Living in a 600 sq ft cottage... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 33 Old 10-02-2009, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've seen the threads about mamas here living in small houses. I may be living in a small house because I'm about to move. I'm moving out of the area where I currently live, and into a more popular area. Because of that, I can't afford the rent for a same sized place.

What furniture should I keep, what should I store or sell?

How do I manage 4 of us in a small house. Are there tips of the trade, sort of, that you can share with me on helping everyone get along in such a small place? We will have some space outside to play, but NO backyard.

I'll be putting my bed and the girls bunkbed in the bedroom for my girls and I to sleep on, and in the living room our sofa and a futon sofa for my son to sleep on. We have to have our table and chairs, our computer, our tv/dvd player, sofa, futon sofa, dressers. Should I make a space in the bedroom for watching videos, and keep the livingroom/dining room for just sleeping (for my son) sitting and reading for everyone, and homeschooling? We could put our book cases in our living room to keep everything close.

I know of families who live on boats for years at a time. Can we live in 600 sq ft?

Thanks for any advice or thoughts, stories about your transition from large to small. I'm prepared to sell stuff.

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#2 of 33 Old 10-02-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jyotsna View Post
I've seen the threads about mamas here living in small houses. I may be living in a small house because I'm about to move. I'm moving out of the area where I currently live, and into a more popular area. Because of that, I can't afford the rent for a same sized place.

What furniture should I keep, what should I store or sell?

How do I manage 4 of us in a small house. Are there tips of the trade, sort of, that you can share with me on helping everyone get along in such a small place? We will have some space outside to play, but NO backyard.

I'll be putting my bed and the girls bunkbed in the bedroom for my girls and I to sleep on, and in the living room our sofa and a futon sofa for my son to sleep on. We have to have our table and chairs, our computer, our tv/dvd player, sofa, futon sofa, dressers. Should I make a space in the bedroom for watching videos, and keep the livingroom/dining room for just sleeping (for my son) sitting and reading for everyone, and homeschooling? We could put our book cases in our living room to keep everything close.

I know of families who live on boats for years at a time. Can we live in 600 sq ft?

Thanks for any advice or thoughts, stories about your transition from large to small. I'm prepared to sell stuff.
So, this is a 1BR?

Is the computer a laptop or desktop? If it's a laptop, get rid of any computer desk you might have and just use it on the dining room table.

How many dressers? A sofa AND a futon sofa? I think you might have to get rid of one or the other. Too much furniture in a small space always makes it worse.

If you're renting, are you sure the landlord will rent to all 4 of you?

You might very well have to pair clothes down and get rid of at least one of your dressers. Depending on how many bookcases/available wall space, you might have to cull the books out, as well. Put dressers in closets, if possible, to give you more floor space in the BR.

Basically, it comes down to getting rid of as much stuff as you can. You're going to have to really look at your seasonal stuff (such as decorations) - you're simply not going to have the space.

I'm a minimalist myself, BTW.

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#3 of 33 Old 10-02-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Ok so is this a 1bd/1ba?

Is there a dining room, and if so could it be "blocked" off in anyway to make a room?

Are there any large closets or built in bookcases/shelves?



How old are all the kids? In possibility of putting all the kids in the bedroom and you sleep on the futon so you have a bit of privacy?



Is there any storage/basement/attic space at all?

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#4 of 33 Old 10-02-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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Will there be a yard or porch or anything like that?
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#5 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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I don't usually post here but was lurking and well here is a subject I know a lot about (not saving money but living in a tiny house!)

We had a 3bed 2.5 bath 700 sq foot house before. Our last place was 800 sq feet although we couldn't find 800 sq feet when we measured it I promise you

So, actually I'm now in a place that is 1900 sq feet and you know what? It's too big! I actually preferred the little place. Easier to clean and keep tidy!

Here are some tips maybe something is useful

Sort through your stuff, donate, ebay or trash what you never use. We've moved international a few times and I use this theory when buying or keeping stuff "would I PAY to have this shipped" I mean some things I wouldn't, cheap stuff like say a mop, but furniture etc I use that theory and nick nacks, which we have little of.

We used 1 chest of drawers for the 4 of us, 1 closet, had more room for other bits.

Wall shelves are FAB! you can use them for storing books, nappies, pictures. they sell awesome fabric holders at pottery barn, then you can put them on the shelf, storage without taking up floor space.

You do not NEED a big dining table, we have 3 of us at one that is 90cms, and we have room!

