Would you live in a 750 sq ft house with 4+ people???? **Update post #26** - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 06-09-2009, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I are looking at a small 750 sq ft house with 2 very tiny bedroom, an ok size living room and a rather gernerous sized kitchen. We have 2 kids and hope to have a couple more, sounds crazy huh?.....but, it is on an acre lot with a 3 bedroom septic and a 2 car unattached garage. We would add on in about 4 years once dh is out of school, but could we make it that long? I knit and sew, my husband drums, we homeschool and host a church small group all from home. Dh's drums could be in the garage along with our chest freezer and what not. We could have chickens, a couple of goats (for milking), fruit trees and a HUGE veggie garden.

The girls room is tiny, like a closet tiny. I was thinking that a twin bed with a trundle would be good for now and later on bunk beds. Our next could go on a trundle under the bunkbeds once it was old enough I guess. The is a small place in the laundry room where a sewing desk could go.

What would you do?????

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#2 of 40 Old 06-09-2009, 09:56 PM
 
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I would not. There is another similar thread about this right now. I have 4 kids and live in a 800-900 sq. ft. house and it's terrible. At least an acre will give the kids a place to run and spread out, but especially hosting a church group, I would not. Of course some people do do it happily, but not me after the past couple of years. And I gotta say, with your dh drumming (my dh plays bass and guitar), there is absolutely no way you'll ever get peace if he decides to drum. Think echo.

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#3 of 40 Old 06-09-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sarah_bella1050 View Post
Dh and I are looking at a small 750 sq ft house with 2 very tiny bedroom, an ok size living room and a rather gernerous sized kitchen. We have 2 kids and hope to have a couple more, sounds crazy huh?.....but, it is on an acre lot with a 3 bedroom septic and a 2 car unattached garage. We would add on in about 4 years once dh is out of school, but could we make it that long? I knit and sew, my husband drums, we homeschool and host a church small group all from home. Dh's drums could be in the garage along with our chest freezer and what not. We could have chickens, a couple of goats (for milking), fruit trees and a HUGE veggie garden.

The girls room is tiny, like a closet tiny. I was thinking that a twin bed with a trundle would be good for now and later on bunk beds. Our next could go on a trundle under the bunkbeds once it was old enough I guess. The is a small place in the laundry room where a sewing desk could go.

What would you do?????

Although I think it's possible.....4 years is a life-altering period. That is getting close to the "long term" definition in some financial planning circles. What popped up for me is the thought: what about another kid?

With that much land and a big kitchen I might do it because the potential down the road to expand and have a big, nice house on land is very worth it IMO. I would probably turn the living room into an actual bedroom provided there is a dining room. And I would make sure I had a shed or two for storage.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#4 of 40 Old 06-09-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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We're moving into an 800 sq. ft. house but only for 9 mos.
For four years, and planning more kids, maybe not. You could turn the garage into a big playroom, though.
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#5 of 40 Old 06-09-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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i totally would. in fact if we have another child we will be. i think our actually house is smaller than 750 sq but we have another room that is a separate building. i don't know though how long we will live in this size house. if my son at some point wants his own bedroom we can turn the living room into a bedroom for him and the kitchen dinning area would be fine for us. we don't really need the living room space. our house is only 1 bedroom so if he wants a bedroom it would have to be the living room. the thing sthat has helped us the most with living here is we hired a professional organizer. all the decluttering i did all the reading about how to organize all the atempts i made just where not enough i needed someone to help me but since that has happened i really feel we could happily live in this house with several school age kids and be just fine. as long as the kids where fine sharring a bedroom that is. my son is only 19 months so non of those issues have come up and since we rent there is a good chance we will move out in hopes of owning a home in the next few years.

also we live in a mild climate and have a large yard so we spend a lot of time outside. not sure if it would work as well if it was a really cold climate.

