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Old 12-10-2008, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ok so I know now that when we move I want a SMALLER home. I was over someones house the other day, a 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom house, and it was extremely clean, and well decorated....but gosh the STUFF and the stress I saw on her face when I asked her how many hours she spent cleaning just makes me feel disgusted. I mean, sure, it's beautiful. But is it worth it? Anyone else feel like downsizing? I feel like I could fit into half the home I have now. I just HATE STUFF. It sucks the life out of me. I want to spend more time with my family and less time on things that don't matter.

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Old 12-10-2008, 01:29 AM
 
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well, we now live in a house that's 3k sq. ft, 3 car garage, 5 bedrooms, 1/2 an acre yard but I don't feel like it's too big. Not really anyway. We have 6 people though and before this we were used to living in small apartments and using public storage to house all the extra crap we had. SO I would imagine that plays into it for me. Maybe in a few years I'll want to downsize but at the same time, my kids will be getting bigger by then and will likely want the extra space (right now, none of them want to sleep in their own rooms, ever!) But it doesn't matter what other people think, if having more space and more rooms to clean or collect clutter makes you feel sick, then you are someone that enjoys a more cozy, practical sized home, ya know?

i wonder if the person you visited would still feel the stress of keeping a perfect home if her's were smaller... I know I had a really hard time finding room to keep things organized and having a place for everything when we had a small living space. At the same time, I'm not all anal about clean and tidy home so I imagine that's part of it as well. I don't spend as much time as I probably should cleaning thus why I will be doing so all day tomorrow before the IL's arrive. Also, I am not good at decorating and haven't even hung up pictures (after almost a year in this house) so I can imagine how stressful it would be to feel like each room has to be magazine perfect. That would be worse with a bigger home!

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:01 AM
 
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I totally understand and respect where you're coming from, but I don't feel the same way in terms of having a big house. We are having a 3000sq ft home built right now, and the reason we bought the one we did is so that we can host family gatherings comfortably. We know we don't need that much room. But we now can have large gatherings of friends and family over at any time. No more packing into our closed-off smaller home.

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:32 AM
 
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I felt way more stressed when we lived in our teeny-tiny house than I do in our 5 bedroom house. We don't have a ton of stuff "just because", though. I guess it's all what you do with the space.

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:41 AM
 
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we are in 4000 sq ft .... this is the largest house we have ever had. Prior to this most of our homes have been about 1/2 this size and I found the smaller ones MORE difficult to clean. I have a place for everything and I also make sure to have a few nice things out on display but not stuff everywhere that needs dusting etc.

I find "Visual Clutter" stresses me.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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I, too, find that the amount of stuff that is crammed into a space is what makes a clutter impact. We moved from a 1000 sq ft house to a 2800 sq ft house when I was pg with baby #2 and I could never go back to a small house again; I need lots of space around me or I start to feel closed in and anxious. Our house is actually less cluttered now that we have more space- I got rid of a lot of stuff and I like having big rooms with lots of bare space. It's very calming, IMO. The people I know who have really small homes have more clutter than friends with larger houses, but that's just IME.

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Old 12-10-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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well, i'm with you, op. i currently live in a 3000+ sq. ft. house and we can't wait to move into a smaller one. even though it's convenient with visiting family and our 2 dogs, it's just not worth it. it's just too much space. we have gone through a lot of decluttering over the past few years, and realize we just don't need that much stuff. the house we want to move to is more than 1000 sq. ft smaller...still not tiny.

i really like to keep things uncluttered and clean, so cleaning this house is a chore (especially since it's on the market!), even though we don't even use half of the rooms. when i think that the average house 60 years ago used to be 1200 sq. ft., i think, it makes us realize that we will definitely be ok with less space. plus, the extra money from a smaller mortgage will be great.

we've always wanted our children to share bedrooms (and we cosleep anyway while they're little), so there is no need for a bedroom for each kid plus a guest bedroom. the house we want is still 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, so plenty of space.

but, to each her/his own. after all, i hope that someone who loves/needs lots of space buys our house!
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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Smaller works for us! We went from 1500 sq ft (which I thought was small) to @ 800 sq ft which is quite small for the 5 of us, but we love it! It keeps our "stuff" totally limited, and really forces us all to consider out impact on everyone else. I grew up in a 4000 sq ft house, and wouldn't go back!