Most companies do small spaces ranges, I know pottery barn does and Ikea is famous for it.

1 big bed is less room then 2 smaller ones. murphey beds are better made this these days too.

Ikea does a storage one that you lift up, tons of room for junk (that you were suppose to have already gotten rid of )

tops of kitchen cupboards you can use for stuff you don't use very often.

Hang coats on the wall in the loo (like us Brits tend to do )


Give me more info and I'll try to help some more
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#6 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 04:02 AM
 
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About two years ago we moved in half the space we had before and it took some hard work on paring down all the 'necessities'.

One place I always look for inspiration is [url]www.apartmenttherapy.com.
They tour real small places with real ppl living in them. Some of them are pretty amazing in what they can fit in in a really tiny place, and looks good too!

Like a pp mentioned, Ikea has great ideas for small places. Browse their catalog for ideas on how you can put all your esentials in a room Also there are books dedicated to living in small spaces, check them out at your library.
Good luck!
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#7 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 08:15 AM
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Many states limit the number of occupants in a rental unit to 2 people per bedroom plus one more. So you need to look into whether it'll be legal to rent a 1br unit with 4 people.
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#8 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 09:36 AM
 
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I would not recommend storage for anything - Craigslist is very effective for selling furniture. It would be better to get $50 or 100 for a piece of furniture than to spend $100 a month (or more) for a place to store it.
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#9 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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We had 4 people in 550 sqft ( 2 adults , 4 yo and a 2yo ) one bedroom little cottage.

Muiti purpose furniture is best futons , bunk beds , small tvs and we got rid of most of our little appliances. We had a king sized ved with me Dh and toddler and 4 you slept in a toddler bed at the foot ( that kid beats you up in your sleep LOL other wise she would be welcome)

Best thing to do is move into the place settle in and figure out your needs ( Id actually get a storage unit for only one month) and then get rid of what ever you don't need.

We only moved because we ended up getting mold , space wise it wasnt bad...at least I thought it wasn't
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#10 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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Many states limit the number of occupants in a rental unit to 2 people per bedroom plus one more. So you need to look into whether it'll be legal to rent a 1br unit with 4 people.
Kids don't count. I know you can def do 2 kids in a 1 bed.

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I would not recommend storage for anything - Craigslist is very effective for selling furniture. It would be better to get $50 or 100 for a piece of furniture than to spend $100 a month (or more) for a place to store it.
VERY good point. Storage adds up. We had storage once cause our place was small and I wanted the extra storage space. But I knew I was paying for the space vs it actually being cost effective if that makes sense.

We've moved back and forth over the pond and people always say "why not just put it in storage vs selling it" which in theory sounds the best plan. But if you pay £100 x 12 that is £1200 and to store a hoover, books, etc, well you could prob just buy them all again

Also storage places have gotten expensive. BUT if you say to yourself, I'd like to store xyz and I don't mind the extra $$$ for the space then do it. It's nice to have the boxes and junk you don't need at home somewhere else
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#11 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 05:11 PM
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Kids don't count. I know you can def do 2 kids in a 1 bed.
Yes, they do, in states with limits on how many people can live in a rental unit. It's not limited to the number of children you can physically fit in a bed.
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#12 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 08:59 PM
 
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Yes, they do, in states with limits on how many people can live in a rental unit. It's not limited to the number of children you can physically fit in a bed.
I was told in Cali they didn't count kids. We rented a 1 bed and where told we were allowed 2 people but as many kids as we wanted (we had only 1 though) we were told they didn't count as "people" for the requirement
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#13 of 33 Old 10-03-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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Yeah, I remember reading specifically in my rental agreement (can't remember if it was in Oregon or North Dakota) that children don't count. Probably differs from state to state.

Wife to dh and mommy to dd1 (3/07), ds (1/10), and dd2 (any day now)!

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#14 of 33 Old 10-04-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Unfortunately, in California, it appears that the landlord has some say about how a rental is occupied. A very quick google search came up with this. It looks like there is a general "2 plus 1" rule and even a square footage rule, so the OP may have a difficult time occupying a 1br. And there are some housing laws that *can* be enforced if a landlord wants to... and it appears it includes kids. As long as the landlord is not using the rule to discriminate against people with children, then they can make limitations... the limitations just have to apply to everyone. That is, if there is a 1br. and you have 3 adults living in one unit, you have to let a single mother and her 2 kids live in a unit and cannot use the "rule" to discriminate.

