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Simplify and Downsize...You can do it too! - Page 3

post #41 of 319
Thanks for sharing your beautiful home. I've blogged about it...ah, the green eyed monster. I wish I could do that...maybe one day I'll get to that point. :-)
post #42 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sonja View Post
Thanks for sharing your beautiful home. I've blogged about it...ah, the green eyed monster. I wish I could do that...maybe one day I'll get to that point. :-)
Ah, what's the URL for your blog? You can't tease us!
post #43 of 319
Delight - was the coffeshop in Bozeman called the Leaf & Bean, by any chance?
post #44 of 319
Wow, Delight. I'm so glad I came across this thread!

You inspired me to declutter, and I started with the kitchen. The dishrack is gone (dishes by hand here) - not enough dishes to warrant one anymore! Yay! I abhored that dirty space-hog. And I like the silverware crock idea. So the silverware drawer is gone - moved the spatulas up a drawer! Now dishes are all Do As You Go. So simple.

Next on the list - I'm gearing up to Family Cloth. Got a few receiving blankets from the thrift store yesterday for $.99, and found a great enameled stock pot for $1.50 today, to hold the used ones. We'll start with #1 and see how it goes. DP is on board, so no barriers there!

We sleep on the floor, have little to no furniture, but can you believe we still have too much stuff? Clutter sucks the life out of me. Paperwork piles up, and with a 3 year old our craft supplies can get really out of hand. Thanks for helping me to get back on track. Maybe I'll do the office next.

BTW - A year ago we moved from Des Moines to Boise. We also have a '77 Westy. Orange. Gotta PM you about that!

Thanks for sharing so much on the blog. It's been so inspiring!
post #45 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
So I'd like to see a few more pictures ,
The apartment *after* you've had the flu.
The apartment *after* you've had guests over.

Also, other than guitar, what hobbies does your husband have?
I know you do photography, home design, cooking, and inducing inspiration in others--any other hobbies?

Do you have a VHS/DVD collection at all? Where? Where's your computer hidden? Do you have more books somewhere?

What, if anything, helped you in your layout decisions? What's the process you went through to compress a huge house to a tiny apartment? (I probably should look at your blog again.)

Have you found any difficulty in sharing laundry space with other families?
Yes, yes...of course the apartment gets messy. We do LIVE here. But because it's so small, and I hate clutter, I will never let it go more than a day without being tidied up again. Plus, it only takes a little bit to tidy up...because there isn't much to tidy. It's great. When everything has a place, you just keep picking up the next thing, and putting it away...and repeat. Before, I would get so sidetracked...wandering all over trying to find a place for something. I am also blessed to have a husband who is great at cleaning house. There is nothing like leaving for the day and coming back to a clean place ... that you didn't have to clean!

Guests? Haven't had any of those. We probably won't have many overnight guests. We can sleep one person. My family lives in town...and DH's family will just get a hotel room or stay at my family's house.

Hmmmm...my DH snowboards, wakeboards, camps...etc. Lots of outdoor things. All of our gear is either in our VW Bus or stored in our rented garage space. It's a shared garage, so really all we have in there is our "bullet" that goes on the rack on top of the bus and our bikes/Burley.

I don't have much spare time, but I do like to make cards/crafty things. My craft stuff is all stored in the apt.

Our DVD's are in a storage book (no cases)...along with CD's. They are stored behind the electronics cabinet, out of sight. Most of our music on on our iPods. That's it for our books...we donated or sold about 200 books before the move. Just kept our favorites.

Computers...we both have laptops for work. No desktop.

The process of downsizing...just DOING IT. The hardest part is starting. And then it becomes an addiction. Once you have one uncluttered space, you'll crave more. Once you give away your first bag to Goodwill...you be running back home to do it again. Baby steps...setting goals...not taking on too much at a time. All of those help. It can be a very emotional journey...sometimes, I would say over and over..."I have no emotional attachment to this material possession!".

