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Simplify and Downsize...You can do it too! - Page 15

post #281 of 319
Just wanted to de-lurk for a minute and say that I've been reading bits of this thread over the last few days and really enjoying it.

I am living with my family in a small-ish rental space, but we have ended up staying much longer than originally intended, as we have been hoping to buy our own home, but haven't found the right thing. (kinda long story, but small community, and very limited options.) For the first year, we pretty much just stored all of our stuff in the basement and lived in limbo, doing nothing to make this place "homey". Then I had the realization that maybe we won't move on until we've accepted and embraced the present, including our living situation; that there was a lesson God wanted us to learn here- about having gratitude for whatever He puts before us. It was like we were always looking ahead, and missing the ride that we were currently on.

Lately I have been decluttering, and trying to find more efficient ways to do with less. I am enjoying the space that the decluttering has created, and rediscovering that less is more. I have plans to hang pictures and decorate (using principles of simple living) once I am thru the clutter. The amazing "side bonus" is that I am also rediscovering so many little things to give thanks for every day, and a sense of rekindled passion in my life. A little decluttering in the physical spaces we live in can be an amazing way to declutter our mental, emotional, and spiritual spaces.

Anyways, thanks for all the inspiring words on this thread. I've really enjoyed reading.
post #282 of 319
I cant remember if anyone said this, but those spice holders can also be found at mountain rose herbs that way you can get them and support MDC!!
post #283 of 319
I've been thinking about Delight's photo tour and just had to come back and look at it again and read everyone's comments (and get a very infrequent computer fix... I'm staying up in the middle of the night b/c I never have time to read anything during the day!) I love how everything in the apartment is so nice to look at, so peaceful.

We remodeled our 1600 sq ft home last year (to revise the space we had, we didn't add any sq footage)... and I stumbled on a little decluttering technique that has worked for us: We packed up the kitchen for the remodel, and I have since only unpacked what I have needed since then. For instance, all the utensils went into a big shoebox, and through the year I have dug out the items that I needed to use. (A bit of a pain when in the middle of fixing dinner while holding baby, I'll admit) Now that the year is almost up, I feel pretty good about getting rid of whatever is left in the box--I don't even know what is in there, but there are at least 20 items!!! This technique could also be used when trying to decide to get rid of the 'just in case' stuff or the sentimental stuff. Stick it in a box and ignore it for a year, then revisit and see how you feel.

Another thing that we do is to designate a space in the laundry room as the 'intake spot'. Like many PPs, we have friends and relations who like to give us Stuff. Well, all new Stuff coming into the house goes to this place in the laundry room, where it sits and waits for me to a) need it and get it out, b) find a place for it and put it away permanently or c) realize it's been sitting there for months and isn't going to be used, therefore time to get rid of it somehow. The intake spot in conveniently located next to the goodwill box.

Yet another thing that we do is keep a running list of things to do for each room of the house, whether it be a cleaning/organizing project, repair/upgrade, or a purchase to be made. For instance, in the computer/study we need to: clean my desk, fix closet door so it closes, paint walls, organize bookshelf, figure out how much filing storage we need and purchase it.

Despite these and other efforts, we still have plenty of stuff to get rid of and organize. It is a neverending process.

-dflanag2
post #284 of 319
She's at it again, folks. Now going down to 382sq ft. Can't wait for the pics!
post #285 of 319
Thread Starter 
That's right. We move in tomorrow and we're sooooo excited. Can't wait to show you all some photos...it might be April until it's all done though. Yay for small spaces!
post #286 of 319
Lovely. Thanks for sharing.
post #287 of 319
We are living in about 300 sq ft right now for our family of five. DH is only living here part time, so it's really only 4 of us here full-time, but we're really here full-time. We spend a lot of time outside, but only really leave our property and the surrounding woods once or twice a week.

I really love our little house. We didn't exactly choose to be here and sadly we aren't getting any of the great benefits like lower bills or anything, but it's home and we're safe and happy and healthy here.

I honestly thought I would go crazy in such a small space, but it doesn't bother me. The unfinished part on the other hand gets to me at times! We are building the house around ourselves so the downstairs doesn't have say, walls or finished floors, etc.