That kind of surprises me. I clicked on this thread because dh's best friend lived with his wife and 5 kids in a small apartment in Munich for many, many years before they built a house just outside the city. When we lived in Munich, we would visit them and it seemed crowded, but they were actually very happy. They had 2 bedrooms and the teenaged girl and boy had those. The rest slept in the living room. Germany is notorious for their occupancy rules, however they owned the flat. I'm surprised that if they allowed it there, that it is disallowed here.

I was just going to say that having a very small space is most definitely doable and people like me (another minimalist) actually kind of prefer it. Our house is 2000 sq. ft. and it seems huge to me sometimes... except when my mom (who lives with us) and I are at each other about something.

OP - if you can swing it, I think you'll be fine and may come to prefer it. Good luck!
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#15 of 33 Old 10-04-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Hi,

We live in a 935 sq ft house and there are 5 of us. We have 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, although we did manage to convert the extra room off of the kitchen (the old garage) into our bedroom, so I guess we have 3 bedrooms. We use our room to watch TV, and it also has the computer in it. The two boys are in one room, we have a loft style bed for my 11 year old (converted bunkbed) and a small bed from Ikea for my 5 year old that fits underneath like an "L" shape. My daughter has her own room. We have been very creative. The house is from 1941, so the closets are tiny. I share one with my daughter and the two boys share one. My husband uses the hall/coat closet for himself and we have a small linen closet. We do have an attic, which we use for storage, and a garage.

It is all about creative planning. I hate clutter and it is way more noticeable in a small house. Everything needs its place and I like to make sure everything is hidden(like with under the bed storage). It limits your consumerism, which is a good thing! If there isn't room for it, you don't need it. I think we, as Americans, have way to much stuff as it is, a small house or space makes you look at posessions differently IMHO. Don't get me wrong, my attic is full of unnecessary stuff, but it also has things like our winter/summer clothes. One of our next projects is to downsize the attic.

It also takes me less time to clean the house from top to bottom. I would seriously take a look at your new space without any furniture in it and visualize ways to make it the most comfortable for your whole family. Try to make a small personal space for yourself so you can unwind or read a book in quiet. If you do have a dining room, trying to make a bedroom for you son might be a good idea (as another poster pointed out). You could just tack up some curtains in a pinch, that way he would have some privacy also and you would still have a living room. Anyway, it can work, you just need to go into with an open mind. And, definitely less is more with furniture!!

Good Luck,

Rachel
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#16 of 33 Old 10-04-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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Kids don't count. I know you can def do 2 kids in a 1 bed.


VERY good point. Storage adds up. We had storage once cause our place was small and I wanted the extra storage space. But I knew I was paying for the space vs it actually being cost effective if that makes sense.

We've moved back and forth over the pond and people always say "why not just put it in storage vs selling it" which in theory sounds the best plan. But if you pay £100 x 12 that is £1200 and to store a hoover, books, etc, well you could prob just buy them all again

Also storage places have gotten expensive. BUT if you say to yourself, I'd like to store xyz and I don't mind the extra $$$ for the space then do it. It's nice to have the boxes and junk you don't need at home somewhere else
Bolding mine. They do where I live and I think its a bunch of doo doo. We were denied several appartments because we mentioned we had three kids (5,3 and 16 months). We were getting a 2 bedroom.

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#17 of 33 Old 10-05-2009, 10:52 PM
 
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Our house is 780 square feet for the four of us( not 600 though which would cut out a room.... could be done though). It is actually plenty of room even for homeschooling. 7 years renting here so far!
I have seen people use a bed that rolls under another bed for the children. Sleeping loft areas help to maximise space underneath if you can swing it. For us, everything has to have it's own place. If something new comes our way we generally have to rearrange a ton to make it work. Lots of tall shelving is key.Baskets are nice because things will not look as cluttered that way. We do all of our homelearning,huge amount of books, crafting, wool spinning, fermenting, canning etc happily in our small home. I wouldn't say that there is any one good answer for a layout.... my advice is to be flexible because the right layout and organisation of the space will always be evolving.

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#18 of 33 Old 10-06-2009, 03:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone on all the comments. I'm not going to take the place because of the way it is layed out, but I think if the owner is willing to rent it, and the renter is willing to make it work, the law should not be involved.

Of course, we have seen 4 families living in the houses in our neighborhood. The original renters are obviously not honest about the number of people planning to live there! I will be, because I don't want an unexpected eviction!

I am still looking for a very small place, in order to keep my untilies low, and everything low for that matter. Also, I'm feeling I have too much stuff, and I want to get rid of it, and I may have to force myself.