The 3 catalysts that got us on our way...
  • The desire to be debt free. We are big fans of Dave Ramsey. We started selling everything so we could pay off stuff faster...and the more we sold, the more we realized how much junk/excess we had! So we just kept getting rid of it. Getting our house ready to sell helped too...we had to "stage" it and de-clutter every room anyway.
  • The book "Material World" by Peter Menzel. I read it from cover to cover. I have never felt like I didn't have enough after I read that book. It's a huge eye opener...everyone should read it.
  • Living in a hotel room for 3 weeks during a business trip. I realized that I didn't need much space to be happy. I think our apartment is about the same size as that hotel room.

Laundry...I don't mind doing laundry in a public place. In fact, I love going to the laundromat because I can do all my loads at once! It's great. My parents live in town as well, so I've been taking a load over whenever we visit (a couple times a week). The laundry room in our building is really big and bright with nice machines...I like being down there better than my OWN laundry room at our house!

Hope this helps with some of your questions
post #46 of 319
Wow it looks so cute!! I couldn't do it, the kitchen is too small for me but it's inspiring to see someone do it.
post #47 of 319
Sara, do you keep your craft stuff in the bathroom?

I'm really starting to think hard about my knitting stuff. I'd like to pare it all down (needles, notions, and the yarns worth stashing) to one container.

I agree, Material World is a wonderfully powerful book. I don't own it, but I do check out from the library on a regular basis. Peter Menzel has a great site--have you seen it? Hungry Planet is great, too. I've still never seen Women of the Material World (I think that's the title)--any thoughts on it?

I'm amazed at all of you mamas who have decluttered dishes! I'd LOOOOVE to. I have eight place settings (dinner, salad, bowls) in my main dish cupboard and my Villeroy and Boch wedding dishes (12 place settings--what was I thinking?) in the wings. I'd love to sell the latter on Ebay, but I can't imagine the shipping nightmare. Not worth it. DH's family lives nearby and we have the occasional family gathering at our place. Inevitably, we end up using all of our normal place settings and then some of our V&B ones, too. I hold on to these because the alternative is using paper, which I won't do. So do you mamas just not eat-in? We live in a rural community and have a log home with a huge deck, so our home is BBQ-central.

I could really scale back on kitchen stuff. What do you consider kitchen essentials? I've got SOOO much stuff. Bakeware, Corningware, bowls, pewter serving platters, utensils, appliances...granted, I LOVE to cook, but I'm stuffed to the gills. And with all I have, it seems I have some imbalance...for example, I have two sets of mixing bowls: Pyrex and stainless steel. But I only have one nice serving bowl. (Maybe one is enough though?)

Stuff. It's such a headache. (Granted, it's a headache I'm grateful for. Still.)
post #48 of 319
Sara, I was going to also say that you are sooo fortunate to have a husband on board! Mine spouse is getting better at the whole purging thing, but he still has a ridiculous amount of stuff (plants and books, especially). Still, at least he's frutal and doesn't buy anything! It's just old stuff he holds on to.
post #49 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveGirl View Post
Ah, what's the URL for your blog? You can't tease us!
Ah, sorry! Got interrupted by the little one:-). www.confessionsofahoarder.blogspot.com
post #50 of 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
Hope this helps with some of your questions
Yep. It does in fact provide exactly the same answer I'd come to. Change has to start with me. Bother. Why does it never come to "eat more chocolate?"

Also: I'm right that a huge problem in my house is that things don't have homes.
post #51 of 319
Wow! It's gorgeous. Do you know apartment therapy, which is about beautiful small space living? (www.apartmenttherapy.com) They do an annual contest for the best-designed small home.

My question: I know you said the projector is a loan from work, but I'd really like to know more. Does it connect to the cable directly or do you have to do something else? I couldn't figure it out from looking at stuff online. (We're renovating and I really want to remove the tv from the living room, but I don't know that I want to be completely TV-free. This might be a way to have it available when we want it, but not omnipresent.
post #52 of 319
I was going to also recommend Apartment Therapy. I get a lot of great information and ideas from that site. It is the best site to help with simplifying. Check out the most recent small space contest--it is amazing what you can do with smaller spaces. It shows space is not a necessity as many think it is.

