1200 sq. ft house = simplified life or nightmare? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#61 of 89 Old 10-26-2010, 12:00 PM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I wouldn't do it by choice. I like my space.
Me, too.

I like being able to send kids to another room to play so I can read a book. I like leaving a project on the formal dining room table overnight. I love having some "privacy" space between my bedroom and the kid's bedrooms.
philomom is offline  
#62 of 89 Old 10-26-2010, 12:34 PM
 
doubledutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Me, too.

I like being able to send kids to another room to play so I can read a book. I like leaving a project on the formal dining room table overnight. I love having some "privacy" space between my bedroom and the kid's bedrooms.
ITA!



i do all those things (1350 sq ft . . . it's 850 plus a finished attic). i send the kids upstairs, or outside, or to go take a bath, lol - or i read in bed. if for some reason i do a project on the dining room table instead of on my big sewing table in my craft space, i can leave it there overnight and we can eat breakfast (and lunch, if need be) on the breakfast bar of our kitchen, or in the car as we run around, or out on the porch. kids' room is upstairs, my bedroom is downstairs - not that i'm sleeping down there yet (still cosleeping upstairs), but when we're ready: hello, privacy!

don't get me wrong, i can think of reasons i'd enjoy a bigger house. size matters, but layout matters more! . . . i love my small (or imo normal) house, and i'm glad you love your big house. it just struck me as funny because all those things are totally doable for me too!
doubledutch is offline  
#63 of 89 Old 10-27-2010, 10:52 PM
 
red and lulu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 393
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We live in an 800 sq. ft, 2 story, 2 bdrm duplex. I hate it. I was really excited about moving in, b/c I too wanted to declutter and simplify, but I was being overly optimistic. The worst part is the kitchen which is tiny and has no counter space (the dryer in the corner doesn't help either). You cant open the fridge all the way w/o hitting the counter. I got a kitchen cart, but its not enough. I feel closed in all the time. We also don't have but 2 closets-- one downstairs that houses the mini washing machine and the big one upstairs that you literally have to crawl into. It feels impossible to organize, b/c everytime I need anything I have to dig through everything else. Dd's room (which had no bed b/c we co-sleep, but had all her toys etc) is now the home office for xp, so the living room and other bedroom are littered with toys. I wish I had designated spaces to put things, but theres just no storage. I feels like cluttered chaos all the time and we don't have that much stuff.

I think wanting to downsize is noble, but you have to be really honest with yourself about what you need-- if you don't think you'll be able to deal with the small, storage-less kitchen, you won't.
red and lulu is offline  
#64 of 89 Old 10-27-2010, 11:57 PM
 
SubliminalDarkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Outside of Augusta, GA
Posts: 1,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Congratulations on being under contract!

I'm curious, since you're interested in making the most of the space, why you'd be storing furniture in your basement? You said you plan to stay in the house about five years, so it's furniture you won't use for five years? Why store it?
SubliminalDarkness is offline  
#65 of 89 Old 10-29-2010, 01:30 PM
 
mary3mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Middle Indiana
Posts: 2,269
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We are a family of 5 living in a 1300sf home right now.
We moved here from a beautiful, new home that had 2100sf finished plus and unfinished basement (completely usable for storage and play) and an unfinished upstairs (we never used.)
Sometimes I miss the space. But I don't miss the constantly cleaning. Constant.

I'm still unpacking here but so far I can really see that this smaller space (we lived here before and just moved back...so I did know what I was getting into) takes about 60% less of my time. So I can spend more time with my children and with cooking and with knitting.

We have a tiny 1 car garage that will be used for some storage but mostly for dh's home office. Then we have a storage shed for things that can be stored long-term that are not temperature-sensitive. And we have a huge, fenced yard. Without the yard we would be in trouble. The house feels too small for so much kid-energy but because we can open the door and let them FREE it takes care of that.