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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I so want a smaller house... I think you are spot on!

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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Smaller housing is more ecologically sustainable, uses fewer resources, and discourages the house/car lifestyle and encourages more community based gathering. I'm surprised to see ginormous houses lauded as acceptable here!
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Smaller housing is more ecologically sustainable, uses fewer resources, and discourages the house/car lifestyle and encourages more community based gathering.
I'm with you.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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We are currently in a 1400 square foot home, with just DH, myself, a 14 month old & the dog. At first I felt like I was going to suffocate because we came from 1800 sf in our last home (it was base housing), but now I really think it's comfortable. Not too much to clean, don't have to have a lot of furniture. As soon as we can sell this home and make a bit of a profit (hopefully 3-4 years) we'll do that and move to a small apartment in preparation for another military move. That said though, I think we could fit another 3 kids in here, easy.

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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Ya know, I think the point is to be where the home is 'right sized' for your particular family.

We moved from a 1300 sq ft home (with a gigantic yard) to a 1100 sq ft townhouse (with NO useable outside space) and we're pretty miserable.

When our lease expires we will be finding a house. It doesn't have to be huge...I don't want huge...for financial, spiritual and environmental reasons.

But what is 'right sized' for our family (1500 to 2000 sq ft WITH fenced yard) would be too big for some, too little for others.

For me, the thing is that there needs to be room for the 5 of us to share some spaces and have privacy in others because, as homeschoolers, we are home alot. Sure there needs to be room for the physical necessities...but there also needs to be enough psychic space for everyone to feel enveloped but not overwhelmed by family.

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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We just moved from a 900 sq ft to about 1800 and it feels very big. Most of the extra room is a now empty bedroom (that will be for DS eventually) and mostly empty computer room/craft studio. I absolutely wouldn't want anything bigger (for space and environmental reasons), but I think that as we have more kids, it will be about right for us.

But I do think that what makes me most crazy is visible clutter with no empty space at all - which I've seen happen in both big and small houses.

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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I'm surprised to see ginormous houses lauded as acceptable here!
Weird, I was under the impression that I could decide what kind of home, for myself and my family, was acceptable.

In the area we're in, you can't find a small home. We may have one of the smallest that I know, actually.

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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I'm with you, op. I am generally pleased with my home and what's in it. Relatively speaking, we are minimalists - the house is smaller than average, and most of our belongings are necessities.

I had gotten to the point where I felt they we had the right amount of stuff in the right amount of space. But now we have a family member living with us, so we lost one room and half our closet storage. Plus she has personal things in our group space. Stuff is crammed anywhere and everywhere and it is making me insane!!!

Besides being cluttered it has made me realize how much stuff we have. Even though it's not a lot comparative to the norm it still feels like too much. I'm trying not to purge because I know once we get back to our regular occupancy things will feel better. But there are days when I want to get rid of EVERYTHING!!!!

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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Weird, I was under the impression that I could decide what kind of home, for myself and my family, was acceptable.

In the area we're in, you can't find a small home. We may have one of the smallest that I know, actually.
You certainly can decide what kind of home you want to live in. You can decide to drive a Hummer too, of course. All I'm saying is that in the Simplifying forum of a Natural Family Living community, I would expect to see different values expressed. That's all!