I also commend you. Your place looks amazing. The color, the placement, it is just gorgeous. It is such a great experience deculttering, simplifying and downsizing. I did the same thing, and I love it. We moved from a 1800 sq ft. 3 bedroom, 2 bath house to a one bedroom, 450 sq ft apartment. And it was the best thing we ever did. It is amazing how much you really do not need, and how much is really unnecessary. We now live in an apartment that is about 600 sq ft, and it is the perfect amount of space. I love having what I need, where I need it and I am able to find it immediately. It is such an amazing feeling. I spend so much less time looking for things, cleaning, organizing and paying attention to my space. It is so freeing.

Community laundry is the best. I look forward to the laundramat. I can do 6 loads at once, get everything done in 2 hours and chat with neighbors. Plus it forces me to fold everything so I accomplish the task fully.
post #53 of 319
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveGirl View Post
Sara, do you keep your craft stuff in the bathroom?
Yes, I have some of my paper, glue, scissors, etc. in the back of that cupboard. The rest of my crafting stuff is in a small toolbox up above the bedroom closet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveGirl View Post
I agree, Material World is a wonderfully powerful book. I don't own it, but I do check out from the library on a regular basis. Peter Menzel has a great site--have you seen it? Hungry Planet is great, too. I've still never seen Women of the Material World (I think that's the title)--any thoughts on it?
I have both of those other books. I love them both. So beautiful...wonderful. The women one really breaks out the details of each woman's life in the original Material World book. I just can't believe what some of them have been through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveGirl View Post
I'd love to sell the latter on Ebay, but I can't imagine the shipping nightmare. Not worth it. DH's family lives nearby and we have the occasional family gathering at our place. Inevitably, we end up using all of our normal place settings and then some of our V&B ones, too. I hold on to these because the alternative is using paper, which I won't do. So do you mamas just not eat-in? We live in a rural community and have a log home with a huge deck, so our home is BBQ-central.
Can you sell on Craigslist instead of eBay? That way there is no shipping. Or what about putting up a flyer at your local grocery store? Or an ad in the classifieds? Some newspapers have very cheap ads for goods under $50.

And regarding the plates. Because you do need to have plates, etc. to entertain...and you do have the room for it...why don't you keep 4 place settings, 4 cups, 4 silverware sets and keep those in the kitchen. Take the rest and put it in the basement in a tupperware? This is what I did when we had our house and it worked great. That way you're not dealing with the literal clutter and the MIND clutter of just seeing all that extra stuff there everyday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveGirl View Post
I could really scale back on kitchen stuff. What do you consider kitchen essentials? I've got SOOO much stuff. Bakeware, Corningware, bowls, pewter serving platters, utensils, appliances...granted, I LOVE to cook, but I'm stuffed to the gills. And with all I have, it seems I have some imbalance...for example, I have two sets of mixing bowls: Pyrex and stainless steel. But I only have one nice serving bowl. (Maybe one is enough though?)
I loooove to cook as well, so it was hard for me to downsize. But what I've found is that I actually enjoy cooking more with my minimal kitchen. I used to sell Pampered Chef, so you can imagine what my "before" kitchen looked like Wow. I had every gadget imaginable. I sold about 75% of it on eBay and garage sales and only kept things that I could not imagine doing without. I found that one great knife can take the place of many gadgets. For example...why do you need an avocado slicer when you can use a knife? Yes, handy, but essential? No. It was hard to break out of the mindset of needing all of those things...especially after selling Pampered Chef! I could sell kitchen gadgets to anyone!

I have:

*A set of stainless steel bowls (a great garage sale find!)
*2 ceramic serviing bowls (large and small),
*4-5 medium sized plates (not full size)
*3 bowls for cereal/soup
*Several small sauce/Bella bowls
*4 mugs
*2 deep plate/bowl thingys
*6-7 glasses
*About 4 each of silverware
*Food processor (large and mini)
*Food chopper
*Crockpot
*2 cast irons skillets (1 large, 1 small)
*Stock pot for soups
*Blender
*Stoneware: Muffin, Bar pan, 9 x 13
*Strainer
*2 wooden spoons, 3 rubber spatulas (diff. sizes), ladle, scoops, and other odds and ends.