The thing with smaller spaces is: declutter viciously

Before we moved back home I spent a month decluttering. We got rid of about 30% of our furniture (donations, freecycle, friends) and about 60% of our non-furniture stuff. I cannot count how many trips we took to the thrift store to donate or had friends over to go through stuff and choose what they could use.

There are very few things that I am sentimental enough about to keep moving them cross state lines.

So I cleared out. Even if a thing was useful, it didn't mean that I needed to own it. I could give it to someone who really needed it...so I did.

Decluttering also made the move more sane. We were able to fit everything in to the moving truck with room to spare. We were able to load the truck and unload the truck without killing ourselves. And less stuff just makes me feel more at peace.

I believe that our children need more of US then they need the stuff we fill our houses with. So if I can spend less time picking up, cleaning, reorganizing...that's a very good thing.

Maryhippie.gif

mary3mama is offline  
#66 of 89 Old 10-29-2010, 01:32 PM
 
caned & able's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bridgeport, ME
Posts: 999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wish all I had was 1200 square feet to manage.

Any more than that is too much.
caned & able is offline  
#67 of 89 Old 10-29-2010, 01:48 PM
 
raelize's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama2Xander View Post
We're a family of 5 in 650 sq ft and feel like we have plenty of space

I think you'd be fine We have an extremely skewed perspective in this part of the world about how much space and stuff we "need".
we have somewhere around 1500 sq ft. and i have no problem with it. we may put an addition on later, but we'll see. i have no problem with the space at all. when we had been her 1 motnh we had dd2's b-day with about 40 people (adults and kids) and it was no problem.

we do have a skewed idea of how much space we need. have you ever seen the books, not so big house?
the idea is quality over quantity. and, really, a great way to live green is to not take up so much space. really think about what we *need* as opposed to what we want. we are super consumers as americans, and our ideas about houses just fall into that.
raelize is offline  
#68 of 89 Old 10-29-2010, 03:36 PM
 
proudmamanow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: home again, home again, jiggety-jig
Posts: 2,066
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have to say that personality is a big factor here too. Dp & I are both introverts who like our space, but we have a dd1 who is an anxious extrovert. So even if we had a mansion with 400 rooms, she will ALWAYS want to be close to us, lol, preferably on our lap or on the same piece of furniture! So it doesn't seem to matter if we have a beautiful play space in another part of the house, she will rarely play there alone.
That being said, I think we also really like having separate bedrooms with walls, so that noise doesn't become a big factor. Same reason we are fans of multi-storey houses rather than bungalows or apartments--psychologically, we both like having the separate spaces.

We are still very excited about decluttering, simplifying & living in a smaller space. But I'll come back and update in 3 weeks after we've moved into our new house--maybe I'll have changed my mind
proudmamanow is offline  
#69 of 89 Old 10-30-2010, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
foolishpony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OP here. SubliminalDarkness and maybe a few others commented on storing furniture in the basement. Most of our furniture has come from parents and grandparents (some of whom have died), so a lot of the pieces have memories attached. That's why I need to lurk around here -- I need help letting go of "things" that I feel guilty getting rid of. I mean, I know it's ridiculous to keep an old pie crust table that is not practical to have with 2 young children, but it was my grandmother's! And I could go on and on with just about everything we own! And the frugal/poor side of me thinks why donate this perfectly useful dresser when we might need it in 5 years. HELP!

As others have said -- I am ok with moving to a smaller space. It has always been important to us to not buy new construction (and this is our 4th home purchase). That's not a judgement on anyone else, just how we feel! I like being with DD, 3, and DS, 1. We're always in the same room. I expect as they get older, things will change, but for now -- I'm excited!

But any inspiration for letting go of family (old/antique) furniture would be appreciated!
foolishpony is offline  
#70 of 89 Old 10-31-2010, 12:22 PM
 
emmaegbert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I grew up in a house that has 1800sf (and no garage, basement, or attic) and it always felt large (family of 4).