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#6 of 40 Old 06-09-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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How old are your kids? We currently live in an 850sq ft house (no land, but a nice yard) with myself, dh, our 2yr old, and my newborn (well the newborn is coming..). We use one bedroom (the bigger one) for sleeping in (we do a family sleeping room, it wouldnt have mattered the size of the house, in fact - doing that allowed us to feel comfortable in a smaller house and thus pay less rent), and we use the smaller bedroom as a playroom and laundry room. It works great for us! The living room is teeny - but the kitchen dining room is a decent size.

So I thin k it depends on your family ideals, and the type of family you have..

Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

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#7 of 40 Old 06-09-2009, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replies I'm feeling a little antsy wanting some imput.

*The drums would be in the garage and that's were practices and such would be heald. I think that the garage could also be used for storage and such.

*The church group is only about 8-10 people so maybe?

*Another thought that we had is to build our girls a playhouse out back (we would probably even try to make it out of recycled materials). That along with a swingset (we can probably get one pretty cheap on craigslist. I think I would make a rule that even if it's raining (not cold though) they can still go and play in their playhouse (I could see them through the window)

*Our children are 2 and 4 years

*I really like the idea of hiring a professional organizer, it's probably one of those things that isn't as expensive as you would think

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#8 of 40 Old 06-09-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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If you were committed to 2 children only then I would possibly do it but not if you planned another child.
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#9 of 40 Old 06-10-2009, 12:45 AM
 
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Is your climate one where the kids will want to be outside most of the year?

Sharing a bedroom wasn't a problem when mine were your kids' age. As they got bigger the differences in their personalities got more marked. The one chases after the other to see what she's doing all the time. The oldest just wants time to herself without little sister bugging her.

Not because of the current economy, just b/c I'm not a deal-planner based on money, how sure are you of your financial situation in four years? If it doesn't work out, you'll feel like sardines.

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#10 of 40 Old 06-10-2009, 12:58 AM
 
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We were, it was ok. The bedrooms were tiny (but who cares since you only sleep in there) but the other rooms were ok (680 sq ft) We have a bigger place (900 sq ft + garage) and it's a lot nicer since it has a 3rd bed for an office/guestroom and the living room and kitchen are huge plus all the storage in the garage. I think 750 is ok for youngsters but when the kids start to get older I'd want something bigger.

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#11 of 40 Old 06-10-2009, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We live in Northern Ca so the weather is pretty good, we would be stuck inside 3 months out of the year.

Dh is on the wait list for nursing school, he will hopefully be starting within the next year. The program takes 2 years and it would take us a least a year to figure stuff out and build on.

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#12 of 40 Old 06-10-2009, 01:08 AM
 
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We're 4 plus a dog in 100 square feet less, and we don't even have private outdoor space! We're in NYC, so we have parks and museums; but we'll be stuck inside mostly for about 3 months. We take trips then, and do museums/rainforest exhibits at the zoo.

Depends on how into personal space your family is though. I can be in a different room, but I can still right now hear DD talking in her sleep and DH picking up the living room and playing music. Doesn't bother me generally, but I know people who require total quiet for relaxation, etc.

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#13 of 40 Old 06-10-2009, 03:31 AM
 
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My situation is very similar to what u describe huge yard, good area, tiny house.

My home is 500sq ft it's Tiny. It's Me Dh and our 3 sons, we have a couple dogs too... it can get very cramped.

I'm a pretty avid crafter and i find it hard to find places to work on larger projects or even keep my supplies (and i really don't have that many) i find it can be stifling at times.

It's really not too bad in the summer months as we spend most of our time outside but winter can become a little daunting.

I feel like i'm always asking someone to move over or get out of my way.
And my god does it get messy quick, what would normally look a little messy in a larger house looks like an absolute wreck.

Storage space is limited and decluttering has to be done more often.