We live in a small space, organizing is a challenge, but I would not choose a giant 'monsterhome.' Plus they are so expensive to run!
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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we are leaving a 1,150 for a 2,300, it has an appartment in it though that we will be renting out and I'm not for certain how many feet that will take away, We have a couple of shed here too so will be moving tool type stuff to the house... I feel like the house is bigger though, it has designated rooms to it instead of being more open. I'm happy with the more space whether it's an actual or a perceived. When you start actually boxing up everything you have, from every little nook cranny and corner it's pretty amazing. I have made some good storage solutions here in our old house now and it's amazing to look at the emptiness of things while we are basically living out of a couple of suitcases. There are some of the things that I really miss, some that we kinda need like a lid for a skillet that I do wish i had but there is so much stuff that I know we don't need at all. I hope I can follow through with my mindset thinking now once we are in the new house and I start really unpacking all the boxes!

A friend and I was talking last week, his elderly aunt and uncle HUGE HUGE house and it's just the 2 of them, she starts cleaning on Wednesday and is done on Sunday... that means 2 days to just hang out.. in a couple of rooms, they do not use all the other space at all, other than to just hold their things. (and not things likestacks of newspaper or old margerine tubs...) she does just basic cleaning, dusting... I'm sure if she was younger it would take her less time, but still... and then I think well if she did just sit down and hang out she may not be in as good of shape as she is in, because dusting is still exercise... I just hope that one day in the future when the kids are gone and there is the empty nest here that I'm not just taking care of keeping objects dusted. I hope that when the kids are here that the things don't overshadow them and our time together.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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Ya know, I think the point is to be where the home is 'right sized' for your particular family.
: You really can't judge what is right for other people and their lifestyles. Of course, many North Americans are stuck in a "bigger is better" mentality that needs examining . OTOH, "simple living" blogs and sites don't always acknowledge the costs and challenges of living in smaller places. Smaller isn't always better either. Our family of 4 lives in a 1000 sf apartment and we have 2 home-based businesses. IMO our home is not large enough for our needs and there are hidden costs. When you lack storage space, you end up having to spend more time/energy/money making the storage that you do have look nice. I refuse to own any noisy appliances because I know that it will add to the noise level that we live with so that meant paying at least double the cost for our dishwasher for our last purchase. Yes, we could get rid of clutter, but it does end up coming down to tough choices. You end up wondering if you have the space to indulge in any sports or hobbies. IME, dh and I have more conflicts when we are pressed for space as well. He is a big guy and our home doesn't give him space to spread out or to have a hidey place where he can catch up on sleep. The size of one's home can have major lifestyle consequences and we would be well served by considering the consequences of our choices.

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Old 12-10-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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thismama

Smaller housing is more ecologically sustainable, uses fewer resources, and discourages the house/car lifestyle and encourages more community based gathering. I'm surprised to see ginormous houses lauded as acceptable here!



I lived in a 1000sqft home with 2 small children (3 for the last year) and 2 cats and could not keep it clean to save my life. I didn't have the time, inclination or energy to lead an environmentall fiendly lifestyle. We then moved to a 4000sqft + house with three children, 3 cats and a dog. I exclusively nursed ds3 for 2 years and continued for another year. He was cloth diapered. We as a family lead a very environmentally friendly lifestyle apart from being in a large house. Our gas and electrical usage has surprisingly not changed. I love being at home and go out far less now. My son's are very happy to just have kids from down the road over to play.

Living an environmentally friendly life style in a large house is far far better than living in a tiny house and being a energy hog who loves single use items for everything and has no reguard for the environment.
Please don't infer that living in a large house is unacceptable. This is yet another issue where size doesn't always matter.

OP, I too hate stuff (other than Christmas decorations). Clutter makes me feel very anxious for some reason. I love my clean clear surfaces!
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:18 PM
 
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I am in the process of moving from a 2200sqf house to a 500 sqf apt. (we have been there almost 2 months but are going west-back to the house- to get rid of most of what we own in 3 weeks) I love LOVE love it! :

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Old 12-10-2008, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok I'm taking charge of my own thread, please no more negative comments! I can see we're going down a bad rabbit trail here. I was simply talking to those who shared my views, I was not judging those who didn't. Although posing the question, is it worth it? is fine for those with big houses to answer that question, but judgment on either side is not what I posted this for.