Please keep the small space comments coming. I'd love to know how you deal with your mail, homeschooling, knitting supplies (geez! Can you have too much?), dirty laundry, art supplies, books, kitchen neccesities (blender, mixer, extra bowls, serving plates, china, silver ect), yard supplies, gardening supplies, cd's, dvd's, videos ect, ect, ect.

Thanks so much for your comments!

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#19 of 33 Old 10-06-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Please keep the small space comments coming. I'd love to know how you deal with your mail, homeschooling, knitting supplies (geez! Can you have too much?), dirty laundry, art supplies, books, kitchen neccesities (blender, mixer, extra bowls, serving plates, china, silver ect), yard supplies, gardening supplies, cd's, dvd's, videos ect, ect, ect.

Thanks so much for your comments!
I rent a 750 sq. ft. house (it's just me and my 2 kids, 4 and 6 yo) and I LOVE it! Regarding what you mentioned above:

*Mail: I sort it immediately--most of it goes in recycling, and everything else I try to deal with right away, esp. filing. This is the thing I have the most trouble with, as it's SO easy to get overrun by paperwork!

*Craft supplies: I have a few rubbermaid containers that things are sorted into. I recently decluttered my craft stuff because I had a lot of stuff I wasn't using. This stuff takes up one shelf of my hall closet (files, winter accessories, camping gear, games, and gift wrapping supplies take up the rest).

*Dirty Laundry: I have 2 collapsible hampers in my closet that we all use--one for light colors, the other for dark. Laundry never has to be sorted that way I usually do laundry twice a week.

*Art supplies: Kept in 2 bins on top of my microwave, which is on top of my fridge. My kids tend to get out of hand with art supplies if they are left accessible all the time

*Books: I have 2 bookshelves in my living room--one tall and one shorter. I have 2 shelves of books for myself and one shelf of books for the kids. The rest of the shelves are for toy storage (which are kept organized in containers).

*Kitchen necessities: Necessities is the key word there China and silver are not necessities to me. I have corelle dishes that I got from the thrift store...enough for each of us, plus a few extras. Appliance-wise, I keep my toaster oven and microwave out, plus my french press (I switched from a drip coffee maker to that and will never go back!) In one cabinet, I have a blender, crock pot, electric hand mixer, and popcorn popper. Those are the only appliances I have.

*Yard/gardening supplies: I do have a shed in my backyard, so I keep all that stuff out there.

*CDs/DVDs: All are in books--I got rid of all the plastic cases. Books are much more efficient! DVDs are kept in my hall closet, along with my portable DVD player (I don't have a TV), and my CDs, which I rarely listen to (I use my ipod most of the time), are in my car under the passenger seat, in case I need them (realistically though, I NEVER listen to them!)

HTH a bit! GL in your search!

Single mama to DD 10/18/03 and DS 9/15/05 

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#20 of 33 Old 10-06-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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#21 of 33 Old 10-06-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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My two young kids share a closet and I hang clothes in outfits rather than individually. It takes up a lot less space that way and makes it really easy to get them dressed in the morning - just grab a hanger and a pair of undies from the drawer and go. The hanging sweater rack holds pajamas and some off season things; the dresser has small stuff like socks and underwear, hair ribbons, babylegs, the baby's diapers, and clothes to grow into. It works really well for me and all the clothes are in the closet, freeing up bedroom floor space.

I'll be adding these days of the week hanger labels soon to make it even easier for DH to dress DS when he has something specific he needs to wear for school.
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#22 of 33 Old 10-07-2009, 02:36 AM
 
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We lived in a 700 sq ft with five people for awhile. We turned the dining room into a computer/office area (back then, the kids were young and not school age yet.. but it would have been great for them to do homework and such). And then we ate in the living room at the coffee table. Not the best setup, but it worked well for us.

DD co-slept with us a lot, but she slept in the living room sometimes as well (in her pack and play). Again, it worked!
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#23 of 33 Old 10-08-2009, 04:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to your answersrs Ellen. I do have china from my grandmother. Also, I was given china when I got married (I got tons of peices, and I'd love to sell it at some point) as well as a few well gifted peices of silver (cake server ect, which comes out for birthdays, Gotcha Days and holidays).