It does prevent me from buying more crap tho so thats good



There's good days and bad days. I would suggest thinking about what would happen if times got tough and perhaps your not able to expand when u plan.

for me we were only supposed to live her 2-3 years tops and by then the kids would be getting big and we would have enough money saved up to move on and buy our own home.
Here we are Dh just started back to work after a 4 month drought, and a happy accident has landed me pregnant with our forth child.
were no where near having enough for a down payment on a house now.
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#14 of 40 Old 06-10-2009, 11:12 AM
 
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We've just moved from 750 square feet to 1050, and the difference (with four kids) is life-altering. When we just had two kids and they were tiny, 600 (the house before) was no problem at all, honestly: that's the kind of space that most families over here live in and we don't have that kind of space outside. You learn to do without storage. You learn to do without clutter- or else you never get into the mindset of decorating for Halloween and whathaveyou because you know you'll need to put that stuff somewhere. I would say, though, that you need to love that kitchen and be prepared to make it the hub of your home.

If it was a choice between this house, or hosting the church group, what would you choose?

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#15 of 40 Old 06-10-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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I think it sounds ideal! We are in a similar situation, but with much less storage. We are in a 650sq ft house, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, but our only storage is three closets (one in the living rm, one in each of the bedrooms). No garage, attic, or basement (our washing machine is in the kitchen next to the oven, LOL). I'm a student too, we will be in this house for at least another year, but likely for three more years.

We had to get rid of a TON of stuff! But I'm so glad we did and I'm honestly really, really happy in our tiny house. And like a pp mentioned, small spaces really help you to rethink tempting purchases.

Things that help us:
--lots of outdoor play space and our climate is ideal for being outside year-round.
--a friendly neighborhood with lots of other kids to play with
--my parents live nearby in a much bigger home, so when we are feeling stir crazy we always have an escape!
--a park just down the street

My kids are similar in age to yours (3yo and 5yo). They both still sleep with us, but they do have bunkbeds in their bedroom, which works out very nicely when we have guests. I would recommend getting the bunkbeds now because even if the top bunk is not slept in yet, it provides another space to play in and especially a private place for your older child. Sometimes my 5yo needs some time alone and he climbs up there and I take the ladder off so his little brother can't bug him.

We are not planning on having more kids, but a third baby would be easy enough to fit in I think. At least for the early years anyway. My neighbor down the street has three kids in the exact same house and is pregnant with their fourth! They seem to fit just fine, but they will be moving shortly after the fourth is born.

As for hobbies...I used to sew and knit, but don't have time now. I kept all the stuff though. It's all in a big storage bin in the kids' closet. My dh's hobby is cooking and the lack of space is often frustrating for him. We have very little counter space and not enough cabinets for all the cooking gadgets he would like to have. So for now he gets by with the basics and pines for more. I'd say that's the biggest drawback for us at the moment.

The house does get messy fast, but it's also much less to keep clean.

I hope it works out for you!
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#16 of 40 Old 06-10-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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We used to live an an 800 sq ft apt as a family of 5. It worked fine for us except for the winter when it wasn't as easy to just ship the kids outside. Its really easy to trip over each other in a place that small. Would I do it?? Maybe, but I have come to really require personal space and can't tolerate feeling crowded. Everyone is different though, I think it is really a personal decision,

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#17 of 40 Old 06-13-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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We've lived in 900 sq ft as a family of six- mil, fil, teenage sil, dh and I and ds. It was ok. But fil is gone all day (he's a head chef and works from 8-2, 5-10 most days), sil was in school 8-5 four days a week, and dh was working 9-12 and 2-7. So, technically, we were never on top of each other for hours on end. Mil, ds and I were home most, with one other person at most times. After supper we all retired to our respective bedrooms, and most of us were adults (or almost). I think we all made an effort not to tread on each others toes. And honestly, after 9 months, we were happy to be able to move out. Last summer, for two months, we had the same setup PLUS dh's step brother and sils new boyfriend; and NOONE worked except fil and sil's boyfriend (who worked nights and had to sleep mornings). That was hellish, for everyone- and I was the go to person that EVERYONE complained to about EVERYTHING bad that happened, because I was really trying to remain neutral and not complain myself.
It totally depends on your family dynamics, everyone's age, and activity levels, as well as the amount of time actually spent IN the house.