I was living in 860sf with my DH and 2 kiddos, and we are about to move (for 1-2 years) into a 550sf apartment. So, I think 1200 sounds big!

I have personally VICIOUSLY purged with this move. I am worried about living in 550sf, but I think we'll make it work. While kids are young, I've found they want to be around me anyway.

I'm with others- don't store stuff you won't use. Give it away to someone who will really love and appreciate it. Or sell it and use the money in 5 years to buy new furniture.

dissertating mom to three

emmaegbert is offline  
#71 of 89 Old 10-31-2010, 12:53 PM
 
lolar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you have an actual living family member who is putting pressure on you to keep the furniture, or is it all internal pressure?
lolar2 is offline  
#72 of 89 Old 10-31-2010, 01:50 PM
 
homemademom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishpony View Post
OP here. SubliminalDarkness and maybe a few others commented on storing furniture in the basement. Most of our furniture has come from parents and grandparents (some of whom have died), so a lot of the pieces have memories attached. That's why I need to lurk around here -- I need help letting go of "things" that I feel guilty getting rid of. I mean, I know it's ridiculous to keep an old pie crust table that is not practical to have with 2 young children, but it was my grandmother's! And I could go on and on with just about everything we own! And the frugal/poor side of me thinks why donate this perfectly useful dresser when we might need it in 5 years. HELP!

As others have said -- I am ok with moving to a smaller space. It has always been important to us to not buy new construction (and this is our 4th home purchase). That's not a judgement on anyone else, just how we feel! I like being with DD, 3, and DS, 1. We're always in the same room. I expect as they get older, things will change, but for now -- I'm excited!

But any inspiration for letting go of family (old/antique) furniture would be appreciated!
Take pictures for your sentimental side and sell on Craigslist for your poor/frugal side And in five years when you need a dresser, check out Craigslist again because someone is bound to be selling a nice used one at a great price In other words, you can bless someone else's life right now by providing some lovely furniture that they really need, and later, you'll be blessed the same way. And you can honor your relatives and their generosity by keeping pictures and many good memories!

I love homemade: cute skirts, apricot jam, and family! 
homemademom is offline  
#73 of 89 Old 10-31-2010, 01:57 PM
 
catscharm74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you find a space you love, no matter. the size, it will work for you. I know people who live in anywhere from 450 to 4500 and they each have their own issues and loves. Find what works for you. I have found in a smaller space with 3, I am forced to keep it decluttered and it does make my life easier. Just the other day, my boss told me she was stopping by to drop off some work related products and I had about 2 hours notice. I did a quick dusting, vacuum and cleaned up the bathroom and VOILA!! THe house was sparkling because I wasn't worried about stuff and not having enough time to clean ALL that space (which used to be a huge problem for me). You can make a space work if you love it to begin with. If it's other people's opinions that are causing you the angst, dig a little deeper to recognize how YOU feel. Good luck and keep us posted. : )
catscharm74 is offline  
#74 of 89 Old 10-31-2010, 04:59 PM
 
BetsyS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: world of craziness
Posts: 5,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We just move from 1800 + unfinished basement (but fine for playing and lots and lots of storage) to 1400 square feet, no basement, teeny attic (aout 100 sq feet) for storage.

so far (it's been a month), it's good. We have 3 littles, 4 months, 2, and 4, and like someone said, it's not like they've ever been more than 2 feet away from me anyway, so I don't have that to compare to. They've always been right up in my pocket. We plan to live here 5-7 years, and I expect by then, I'll want more space, but for right now, this works well for us. In many ways, it lives a lot bigger than our old house.
BetsyS is offline  
#75 of 89 Old 10-31-2010, 06:34 PM
 
starling&diesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Coast, Canada
Posts: 3,830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishpony View Post

