home? Wow. I would be rolling around in that space, not sure of what to do with it all. Oh, wait, I'd be able to hide my H's clutter and "collections."
post #103 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
Some of the things they've asked, "Where is it?" include giant stuffed animals (bigger than my DD), clothes for DD, lots of toys, a small kitchen table... The kitchen table actually caused a fight between my dad and I. He gave it to us in college and told us he picked it up cheap at an auction. It was rickety and peeled paint everywhere. When we graduated, we gave it away so we didn't have to move it 200 miles; when dad asked where it was and I told him, he got angry and tried to claim it was a priceless antique. Honestly, I think 3/4 of the things we need to downsize and clutter were given to us by our family.

Any way, I didn't mean to make your thread my vent space. I was just curious how you dealt with family like that, and I guess the answer is, "Move."
My inlaws do that too. I don't want to sound ungrateful, I'm just kind of annoyed that they don't listen. They buy toys and gifts they think are neat, not what we would use or what we've directed them to buy for the kids. And they do ask where they are at when they visit. Sorry...I'm venting too.
post #104 of 319
Delight, I found your downsizing project to be SO inspirational. We were thinking about when we could afford a different place-- not necessarily a bigger place, but a newer place with nicer amenities-- but it made me realize how much I have RIGHT HERE! With the money we would save by stickign around here, I could really decorate and organize our current apartment home to be just exactly what we need. I also realized that we don't really HAVE to move in a few years which I always assumed we would. We have a three bedroom apartment, and also there is a separate living room/dining room. So if we turned the living room into a master bedroom (easy to do) and the dining room into the main living space, we would have a FOUR bedroom apartment! Our apartment is really very spacious, it's just a matter of perspective.

Thanks for the perspective!

Now I am thinking, if we stay here for the next 6 years or so, we could easily move straight into our dream home. My dream home would be one of those old farmhouses, the kind with only one bathroom but lots of bedrooms. We want to have a large family.

I am excited about this! I still have a lot of organizing/decluttering to do though . . .

It's so true about the toys though, my son really doesn't play with a lot of his toys, but we keep them around because I have a hard time parting with them! He wouldn't care!! Hmmm . . .
post #105 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin320 View Post
Delight, I found your downsizing project to be SO inspirational. We were thinking about when we could afford a different place-- not necessarily a bigger place, but a newer place with nicer amenities-- but it made me realize how much I have RIGHT HERE! With the money we would save by stickign around here, I could really decorate and organize our current apartment home to be just exactly what we need. I also realized that we don't really HAVE to move in a few years which I always assumed we would. We have a three bedroom apartment, and also there is a separate living room/dining room. So if we turned the living room into a master bedroom (easy to do) and the dining room into the main living space, we would have a FOUR bedroom apartment! Our apartment is really very spacious, it's just a matter of perspective.

Thanks for the perspective!

Now I am thinking, if we stay here for the next 6 years or so, we could easily move straight into our dream home. My dream home would be one of those old farmhouses, the kind with only one bathroom but lots of bedrooms. We want to have a large family.

I am excited about this! I still have a lot of organizing/decluttering to do though . . .

It's so true about the toys though, my son really doesn't play with a lot of his toys, but we keep them around because I have a hard time parting with them! He wouldn't care!! Hmmm . . .
Aren't those old farm houses great!?
post #106 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathansmum View Post
Oh, I was meaning the basket of towels behind the curtain with stars and stripes etc. Your comment says they are napkins folded into squares - I take it these are what you use after showering. Are they quite small? They look very pretty all folded like that.
I thought those were actual napkins--like for the dinner table? I thought that basket was in the kitchen.
post #107 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I thought those were actual napkins--like for the dinner table? I thought that basket was in the kitchen.
Oh yes...those are towels and cloth napkins in the kitchen. The napkins are from Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn...both on huge clearance. They are so thick and fabulous. Towels are from all over...kitchen stores, discount stores, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Wilmo View Post
I would also like to know where you got those cute little towels with the stars on them...so sweet!!
Those are the ones from Crate and Barrel. I love stars!
post #108 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trini View Post
When I am home with ds, I like the option of going into different rooms to play. Gives us a change of scenery, new things to get into, etc. Do you ever tire of being in the same room day after day?
No...not yet But we've only been here 3 weeks. We live in a great neighborhood. If I feel like I need to leave, we can walk to the library, the park, a fountain, our favorite coffee shop, a deli/cafe, the Science Center...all within walking distance. And in the winter...a few minutes drive. But honestly, we have FOUR rooms we can hang out in! Jumping on the bed is fun. Cooking together in the kitchen is great. Taking baths is a great way to pass time. And of course the livingroom...endless possibilites!