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#18 of 40 Old 06-13-2009, 02:27 AM
 
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That sounds like it's probably doable. I'm pretty sure the house we lived in when I was a kid wasn't much bigger than that (if it was bigger). There were five of us, plus a dog.

We're a family of five, soon to be six, and we sometimes feel a bit cramped in 1250 sq.ft. However, we really need to declutter, and we have no yard and no storage (a couple closets inside, but they're part of the 1250 sq.ft.). 750 sq.ft. sounds really small, but we have wasted room (for example, the master bedroom could be quite a bit smaller, and it wouldn't matter in the slightest), and I think a yard would make a big difference...especially one that big.

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#19 of 40 Old 06-13-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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I would do it only if you successfully met with the building inspector from the town and found out if you can add on. From what you're describing, it shouldn't be a problem, but I'd want to make sure ahead of time (like if you'll need a variance from the zoning board if you're structure is too close to a neighbor or what have you). Do you have basement or attic space? Any closets? At least you have the garage for out of season stuff, toys, drums, etc. Do either of you need office space?

My situation is much like Anniegirls. We have probably 900 sq ft, 2 br 1 ba, small yard BUT we build a carriage house (not completed yet) which will add 2 upstairs rooms, one downstairs room and another bath. My parents are across the st with my workshop, dh's office and our washer/dryer, a big yard with swingset. We rent a big garage too. And we live near the beach, so that's always a fun place to go to get out of the house. We bought this cottage with the understanding that we'd trade houses with my parents after a few yrs but really, I don't know if that'll happen now or not.

I'd start working on plans for your addition NOW and figure out how to budget for it, sooner rather than later. Your kids are fine in a small space now, but they'll need their own place to go before long (after they've outgrown the playhouse). Can walls be moved to make the smaller br big enough for your bed and the bigger room for them? I too would get bunkbeds now. We got them when my boys were 3 and 5 for the same reason as anniegirl's. I often let my older son play in my room to get away from his brother. I wouldn't worry about the church group. You can always host around the dining room table if need be or use the church's parish, or another member's living room. I wouldn't make a financial decision based on that.

Will you be able to build a shelter for the livestock now?
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#20 of 40 Old 06-13-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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We live in Northern Ca so the weather is pretty good, we would be stuck inside 3 months out of the year.

Dh is on the wait list for nursing school, he will hopefully be starting within the next year. The program takes 2 years and it would take us a least a year to figure stuff out and build on.
heck yeah! I would totally do it for land in no. ca. wow! :

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#21 of 40 Old 06-13-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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It sounds like the place has potential. We live in a small space too and don't plan on moving...we can expand which is much cheaper than moving, plus we like our neighborhood. I would love the acreage. One thing that helped us is we bought a 10'x12' storage shed that looks like a tall barn. Dh built a little loft in it and that's where we store camping gear, holiday stuff. Down below is the kids clubhouse, they have books and toys and can hang out in there.
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#22 of 40 Old 06-16-2009, 02:53 AM
 
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I would. I might buy a yurt through just to have one more room to use to keep me sane. If you think about Mongolian people living only in a yurt or native people living in their small dwellings, your place might look like a castle to them. I think the acreage is important for growing food and you can always build on.
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#23 of 40 Old 06-16-2009, 03:11 AM
 
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SIL and BIL are living in a 600 sqf house out of nessecity right now. They have 5 kids and homeschool.
Been living there for a couple of years now, but hope to out of there by this fallif all goes according to plan with the new home/property.
They built bedrooms in the shop, just so they could survive.

All in all, its a BAD idea! Think about rainy and cold days for a few minutes. Yes, it is your family and you love them dearly, but you will find yourself finding reasons to "go to town" every day, just to get out of the confinment.

DH and I actually rented the little house from them for the first 6 months of our marriage, and we were going insane with just the two of us.