What about homeschooling supplies? Anyone homeschool in a small space? We have ALOT! Our craft supplies are simple (three colors of paint at this point, a marmalade jar full of paint brushes, clay, stamps, so much more). Our crafts/art supplies are one of our favorite things. I like to put them out where the kids can see them and get them. We have notebooks (real ones LOL), various workbooks, dictionaries, art books, music books ect on our homeschooling book shelf. We will have to keep that going. It is our center focus for homeschooling. In addition, I have a three-bin drawer on wheels with other supplies which are off limits to the kids (have to ask for) like colored papers, printer papers, folders, empty notebooks (the 3 cent variety) and all the markers, pencil leads and gel pens which are mine, extra erasers, glue sticks, oil pastels ect. These things are needed often, but if I don't keep control of these, they will be gone! My kids went through a pack of erasers in 2 weeks last year, just erasing stuff for fun.

The final other thing which is a must for homeschooling is our file storage, which is a small bin with a retractable lid, that I keep our previous years notebooks, workbooks, artwork ect, just in case I need to look at it or possibly take it to court (ex thinks I am doing a terrible job with the kids).

We have a big problem with clothing, sheets, towels ect. Because I don't have a washing machine, we need more clothing. Where do you store sheets and towels that you aren't using, that are too many for the closet? We have four beds...that means 8 sheet sets. We live in a climate where we get both hot and cold seasons. So that means we have to have a light weight bed cover, and a heavy one, plus blankets (which we need to store for the summer!).

I'm really trying to make all this work.

Our living room as present, is very easy to clean. We have mementos from my trips to India to adopt my children, which we display, and some of the photos of the kids, and some wall hangings, and that is it. But if I living in the living room, HMMMMM! How will it work? Anyone here that does it? Do you keep all your things in one of the bedrooms, but sleep on the pull out sofa or whatnot?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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#24 of 33 Old 10-08-2009, 08:25 AM
 
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You can store extra blankets in the bed, between the mattress and box spring.
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#25 of 33 Old 10-08-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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That is a great suggestion.
I mounted a free twin headboard, the type with cubbies in it, for extra storage in the bathroom. It creates the cubbies for all bathroom linen plus creates a large shelf on top for other bathroom goodies.
As for homeschooling supplies our setup sounds like yours. Our kids are a bit older so the craft supplies are always available. I have a teeny file cabinet that doubles as a side table, and a small homeschooling bookshelf with science experiment and craft books. Actually I modified one of those super cheap pine shelving units so that one shelf works as a book shelf, then there is room on another shelf for math manipulatives and the top for science gear. I use a desktop file organiser for easy acess to work or pictures and things that they are working on and the bottom of the small two door file folder organises other workbooks and future projects. We are pretty child led though otherwise so the learning happens all over the house. They do have a small table that is a place for them to craft etc which I love. It is the type with two leaves that drop down on either side. I put one side towards the wall and then drop the side facing the room down. This makes for a one or two foot wide table to minimise the amount of space it takes up. When the kids use it they flip the leaf up for a bigger working area. Underneath I have all of the board games in an old apple crate. I have seen people put them on a bookshelf like books too.
I love thrift shops so my layout has been a long evolving process. There are lots of fun creative storage ideas when you think outside of the box!
My hubby just came by and said " It doesn't matter if everything is in its place all of the time, but it is important to HAVE a place for everything. " That way you can quickly get the house into order if people are coming over... or if you are a more organised type!

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#26 of 33 Old 10-08-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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If you can stand those pine shelves they are actually great for small spaces. We have cut them down to fit spaces by making them super skinny or shallow, or cutting the large ones down to a size that fits the need . Since the shelves are adjustable you can move them around when you have a new need( I moved the bottom shelf out of one of mine to tuck my spinning wheel away when I am not using it).

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#27 of 33 Old 10-08-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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You've gotten tons of great ideas--it's totally doable, but I've found there *must* be a place for everything. We lived 7 years in 550 sq. feet (and part of that was a long narrow, totally awkward hallway). We have a little bit more space now, but not much, and it's still a 1-bedroom for 3 of us. Some things we do to make it work:

* Everything goes on the wall. Ikea hanging trash cans (to make room, eg, for the cat dishes underneath), pot racks, floor-to-ceiling bookcases. This goes for the bathroom, too. For instance, we've used the Bygel rods with hanging baskets for all our smaller toiletries in the bathroom. At Ikea, right next to these, they also have plastic hanging tubs that fit perfectly next to a hanging basket on that rod. We also use pot lid racks on the wall to hold mail, in the front hallway, and to hold bills, next to the desk. We have a long coat rack with pegs for outerwear, and in our old place we had a skinny shoe rack under that. We keep hats/mittens/scarves in wire bins that mount right on the wall next to the coat rack.