We do have another house on our land and some of our stuff is there. We do all of our wash down there as we have no running water here. Most of our food and kitchen stuff, as well as some of our clothes, are down there. I'm hoping to have all of that (except the washer and dryer, which I can't do anything about just yet) moved up here by the end of the summer.

I think that with the right layout and the right resources, living small is totally do-able. I would like to add on to our house in the future. As my children grow I would like them to have more space of their own. I would also like more cooking and entertaining space. But even if we opted to triple the size of our house it would still be around 900 sq. ft. which is snug and somewhat conservative for a family of our size in this culture. Honestly, if we do manage to get an addition built I would love more babies! DH says he will happily provide me with more as soon as I can find a place to put them! I keep pointing out empty corners or bare spots on the floor, but he's not buying it!

Your apartment was gorgeous and inspiring. I can't wait to see what you do with your new place! I'm very jealous of the fact that you have it all pulled together so pleasantly right off the bat. I sometimes get antsy because I want everything to be done and nice right now. But all in good time... Meanwhile I'm content in my sweet little cabin surrounded by the people I love. I wish DH could be with us more, but mostly the little life it good! :
post #288 of 319
Autwn Melody- your my new heroe. We are a family of five in about 900sq feet and I tend to moan and complain!!! Your attitiude is great and shows me I need to gain some perspective again. You can read in my blog about or journey to downsizing.
post #289 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnMelody View Post
Your apartment was gorgeous and inspiring. I can't wait to see what you do with your new place! I'm very jealous of the fact that you have it all pulled together so pleasantly right off the bat. I sometimes get antsy because I want everything to be done and nice right now. But all in good time...
What a beautiful post...it truly is all in your perspective. I can relate to wanting it all done right away! We don't have any major structural changes going on though...just cosmetic. Those are a lot easier. I soooo admire you for your attitude and for homeschooling in such a small space. I love our new place so much...I want to be here for awhile. You've given me new hope that I could do more kids and homeschool here...thanks!
post #290 of 319
This is a super duper thread. I stumbled on it this morning (usually I'm over in nutrition and good eating ) and really it has really made me think about are we really striving for in this life.

Sara, I know you have heard this many, many times, but your blog is awesome. I love how you are able to mesh your relationship with Christ with you lifestyle. Sometimes I am so disheartened by people who claim Christianity, but yet seem so tied up into material goods (many rings, pastors with super mansions, their own jets, etc..) I think real prosperity comes from knowing that our worth does not come from what we own, but from Christ.

Really I do not think we should ever become so comfortable with the materialism that is part of this world. I definitely have a long way to go in the uncluttering/ hoarding areas in my life (we are so struggling with this)-but its nice to know that it is possible to live with less-and to live better with less- what a striking, yet powerful concept.
post #291 of 319
AutumMelody You make the MOST beautiful knit/felted items. I am so jealous of your talent. If you would like to sell some things let me know and I would love to buy some things from you. How did you learn to do all that?
post #292 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
Autwn Melody- your my new heroe. We are a family of five in about 900sq feet and I tend to moan and complain!!! Your attitiude is great and shows me I need to gain some perspective again. You can read in my blog about or journey to downsizing.
Oh, I guarentee you, I am not worthy of hero status! I can do my fair share of complaining, just ask my poor husband! I do try to keep things in perspective though. Lately when I'm feeling down or frustrated I'm really working at trying to create some positive change in our lives, even if it's a tiny one. I'm finding it to be so much better then wallowing in my own pity, which is sadly my instinct much of the time. It's so much more productive and refreshing to try to stay positive, but it's honestly something that I have to really work hard at.

You also have to realize that the house that we moved from was slowly killing us, quite literally. My children and I were very ill and it was really scary. Being in a house were we have a chance to be well is a lot to be thankful for! I have a friend who has been very sick in the past too and we both agree that it gets to a point where just being able to breath is such a blessing that it's all you need to feel happy.

I have been reading your blog! From before I even found this thread in fact. Actually just last week something that you wrote spoke to me and I was planning on emailing you about it, but the baby woke up and life happened, and I never got around to it...

