or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Small house thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Small house thread - Page 3

post #41 of 790
We have 1344 sq ft for 5 of us with a basement that in gross storage only. It gets wet and unplesent down there. We feel a bit crowded but thats mostly caused by the lack of storage. Dh would also like an office space, desperatly. That is our bigest cluter problem. He is self employed so he needs some room to work, but we just dont have it now. We also don't have an attached garage, so that sucks. (it has a gravel floor to which really sucks!!) Oh, and I can really relate to the trouble with company. Its really hard.
post #42 of 790
We've got about 1500sqft for three of us right now (in a really miserable condo community), and after a little experimenting, we've been finding out that we have too much space here. Even allowing for a good-sized play area for Abby, we could lose 1/3 of the house and never miss it. Once we finish killing the clutter monster, we won't even be using all of our storage space.

When we bought the place, we thought we'd stay for a few years and get something bigger when we had a second kid. It turns out that I'm all but infertile, so ... so much for that. On the other hand, there's a high probability that my father will be moving in with us next year, and he can't manage our stairs.

We're hoping to downsize and get something smaller (and easier to maintain) with a first floor bedroom for my father. We're thinking maybe a Sears or equivalent kit house since there's a lot of those in our area. Most of the ones I've seen are under 1200sqft -- sounds perfect.
post #43 of 790
Hi we just built a house it is about 1,200 square feet. We live in Japan, so when people come over I get a lot of *wow, how big* or *nice and spacious* comments. LOL. It is an open plan on the first floor, with a vaulted ceiling bit near the stairs. There are 3 of us (soon to be 4) and I think it is plenty big. On Thanksgiving I had 14 people over, 9 adults and 5 children. We were in an apt. with about half the space so I am in heaven now. Like a pp we were able to use better materials with the smaller house. After moving we bought a sofa and coffee table. I think the open plan, and the lack of clutter make it seem more spacious, and the light and windows maybe. I still have stuff I need to declutter, too. I have taken some stuff to the charity shop and need to do more before baby comes. I hope to NEVER fill all the shelves or storage space.
Kathryn
post #44 of 790
Decorating is a challenge, for sure. We got two small trees and I put them on tables -- one behind the couch and one upstairs in the landing area. I got totally stressed last night though b/c the downstairs tree made the livingroom all the smaller. Also, my dh,tho he tries, has no concept of how to arrange stuff. He always wants to shove everything against the walls, or thinks that things will fit where they clearly will not. E.g. he thought we could move the t.v. into a different corner, and put the entertainment center "someplace else". I was like, "Where?!?"

That's one thing I hate about our small house. One new thing and EVERYTHING gets out of whack. I said, "I want to move." Which prompted the okay how much money are you going make to make up for the extra mortgage payment. And my comeback is always: Our mortgage will stay the same b/c we'll make a profit on this house....We are like an old married couple. Wait a minute -- we ARE an old married couple!

But now this morning -- I'm back on track the trees look beautiful -- and you can smell the piney smell all through the house....:
post #45 of 790
Us too. We got the xmas tree and everything been a disaster- we cant even enjoy the tree. Theres just no place for anything to go! It's so frustrating! Almost 900sq. feet is killing me.

But I am trying to love it- trying to overcome and make the best of it- I dont want to do the "I'd be happy if I had...." game that my parents have done all my life.
post #46 of 790
We have a wicked skinny 6' tree. We used to have a shorter one but it was "fatter" and thus actually took up more room. This one fits in a space that's less than 3 ft. In 500sq ft, every foot counts!
post #47 of 790
:
post #48 of 790
My family is very, very fortunate! We live in a 1200 sq ft house we built 3 years ago - 2 bedrooms and a full bath up, greatroom, den, pantry, half bath, laundry closet down. No basement. Right now it's actually too big for the 4 of us - we cosleep and the boys play in the greatroom, so their bedroom is rarely used, and we rarely use the half bath. We have closets in each bedroom to help with seasonal storage.

I purge A LOT and often, so we have no clutter and no space use issues. Also our philosophy is buy better quality, but less, so we have a small amount of very open ended toys for the boys, pretty enough to display housewares, that kind of thing. No knick knacks or purely decorative items. Very basic furniture, solid color fabrics...we're just about to the point where there really is nothing left for me to give away, and thankfully our friends and family either have the same philosophy or are at least respectful of ours, so no one gifts us uneeded items anymore.