We are also out on the town quite a bit. My office is about 10 minutes away, and Bella has a few toys there. She plays there while I work, takes a nap there, etc. We go there a couple times a week in the afternoon. We are involved with the diaper group, the babywearing group, the attachment parenting group, the Holistic Moms network, and other individual playdates. With all these places to be...we're never in the same room day after day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trini View Post
I admit we have more space than we need. We could afford more than we have, though, and I think it's funny how I feel this sort of pressure to upsize.
This is the kind of thought process that I'm interested in understanding. Who or what is "telling" you that you can "afford more than you have". The media? Family? It's probably happening without you even knowing...without words. It's the predominant feeling in America. Sarah Susanka talked a lot about how we just don't have the language/concept of smaller because our culture is so obsessed with bigger.

Along the same lines...living within one's means is just a foreign concept these days (I'm not directing this at you...just in general). Honestly, even though on paper we make enough money to "afford" a big house, it would be foolish to do it with all of our school debt. I know there will be some that disagree with me...but I really think that lenders /realtors etc. do people a disservice when they offer all of these no money down, no closing cost home deals. That's how we got into our house...and it wasn't out of our means based on THEIR calculations (they don't care if we pay off debt for 50 years). I guess what I'm trying to say is...along with changing perceptions about your living space, it would be well to change your perceptions about standards of living, etc. It's all along the same lines. Once you simplify and downsize your space/life, you can't help but downsize spending, simplify commitments, etc. At least this is how it's been for us. SO...enough rambling. Is anyone still reading? :
post #109 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
Oh yes...those are towels and cloth napkins in the kitchen. The napkins are from Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn...both on huge clearance. They are so thick and fabulous. Towels are from all over...kitchen stores, discount stores, etc.
Ok, got ya!

It's almost like because you have limited space you're actually able to create a much nicer looking space having things creatively displayed/stored rather than poking things in cupboards or drawers anyway.
post #110 of 319
Along the lines of needing a bigger house and more stuff...
I know this may sound silly but I just finished reading Littlle House on the Prairie series (yes I am a big dork) and the thing that struck me the most is how little they had. How little anyone had but they were rich in so much. I mean Christmas was a stick of candy and a cup so everyone had their own cup! It is so simple and makes so much sense. When did things change? Why? Are really better off? I mean all of the technology we have today is supposed to be making our lives easier, but is it? Take washing machines for instance. Back in the day one had like three outfits and you washed your clothes once a week. Now that we have the convience of washing machines we have all these clothes and more laundry. Not that I'm willing to give up my washing machine but you know what I mean.
post #111 of 319
Totally still reading, mama, and loving your words!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
Along the same lines...living within one's means is just a foreign concept these days (I'm not directing this at you...just in general). Honestly, even though on paper we make enough money to "afford" a big house, it would be foolish to do it with all of our school debt. I know there will be some that disagree with me...but I really think that lenders /realtors etc. do people a disservice when they offer all of these no money down, no closing cost home deals. That's how we got into our house...and it wasn't out of our means based on THEIR calculations (they don't care if we pay off debt for 50 years). I guess what I'm trying to say is...along with changing perceptions about your living space, it would be well to change your perceptions about standards of living, etc. It's all along the same lines. Once you simplify and downsize your space/life, you can't help but downsize spending, simplify commitments, etc. At least this is how it's been for us. SO...enough rambling. Is anyone still reading? :