* Loft the bed(s) and store stuff underneath that you don't need to get to often (decorations, camping stuff, etc). Make sure it's all in bins with lids, because it can get dusty. You can get those plastic risers that are really affordable, or you can do bunk beds.

* Use the space all the way up to the ceiling. It's amazing what you can fit on a shelf, or in a bin, high up on a shelf. Likewise, sometimes closets only have a hanging rack and a shelf above it--a great place to put in another shelf above.

* Make sure the stuff you need often is easily accessible. Eg, at our old place the vacuum cleaner was buried in a closet and (surprise surprise) never got used. This also means that you need a dedicated space for everything--so for us, we had to find a space for our work bags, which otherwise lived in the middle of the (tiny!) living room floor.

* Use the bedroom only for sleeping. That was our solution, at any rate. We figure we'd rather have less space in the bedroom and more living space. One thing we've done that works really well is use ceiling-mounted curtains to make a visual divide between our space and ds's space. I can't find the direct link right now, but the Ikea Kvartal curtain rod (which you can mount to the ceiling) comes in straight lengths and curves, and we put one up so the curtain curves around ds's bed. During the day, we push it back so it's no in the way.

* Use mirrors in narrow spaces so you don't feel claustrophobic.

* Make sure you have a sturdy kitchen/dining table that can serve many functions. I sew, and keep all my sewing stuff in stacking clear bins that I take out or put away. Ditto with ds's art supplies.

* Bins on bookshelves (or doors or curtains on the front) make things feel less cluttered.

Best of luck with it!
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#28 of 33 Old 10-24-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#29 of 33 Old 10-24-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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I live in a place about the same size. I really like it. But it can be a bit cramped on a rainy day.

I bought enough shelving units to cover two entire walls in the living room wall to wall and floor to ceiling with bookshelves (with adjustable height shelves). (They are secured to the walls). One set of shelves has my entire book collection and most of the kids books as well. Under the last shelf I have baskets holding various things: library books, craft supplies, canvas shopping bags. A love seat is up against one side of the book shelves so one shelf doesn't have good access. I use that as my "attic" and have holiday supplies stored there is boxes that can't really be seen.

The other set of shelves stores the craft supplies, my handbag and a basket for mittens, scarves, etc and has the sewing machines tucked under it. All of the board games (my kids love 'em) are stashed on another shelving unit in the coat closet. So is my fabric stash (quilter).

I hung my two mountain dulcimers on the wall of the bedroom. I leave out a music stand and a chair for playing music (violing and dulcimers). I have to sort out a good system for storing music (probably just need a good size basket). I use two smaller love seats as living room space with a very small
(!8" square) table as a coffee table. One of the love seats converts to a twin bed. Under one of the love seats I keep low cardboard boxes and I store extra shampoo, science supplies, etc. I also have a nice antique chest with a flat top I use as an end table and that hold winter stuff in summer and summer stuff in winter (including a number of fans that I couldn't believe actually fit in there).

The kids room as bunk beds. Another tall book shelf serves as bedside tables for both bunks and also stores books. There is no closet in that room so all of their clothes are in one large dresser. Also in the room is another floor to ceiling shelf system for toys (in bins) and puzzles. Under dresser space is used for storage (same low cardboard box - like for cans). There are several under the bed storage boxes under the beds but so far they are mostly empty.

Under my bed is my "pantry". I store all my shoes under my dresser. My room also has the computer. When I have enough money I will probabably get a new computer with a smaller tower and flat screen so I need a much smaller desk or maybe even a lap top. I am also considering buying an outdoor shed that could store the bikes, etc.

When I moved in the shelves seemed possibly excessive, but they really help and I plan to hide the clutter of non-book shelf one in the living room with a curtain. Lots of baskets help, too. I bought the cheap pine ones from Ikea and if I ever had any time, I could paint them. I have this feeling all these shelves will eventually be organizing my basement when I finally buy a house!!

It really isnt' so bad in this very small house. Just be sure to buy small furniture so you don't feel too crowded. Oh, and don't have friends over that are very large (height or girth!)
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#30 of 33 Old 10-24-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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You could put you bed on some type of riser - even concrete blocks and you can fit a lot of storage containers under there for your clothes. Dirty laundry can be hung in a laundry bag on a hook on the back of your bedroom or bathroom door. You can mount a piece of wood on brackets as a shelf to store kids toys/games/books whatever you need.

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