I'm sure there are a few more random things...but this is what I can think of. Wow...that still seems like so much! :

Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
Wow! It's gorgeous. Do you know apartment therapy, which is about beautiful small space living? (www.apartmenttherapy.com) They do an annual contest for the best-designed small home.
Yes...I read AT daily! I discovered it as we were moving to the apt. I love it! I love the photo tours!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
My question: I know you said the projector is a loan from work, but I'd really like to know more. Does it connect to the cable directly or do you have to do something else? I couldn't figure it out from looking at stuff online. (We're renovating and I really want to remove the tv from the living room, but I don't know that I want to be completely TV-free. This might be a way to have it available when we want it, but not omnipresent.
The projector hooks to our VCR and thats how we get the TV to project...and then obviously to the DVD for movies. Sometimes to the computer for movies.
I really like it. It was amazing how different the room felt when we finally got rid of our TV...and we only had a 13 incher! It just feels more calm without it there all the time..."staring" at you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meco View Post
I also commend you. Your place looks amazing. The color, the placement, it is just gorgeous. It is such a great experience deculttering, simplifying and downsizing. I did the same thing, and I love it. We moved from a 1800 sq ft. 3 bedroom, 2 bath house to a one bedroom, 450 sq ft apartment. And it was the best thing we ever did. It is amazing how much you really do not need, and how much is really unnecessary. We now live in an apartment that is about 600 sq ft, and it is the perfect amount of space. I love having what I need, where I need it and I am able to find it immediately. It is such an amazing feeling. I spend so much less time looking for things, cleaning, organizing and paying attention to my space. It is so freeing.
Thanks so much for the compliments! I You had quite the downsize yourself...even more than us! Yay! I'm NOT the only crazy one Like you said, it is so freeing and I don't miss the space ONE BIT. Everything having a place has been a life changing thing for us. And it's great...because as I'm putting stuff away, there are somethings that I can't find a place for...and then I think "what are YOU doing in my house?! You must go to Goodwill! " Having a basement is the worst thing ever, IMO...just a place to store crap that you will never use. I don't miss being able to throw everything down there. I do miss my giant recycling corner though! If anyone has some good ideas for recycling in small spaces...let me know!
post #54 of 319
All I can say is you are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your beautiful space and your life.
post #55 of 319
Is there someplace in walking distance where you could take your recycling daily? Or is there any recycling at your dh's work? If you had some way to deal with the recycling daily or every other day it'd probably all fit in a couple of small cloth bags. You could hang those on pegs in your kitchen--right by the cupboard that's pretending to be a pantry, for instance.
post #56 of 319
Thread Starter 
Thanks for those recycling ideas...I actually contacted my landlady about getting a recycling program set up and she told me I could research it and let her know. I know that we have curbside pickup in our neighborhood, just not at our building. So...I'm off to research

As for storage of that recycling...I wouldn't have to do much of that if I could just keep the bins in the laundry room of the building and possibly get others to participate too.
post #57 of 319
Cool I hope that works out!
post #58 of 319
Delight, I just found your blog at lunchtime...and I already cleaned out my closet!! And my books!! Thank you for being such an inspiration. Our house is 1189 sq ft an I often feel like we are in such tight quaters when really it's all of our stuff!! I now see so much possibility in the space around me. We had told ourselves that we could not have another child w/o abigger house. I knew all along that this is not true but now I really see how it could work. BTW, I have a red couch too and my livving room/dining room is also yellow, green, and red.
post #59 of 319
Wow, I know how to kill a thread
post #60 of 319
Don't worry, I kill threads a lot too.

After getting loft beds for both the kids' rooms, I am thinking about getting one for myself too. I sleep on a futon in the living room (the kids have the two tiny bedrooms) and it takes up lots of space, plus after 5 years the mattress on it is totally dead. A loft bed would free up so much space in here! I found full size loft beds here: http://www.collegebedlofts.com/order_loft_cc.html I wonder if it would be cheaper to buy the wood and build it? My ex says he could do it for me. Wood costs a lot though.
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