But any inspiration for letting go of family (old/antique) furniture would be appreciated!
If you love it, keep it and put it to use. If you love it and have no use for it, pass it along to someone else who will love it and use it. If you don't love it, sell it and enjoy the money now or put it into savings. I can say that it sometimes hurts to part with these treasures at first, but over time, you'll be glad for the release.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
starling&diesel is online now  
#76 of 89 Old 10-31-2010, 08:05 PM
 
Juvysen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 7,479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I personally would have to give stuff to people I didn't know, because I have perfectionist issues and would be upset if it was being treated badly But I'm happy at the idea of someone else loving and taking care of it. Just out of my sight

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

Juvysen is offline  
#77 of 89 Old 10-31-2010, 08:38 PM
 
greenmulberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 665
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishpony View Post
And the frugal/poor side of me thinks why donate this perfectly useful dresser when we might need it in 5 years. HELP!
When you factor in the inconvenience of storing it for five years, it isn't much of a bargain to keep it. Especially when the excess stuff causes you to wonder if you can live in a smaller house.

If it is a perfectly useful dresser, you can get a little bit of money for it on Craigslist, and in the event that you actually find yourself NEEDING a dresser in five years, just keep an eye out and someone will be selling a similar dresser eventually. Just price it reasonable.

Sometimes we watch the "wanted" list on Craigslist to see if anyone NEEDS the extra stuff we have. We just got rid of a perfectly nice, comfortable but a bit worn recliner. It was clean, but older and slightly miscolored in a few spots. A woman with fibromyalgia posted asking if anyone had an affordable recliner for cheap (she couldn't sit upright anymore or something) She was so very very happy that we would sell it to her for 40 bucks. Yes, that was cheap but because of the miscoloring, I couldn't really charge a high price. This lady was so completely ecstatic, you could tell it was such a relief for her to get this recliner! And it was something that was just taking up space in our house.

We used to try and keep everything, but after a cross country move where we had to pare down our stuff, we realized how liberating it is to only have what you need in your daily life. All the furniture in our house has a place and a purpose and every room gets used regularly. If we get something new, something old has to go.

It feels good to find new homes for things that we cannot use, or do not have room for. It is very rare that I find myself needing something I rehomed, but we have little storage area in our house, and I quite often appreciate that all areas of our house are fully used, are relatively uncluttered, and we are not tripping over things that we are keep for some potential need that may never even occur.
greenmulberry is offline  
#78 of 89 Old 11-01-2010, 04:12 PM
 
mnnice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We just recently downsized from just under 1600 sq foot to about 1,100 sq foot. So far there are a couple of quirks that I am not in love with (my kitchenaid mixer doesn't fit under the cabinets so it's in a pantry/closet area and I have to get it out when I use it. The one bathroom is tiny. Tiny enough that it's hard for me to get ready in even if it's just me). We also gave up our King bed which we really haven't missed (to both DH and I suprise).

It does have a very generous kitchen for a house of it size. I actually think I have more cabinets. While it doesn't have a huge lot it has a larger sort of common area that the neighborhood kids play in that I can see from the window.

Anyway we are a family of the same size, but a bit older (our kids are 5 and 8) and we are very happy in our current space. Good luck from somebody who could never live with her MIL as long as you did.
mnnice is offline  
#79 of 89 Old 11-11-2010, 09:44 AM
 
flightgoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It is doable. Before you even move boxes and stuff in, take an inventory of your space. Reconfigure the closests with double hanging or double shelves/closet organization, or invest in storage boxes/shelves/cubbies that sit in the closet floor. Utilize those door hanging organizers for stuff too (not just shoes! I flound a cool one for books and toys in a children's catalog) Utilize under bed drawers/garment boxes for storing out of season clothes and other seldom used items. In the kitchen, get those wire racks, dividers, etc that will maximize the cupboard space. Maybe think of getting new (or thrift sotre) dishes. If you have stonewear, they are kindof bulky, Look for thin correl (corell?) take up about half the space. In the bathroom (if you don't have a linen closet or something) definately get an etagiere or shelves or cupboard over the back of the toilet. If you have a dining room, consider getting a corner shaped cabinet for storing linens, entertaining dishes, or other things. Get all your storage places in order while they are empty, it is easier!  Have a coffee table? Make it 2 levels so you can store baskets underneath, or make it a 'chest' so you can store stuff inside. Put hooks on doors (if they are solid) for haning stuff. Put on kid height hooks too!