Let's stay positive now :

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Old 12-10-2008, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oops nevermind

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Old 12-11-2008, 03:15 AM
 
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. All I'm saying is that in the Simplifying forum of a Natural Family Living community, I would expect to see different values expressed. That's all!
Actually, this subforum is called "decluttering, organizing & simplifying". No matter the size of one's home, these can apply. Who said anyone who is interested in decluttering, organizing or simplifying would not choose a "ginormous" house?

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Old 12-11-2008, 03:18 AM
 
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Actually, this subforum is called "decluttering, organizing & simplifying". No matter the size of one's home, these can apply. Who said anyone who is interested in decluttering, organizing or simplifying would not choose a "ginormous" house?
Nobody said that. I said I was surprised, on this forum, is all. Whatevs.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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Actually, this subforum is called "decluttering, organizing & simplifying". No matter the size of one's home, these can apply. Who said anyone who is interested in decluttering, organizing or simplifying would not choose a "ginormous" house?
Thank you for posting this!

Who gets to decide what a "ginormous" home is? Size is relative, too. I think a 1000 sq ft house for 5 people is ridiculously small, but it's apparantly perfect for some. And not all large homes are resource wasters. A poorly insulated smaller home can be more inefficient than a well built larger home. Same goes for the people living in the home; we are more careful about resources in our 2800 sq ft home than some people I know who live in a 680 sq ft apartment.

OP- I sympathize with your desire to have less stuff crowding around you. I do think that it can happen no matter what the size of your house is, though.

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Old 12-11-2008, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As a child growing up in a family of 5, I can tell you that it was not ridiculously small to be living in the apartment we did (it was maybe 600-800 sf?). I knew nothing else and loved it there.

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Old 12-11-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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As a child growing up in a family of 5, I can tell you that it was not ridiculously small to be living in the apartment we did (it was maybe 600-800 sf?). I knew nothing else and loved it there.
:

We are 4 people, soon to be 5, in a 650 square foot apartment, and I don't find it crowded or too small... we aren't even looking at moving for at least a couple of years. Once this new baby is ready for his/her own room we'll probably look for something a bit bigger, but we'd really only need one more bedroom so we'd be looking for something in the 8-900 square foot range. Dh and I have one bedroom, with a toddler bed also in it, and the boys now share the other bedroom. Neither of us has ever had any desire for a big house (or even an average sized one, really).

It's obviously a very individual thing, and I agree that any size of house/apartment can be cluttered! I think it is important to keep in mind too that the VAST majority of the world's population lives in much smaller spaces than we think are necessary here.
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:53 AM
 
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I think it is important to keep in mind too that the VAST majority of the world's population lives in much smaller spaces than we think are necessary here.
I often think about this. And I think about why it's a struggle for our family of 4 to live in 1000 sf. One is more stuff obviously. Another issue, though, is that culturally we really value privacy and personal space and many of us grew up sleeping alone in a room for years. I find it frustrating that dh cannot cope with a family bedroom because it's so practical to just cram us all into one bedroom, leaving other rooms available for other purposes. But he has "sleep issues" and I wonder if people from other cultures just learn to sleep with the sleeping sounds of others? Also, the typical North American man wants to retreat into his "cave" as part of his self-care. We don't have room for a "cave", and I sometimes wonder if that add to the strain in our household. Yet obviously people who grow up living in higher densities must not have that need. Another thing to keep in mind is that people who live in higher density countries may not use our homes in the same way that we do. Many people do not cook at all but almost exclusively eat inexpensive "street food" or in cafeteria-style restaurants. Some people live in climates and places where it's realistic to do a lot of living outdoors. I do think it's hard for people to adjust to living in ways other than how they themselves were raised, even knowing that it's possible.

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Old 12-12-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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We moved the eight of us from a 3000 sqft home to a 1400 sqft home. It is MUCH easier/quicker to clean and MUCH, MUCH less expensive to run. It is too small, we are in the process of finishing the basement as living space, but it sure is nice to spend two hours cleaning rather than two days!
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