I love having a small house and wish it was smaller! I like the tiny mortgage, not having a lot of stuff, not having to spend lots of time cleaning, and especially because the way our home is designed, we spend most of our waking hours together as a family. We have high ceilings downstairs, lots of windows throughout for natural light all day long, and the most used material is wood - since we weren't paying for square footage we could put funds towards niceties like big windows, hardwoods floors, butcher block counter tops, and a wonderful deep soaking tub. So it is really very pretty and comfortable.

Most other people love our house too. They are always surprised when they enter at how much bigger it feels on the inside than it looks on the outside. We never have issues entertaining, although overnight guests will be hard when they boys start sleeping in their own room.
post #49 of 790
Sage,
You sound like you're in a great home for your family. You're my inspiration, I'm working on feeling that way about our home. When I look around it seems like it should feel spacious and we should have plenty of space. My ongoing project is to purge and make my home everything that we want it to be.
post #50 of 790
We are in a small house and I love it! Not sure of the exact square footage--it seems to vary on all our documents--but it is somewhere around 900. Previously, we lived in a 350 sq foot apartment, and a 1000 square foot apartment.

Our house has a living room, an eat-in kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom downstairs, and one bedroom and a large walk-through closet/hallway thing upstairs. We have a ton of room. Since we all co-sleep upstairs, the downstairs bedrooms are a playroom and an office. There is a rec room in the basement that we tore out but will be rebuilding soon.

We entertain all the time and just had 40 people over for ds' first birthday party. We have a wide, full size Christmas tree but are entertaining the idea of a tall slim for next year. Maybe I'll post some small house pics sometime if I get my stuff together.
post #51 of 790
I'm going to jump on here because I'd love some tips and tricks. Granted, we are in a 1700 sq ft house w/unfinished basement (well part is of the basement is a 1 car garage), but it is small to us. Partially because its very segmented - the downstairs is divided into 4 rooms, so the living room is small even though we have a spare room on that level and partially because we moved from a larger 2400 sq ft house.

I am not really one of those of you who love living in the smaller house, I am looking forward to getting a bigger house someday, though I don't like the accumulation of crap that comes with the larger spaces. We bought the smaller home with the intention of saving money and eventually when the market is right, rent out this house and buy a bigger one. I purged a lot of stuff in the cross country move, but moving in here (and actually leaving half our stuff in storage in my mom's attic) I realize we have a long way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lckrause View Post
We have a wicked skinny 6' tree. We used to have a shorter one but it was "fatter" and thus actually took up more room. This one fits in a space that's less than 3 ft. In 500sq ft, every foot counts!
We got a 'slim' tree too, it looked so skinny in the store, but its just perfect for the corner of our room. Any larger tree would overwhelm our little living room. My husband calls it 'efficient'.
post #52 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
I am not really one of those of you who love living in the smaller house, I am looking forward to getting a bigger house someday, though I don't like the accumulation of crap that comes with the larger spaces. We bought the smaller home with the intention of saving money and eventually when the market is right, rent out this house and buy a bigger one. I purged a lot of stuff in the cross country move, but moving in here (and actually leaving half our stuff in storage in my mom's attic) I realize we have a long way to go.
I thought I would comment. I think it's really a mindset. I've lived in bigger places and bigger didn't really make me happier, stuff doesn't make me happy. But having a comfortable loving home to share w/my family does. There are things that I need to work on in our home. Like the tons of crap we have...but I try (and am trying) not to focus so much on the actual building, kwim. There's alot to love about a smaller home...I hope you can grow to love living in your small place.
post #53 of 790
Checking in here. We've got a 1500 sqf home. It is just the two of us until May but we hope to grow to a family of 4-5. The thing I love about our home right now is that it doesn't take long to clean, the closets are plentiful and spacious, the vaulted ceiling, and the open layout of the kitchen/dining room and living area. All of these things keep it from feeling too cramped. I still haven't wrangled a good craft/sewing storage and practice area but am hoping that will come sooner rather than later. Oh, and we need about a million more book shelves!
post #54 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrinat View Post
I thought I would comment. I think it's really a mindset. I've lived in bigger places and bigger didn't really make me happier, stuff doesn't make me happy. But having a comfortable loving home to share w/my family does. There are things that I need to work on in our home. Like the tons of crap we have...but I try (and am trying) not to focus so much on the actual building, kwim. There's alot to love about a smaller home...I hope you can grow to love living in your small place.
My issues with the smaller current home relate around things like having nowhere for my frequent visiting in laws and other friends to sleep once DS starts using his room (and if my BIL & fam want to come they have to stay at a hotel), not being able to host my family at holidays (easter & thanksgiving were 30+ people, we were squished in my mom's & aunt's homes and that's fine, but its physically impossible to do here). Even Christmas, which we are going to do xmas morning at home for the first time ever, and go to my mom's for dinner (again, probably 20 people) - but my mom, dad and brothers will probably come over to watch the kids open presents and even that will be a challenge to fit them. As a whole we are pretty happy with the house, we especially love the big yard which I found was hard to come by even in the larger homes, but its never going to be able to accomodate some of the things I want which are mostly connection with family and friends related, not possession related, so eventually we will probably get something a little bigger and/or better laid out for what we want to be able to do.