I wanted to add an addition to your comments, above. I live in a desert community. This past summer, many homes in the surrounding area were washed away by 'record' (i.e. only what they KNOW ) flooding. Some of the areas that were hit the worst had the most extravagant, beautiful, mountainside homes. In the past, my dp and I had always felt uneasy about the popular notion that it was only a matter of money/privilege that divided these people who were building custom homes in the desert from the rest of us. They often even called themselves environmental enthusiasts. They spared no expense, and they'd typically install high-tech alarm systems b/c, in their mind, the most realistic, potential threat was burglary.

Well, a good friend of mine happens to be a personal assistant for one of these homeowners. His property is one of the most elaborate in these parts, in fact. There were multiple dwellings whiched housed offices and guesthouses for his various employees and visitors. His personal home was HUGE, and he had an olympic-size pool (definitely questionable in the desert) as well as an elaborate garden and greenhouse. The flooding that hit his property destroyed nearly half of the structures. Whole buildings were washed away. The local washes were widened to almost 4X their original sizes (some of them joined together), and new washes were formed. The water lines busted from the pressure and caused flooding of their own. Some of the employees were even trapped in their offices from the mudslides and had to be rescued. The swimming pool cracked apart in the middle and the greenhouse was completely destroyed.

Needless to say - the mess was absolutely horrendous. The owner of the property was out of town when the floods came, so he just instructed his crew to clean up/repair/re-build while he stayed an extra few weeks away.

My friends who worked there cleaning up could not even put into words the disgusting nightmare that quickly ensued. There was no running water to wash with, and the germs and stench began making the crew physically ill. They were knee deep in moldy mud, INSIDE THE HOUSE, as they cleaned.

The most remarkable aspect of this story is that my friend (who was actually there when the flooding happened) told me that the damage occurred in only a few minutes. It just began to rain, and soon there were heavy sheets of rain that pounded down and caused the resulting damage.

It really had me thinking, yk? I mean, this guy *could afford* to make it all look like it never happened. And he could stay away, oblivious to the damage. He specifically requested that they not email him the photos of the damage, even. He didn't even want to know. And, *because he can afford to* he's having the place re-built.

What I concluded from it was gratitude for my simple and humble abode. The fact that such massive damage could occur so quickly - even with all their expensive and fancy, high-tech geolgists and infamous architects, they're all still only *small* humans in the face of Mother Nature, yk?
post #112 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post

This is the kind of thought process that I'm interested in understanding. Who or what is "telling" you that you can "afford more than you have". The media? Family? It's probably happening without you even knowing...without words. It's the predominant feeling in America. Sarah Susanka talked a lot about how we just don't have the language/concept of smaller because our culture is so obsessed with bigger.

Along the same lines...living within one's means is just a foreign concept these days (I'm not directing this at you...just in general). Honestly, even though on paper we make enough money to "afford" a big house, it would be foolish to do it with all of our school debt. I know there will be some that disagree with me...but I really think that lenders /realtors etc. do people a disservice when they offer all of these no money down, no closing cost home deals. That's how we got into our house...and it wasn't out of our means based on THEIR calculations (they don't care if we pay off debt for 50 years). I guess what I'm trying to say is...along with changing perceptions about your living space, it would be well to change your perceptions about standards of living, etc. It's all along the same lines. Once you simplify and downsize your space/life, you can't help but downsize spending, simplify commitments, etc. At least this is how it's been for us. SO...enough rambling. Is anyone still reading? :
Well, I for one appreciate your commentary!

When I say we can "afford more" I simply mean that we have no debt and money in the bank as well as some invested. We are living well within our means, which I agree is uncommon in our society.