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#24 of 40 Old 06-16-2009, 06:51 AM
 
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I think i would do it but only if you have the money to make the space work for you. I would go to IKEA, I am always amazed what they do with their small spaces. If you don't have money to organize and build shelves and do whatever it takes to make the small space work, then I wouldn't do it. I would love the challenge to make the small space work. We lived in a 800 square foot house with 3 of us and so much space was wasted. If I was to do it over I think we could have had more kids there for sure! Good luck, the outside sounds awesome too!

Do you have pics? I am sure everyone would love to see them and give you ideas!

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#25 of 40 Old 06-16-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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It's not as bad as you think. We live in 480 sq. ft. and have 4 children (12, 8, 5, & 2). We homeschool too so we are here all the time. We do have a huge yard for the kids to romp in though. We live in a very cold climate, but it still works for us. We planned ahead several years for our tiny house move, it wasn't a spur of the moment thing.

If you are committed to this, it can really be the best thing for your family. We took it in steps. We downsized from a 3 bedroom 2 bath home to a 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment, then a few years and many, many trips to goodwill to give away stuff that we wouldn't need in our simplified living arrangements, we moved to where we are now. For us it's great because we don't waste money on unnecessary stuff because we honestly have no where to put anything that isn't being used on a regular basis. It teaches the kids to think critically when they want to buy something new - is this going to be enough fun, and am I going to play with it enough to make it worth the space it will take up.

Do you get along well with your husband and children? This is the key factor to living in a tiny house. If you are the type that "needs your space", no way is this going to work. If you and hubby tend to argue a lot, there isn't really going to be anywhere to go to get away. Being honest with yourself about these issues is a must.

We've been living in our home for 3 years and it's still working great for us. If you are determined to live simply, you can do it.
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#26 of 40 Old 06-16-2009, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love how MDC can have 2 totally different sides, perfect for questions like this. So, we debated the pro's and con's, the in's and the outs and we measured, measured, measured! So, last week we put in an offer and yesterday we signed the counter! We may be in escrow some time today :.

On our reinspection/measuring trip we realized a few thing, there IS room for a small crib in our room, and there is unfinished attic space! We think we may just go ahead and finish it and make it into a playroom for the girls!

So now I need something else from you guys, inspiration! Does anyone have any great links for small house living? I especially love picks of peoples own houses, they have such real usable information. So far we plan to put in some built in book cases, bunkbeds, and simplify, but other then that we are pretty stumped.

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#27 of 40 Old 06-16-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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Congrats! I think the new place sounds great.

A happy woman
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#28 of 40 Old 06-16-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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It would depend on the personalities of those involved. Im very much an introvert, I need space. I also get panic attacks if I get to crowded and can't get away. So, for me NO I wouldn't, even for a few years. It would really negitively effect my mental health.
However, for people who don't need space to themselves and who don't mind being crowded Id say go for it. Especially for the chance to own your own home.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#29 of 40 Old 06-16-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah_bella1050 View Post
I love how MDC can have 2 totally different sides, perfect for questions like this. So, we debated the pro's and con's, the in's and the outs and we measured, measured, measured! So, last week we put in an offer and yesterday we signed the counter! We may be in escrow some time today :.

On our reinspection/measuring trip we realized a few thing, there IS room for a small crib in our room, and there is unfinished attic space! We think we may just go ahead and finish it and make it into a playroom for the girls!

So now I need something else from you guys, inspiration! Does anyone have any great links for small house living? I especially love picks of peoples own houses, they have such real usable information. So far we plan to put in some built in book cases, bunkbeds, and simplify, but other then that we are pretty stumped.
Oops, Just read this.. Congrats!!

I don't have any links for small house living (we have a 1000 ft, 3 room apartment, I don't consider it small). However when I was in California we had a small one bedroom apartment and I learned a couple of things. First, make sure to use all the vertical space you have. Shelves, storage units etc that you can use the wall space. Also, use your closets well.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#30 of 40 Old 06-17-2009, 11:45 AM
 
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Congrats! I am pregnant with baby #4 and I would totally consider living in a very small house if it was the right floorplan and right property. Go to IKEA and look at their showrooms for small spaces, lots of awesome ideas!

~Rebecca~
mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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