That's all fine, we made this choice because we wanted to save money (and I'm very glad we did it) and because we didn't want to buy at the top of our price range something that wasn't perfect for us. So our plan now is to live here for 5-10 years, then when we are ready take our time and find the perfect house for us without feeling rushed or having to compromise.
post #55 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by McFeelings View Post
I still haven't wrangled a good craft/sewing storage and practice area but am hoping that will come sooner rather than later.
I'm in the process of carving out a space for myself in our 1700 sq. ft home. I have commandered a store room at the top of our stairs that was full of stuff. I've been freecycling like crazy and today I started moving in!!! Woo Hoo! I never thought I'd have the space for a craft room (well technically a craft closet, but I'm thrilled!). I did a search on the web and there's some good ideas out there. Using closets, armoire's, eaves under stairs, garages...etc. I had been in the dining room, but as it's our lone eating area, not so good!
post #56 of 790
I've desided to declutter my house this year and I've started with my wardrobe. I'm happy to say that I've loaded threee huge garbage bags full of clothes, shoe's and accessories. It feels so good. Especially seeing how most everything has a place. I still have a ways to go but I feel good about this small feet.
post #57 of 790
There are three of us in a 1200 square foot house with a two car garage, which really won't fit two cars unless you don't want to get in on both sides of the car, but always has one car parked in it, and one crazy dog. Our lot is 100 feet wide and 75 feet deep, so I really would like a bigger lot but I love love love our house and we got a great deal on it so we're staying.

I would like less to clean so I wouldn't mind going smaller but we're hoping to have lots of kids so we really should just stay put and grow into this one.

I started reading this thread b/c I love little houses but I didn't think I could be a part of it, then I saw people with houses bigger than ours so I'm joining up. It's very encouraging to see larger families in smaller houses.

I love the flylady idea about storing things where you use them. We've taken most of the towels out of the linen closet and put them in the bathrooms. Washcloths, hand towels and beach towels stay in the closet since we use them for things other than the bathroom. I'm moving the sheets to under the mattress when dd gets up from her nap. Any other ideas???
post #58 of 790
wet basements, my mom had hers sealed. It really, really made a huge difference. Now you can store stuff down there w/o it getting gross. Sadly my step-father has now stored EVERYTHING down there and you can hardly walk through...

kitchen storage, another idea from my mom. She put in extra shelves in her cupboards, the highest one is only large enough to hold the lasagne pan and other casserole dishes, it is a bit of a reach to get to, I need a step stool, but since there are not other things piled on top it is easy to take down. She has another one deep enough for only coffee cups. It made much more storage, or efficient storage I should say in the existing space. She still needs to do some major decluttering `tho.

Kathryn
post #59 of 790
Can I join? The five of us are living in a 1000 sqfter, with no accesible attic, and no basement, just a ranch slab. I am going crazy with toys and clothes, and finding enough high places to keep little fingers away from dangerous or important things.
post #60 of 790

How much space does one family need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryLang View Post
Can I join? The five of us are living in a 1000 sqfter, with no accesible attic, and no basement, just a ranch slab. I am going crazy with toys and clothes, and finding enough high places to keep little fingers away from dangerous or important things.

That's me, crazy w/clothes and toys! I'm really trying to purge...I keep saying it so that I'll keep doing it.

My dh and I keep discussing the whole do we need a bigger house or just less stuff. Dh thinks we need a bigger house. I think our house is fine (especially the smaller mortgage). But here's the stats. We have 3 bdrm 2.5 baths and approx. 1700sft. We also have 4 children (3 boys and 1 girl). My dh swears dd needs her own room at some point. I don't think it really matters. I know there are tons of different gender sibs sharing rooms from birth to college and that it won't scar either kid.
I'm interested in opinions on how much space does a family really need.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Mindful Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Small house thread