The crazy thing is, I keep telling dh that we can afford for me NOT to work, but he just doesn't see it.

I would be very, very happy living in a much less expensive home and being a total SAHM.
post #113 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trini View Post
Well, I for one appreciate your commentary!

When I say we can "afford more" I simply mean that we have no debt and money in the bank as well as some invested. We are living well within our means, which I agree is uncommon in our society.

The crazy thing is, I keep telling dh that we can afford for me NOT to work, but he just doesn't see it.

I would be very, very happy living in a much less expensive home and being a total SAHM.
Wow...awesome What an awesome feeling to be so free. I really do hope your DH will see the light, and agree to you staying home. That would be such a blessing!
post #114 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
No...not yet But we've only been here 3 weeks. :
You've only been there 3 weeks and your apartment is that set up and beautiful! I'm...speechless. Totally stunned. Whoa.

:
post #115 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
If I feel like I need to leave, we can walk to the library, the park, a fountain, our favorite coffee shop, a deli/cafe, the Science Center...all within walking distance. :
All those things are within walking distance??? I'm so envious!! Wow, you live in a utopia!
post #116 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Wilmo View Post
Along the lines of needing a bigger house and more stuff...
I know this may sound silly but I just finished reading Littlle House on the Prairie series (yes I am a big dork) and the thing that struck me the most is how little they had. How little anyone had but they were rich in so much. I mean Christmas was a stick of candy and a cup so everyone had their own cup! It is so simple and makes so much sense. When did things change? Why? Are really better off? I mean all of the technology we have today is supposed to be making our lives easier, but is it? Take washing machines for instance. Back in the day one had like three outfits and you washed your clothes once a week. Now that we have the convience of washing machines we have all these clothes and more laundry. Not that I'm willing to give up my washing machine but you know what I mean.
Love Little House on the Prairie...the books and the tv series. That is my ideal of family! I liked your post...good thoughts.
post #117 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by trini View Post
The crazy thing is, I keep telling dh that we can afford for me NOT to work, but he just doesn't see it.

I would be very, very happy living in a much less expensive home and being a total SAHM.
Boy, I've been in that situation! It's so true. This is a great thread in a great forum.

Plus, following up on all the previous comments, do we really want to pass along massive consumerism to our children?
post #118 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
Along the same lines...living within one's means is just a foreign concept these days (I'm not directing this at you...just in general). Honestly, even though on paper we make enough money to "afford" a big house, it would be foolish to do it with all of our school debt. I know there will be some that disagree with me...but I really think that lenders /realtors etc. do people a disservice when they offer all of these no money down, no closing cost home deals. That's how we got into our house...and it wasn't out of our means based on THEIR calculations (they don't care if we pay off debt for 50 years). I guess what I'm trying to say is...along with changing perceptions about your living space, it would be well to change your perceptions about standards of living, etc. It's all along the same lines. Once you simplify and downsize your space/life, you can't help but downsize spending, simplify commitments, etc. At least this is how it's been for us. SO...enough rambling. Is anyone still reading? :
:
post #119 of 319
Alright, I was so inspired, I was up bright and early this morning getting rid of STUFF!! I didn't realize how much stuff I had to get rid of! It's funny how you just kind of get used to it, yk? Why did I have two colanders? Who needs two? Now I have one. And I had 6 frying pans. Now I have two. And so on . . . I actually feel ashamed of how much excess we had, it was disgusting, but I never even realized . . . I got rid of a bunch of stuff in the kitchen, and then I moved on to my son's room. I had already cleared out our clothing before. This time I got rid of a lot of toys. I also tossed 6 pairs of shoes in the donation bin. I know there is more that needs to go, but this is a good start. It feels so great! It is just addictive though, once you start it is so hard to stop!!! I want to get rid of EVERYTHING! *cackle cackle*

Just had to share . . .
post #120 of 319
I just wanted to add, the more stuff I purge, the richer I feel. I realize how much we really have. Funny, huh?
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