Quote:
You've given me new hope that I could do more kids and homeschool here...thanks!
Thank you and that's great, I say go for it. Someday I'm going to get around to doing a little photo tour of our place too. I just keep telling myself to wait until it's a little more "done", but I think I should do it sooner, rather then later and update it as I go. I think it's important for people to see options outside of the mainstream. I love getting inspiration from other places and I feel honored to be able to pass it on in any little way I can. I feel like most people don't even have a frame of reference for this way of living. Goodness knows I didn't when we started. For us, not only are we living small, but rather rustic as well (granted the laptop I'm writing to you from kind of defies that idea, no? We lived here for a while pre-laptop too, I promise!). There were times when I was searching everywhere for people who "got" our situation and who could provide us with practical ideas as well as inspirational soul-food. I would like to be that for other people, when and if I can.

Quote:
AutumMelody You make the MOST beautiful knit/felted items. I am so jealous of your talent. If you would like to sell some things let me know and I would love to buy some things from you. How did you learn to do all that?
*blushing* Aw, thank you! That made my day! Would you believe that I actually had a tab open to your blog as I was loading this page? I spotted it yesterday and was reading a bit. It was funny because when I saw your reply I was like "wait a minute isn't that??" . There is something about this thread. I think I'm just really supposed to know the women that are posting here. There is some reason for it and I'm not going to question it!

In truth it's really not talent, just practice. I actually taught myself a couple of years ago when I was really sick and in bed a lot. It was just a fair bit of trial and error with a couple of library books for reference. I would love to make something for you! Feel free to pm me about what kinds of things you might be looking for and we'll talk!
post #293 of 319
Sara-put up some pics as you go. I think we'd all love to see the work in progress and the finished masterpiece. That little apartment has such potiental. We want to see it a mess and then watch you work some magic and make it perfect. It will be INSPIRATION.
post #294 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
Sara-put up some pics as you go. I think we'd all love to see the work in progress and the finished masterpiece. That little apartment has such potiental. We want to see it a mess and then watch you work some magic and make it perfect. It will be INSPIRATION.
tee hee...it won't be long now, I promise. Just a few more boxes to unpack and things to hang. My perfectionist self won't let me post the "after" photos until I'm totally done. The best "before" photos you can see are the ones I already posted about (on Flickr)...more photos to come soon.
post #295 of 319
Oh my GOD. I am going to go through the house with a box and collect everything I don't absolutely need or want right now. I am so inspired.
post #296 of 319
Pleeeeease show in progress pics. Part of my problem is not knowing *how* to get from here to there.
post #297 of 319
Already in absolute AWE of everything "Delight", but now I've just read AutumnMelody's blog like a well-written book...it one sitting. Yeah...every post!! WOW! You are amazing and I found myself wishing I was invited to your home for tea and a knitting class!! I want a LIFE class, actually and long for your knowledge of crafts and the patience to teach CHILDREN CRAFTS, your cooking and writing skills, too. Ever think of putting up some How-To-Waldorf-NFL-cook whole-foods info for those of us less creative people? What are your "life-Bibles"? Where did you learn all these life skills? Seriously....I'm find myself somewhat envious of people like you, yet so inspired! I'm really struggling to get out of the EVER BORING coloring-pages craft time for my kids. I actually have one who HATES coloring, yet, I'm just in a really dry-spell in creating things with my kids/teaching them how to create. How in the WORLD do you get all that done with three kids? Your daily routine...PLEASE?!?!?
post #298 of 319
Gorgeous home and photography! You are really inspiring - thanks for sharing. I added you to my flicker contacts (Ruthwphoto) and I will follow your blog! Are you a fellow photographer?
post #299 of 319
I came back since I actually made it through the whole thread so I do see you are a photographer! Awesome work! We are currently doing Crown Ministries at our church (Similar to DRamsey) and it has been wonderful and so freeing to see God's perspective on posessions and money. Who knew that there was so much guidance! Anyway I have always been very organized and bothered by clutter but since my son died in late 05 I really let things go downhill... I got sick shortly after that and it really was all downhill from there. Now that I am back to myself again I really am getting the itch to get things going. This thread has been a blessing and just what I needed to get me started.
By the way I saw in your my space that you like Over The Rhine too very cool - it is hard to find people that know who they are
Anyway thanks so much for the inspiration. I am looking forward seeing your new cozy home.
post #300 of 319
waiting for the update pics.
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