 

As you unpack, now is the time to purge!

flightgoddess is offline  
#80 of 89 Old 11-14-2010, 05:15 AM
 
SomethingAnonymous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We're a family of 4 (2 adults, 4 yr old and a 1 yr old) in 1000 sq ft. apartment.  There are 3 bedrooms 2 baths.  I actually wish we had a smaller place.  It is very hard to keep everything clean and I think we would do better with less stuff in a smaller space to clean.  I think you'll be fine and you'll find all kinds of ways to create more storage : )

SomethingAnonymous is offline  
#81 of 89 Old 11-14-2010, 11:05 AM
 
Amylcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My family of 5 lives in 1200 sq. ft. and it is much too small. 


knit.gifMom of Many  jumpers.gif

Amylcd is offline  
#82 of 89 Old 11-14-2010, 11:52 AM
 
rachieface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Village within the City
Posts: 421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My son, husband, and I live in a 500ish square foot apartment.  I love it.  We cut our living space in half when we moved three months ago, and I don't regret it one bit.  It is so easy to clean this place!  I'm kinda a sucky housekeeper, but my small, decluttered space is now CLEAN much of the time!  Our apartment, though, makes extremely efficient use of space.  It has a (relatively) large kitchen and living room, and the 2 bedrooms and bathroom are SMALL.  But that's OK....we are in the living room/kitchen much more.  There are no hallways to take up space either, so it's all usable. 

 

However, we do cheat a little bit....we have some storage space in the basement/laundry room that we share with the 4 other apartment in our building.  So Christmas tree, bikes, off-season clothes, etc are down there.  So.... with a little bit of extra storage, I can love our little apartment!


I'm Rach, full-time mama and part-time doula.  I love my city life with Mr. J stillheart.gif, Little J diaper.gif (05/03/10), and brand new Baby V love.gif (02/11/13)!

rachieface is offline  
#83 of 89 Old 11-15-2010, 08:32 AM
 
flightgoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Regarding saving the 'heirloom' furniture...

 

If you like it and want to keep it, maybe repurpose it! The dresser doesn't just need to be for clothes. If it is sturdy and has deep drawers, use it in the dining room for dishes, linens, etc. Use it in an 'office' for papers, art supplies, etc, use it in the living room for hiding games, toys, blankets, put it in the bottom of a large closet for storing stuff, there will still be plenty of hanging room above. Extra arm chair? Put it in your 'foyer' for changing shoues, etc or put it in the corner of the kids room for story time. If you have an 'attic' or rafters in your garage, you can keep some things there if they aren't too weather sensative. If there are a couple things you love, but don't want to use them yet (age of the children, or not sure where to put it yet) then by all means, keep them, but put a date on them. Say, reevaluate in 3 years, am I ready to use this? Will I use this? and get rid of it then if you aren't.

flightgoddess is offline  
#84 of 89 Old 11-17-2010, 08:58 AM
 
425lisamarie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In the rain
Posts: 5,289
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am REALLY good at organizing and getting every square inch out of living space.  Considering this seems like a necessary move,and you have a house in mind that you likle, then I think it sounds perfect.  Is there room in your budget for say, bookshelves, or anything new?  Do you have an IKEA around?  I have their Besta system and BILLY system floor to celieng in a few areas. Talk about some storage and multi use. 

 

My dear friend has a house no bigger than 1200 square feet.  When they moved in it was terribly closed. She took all the doors off, installed and painted trim around every opening, and did some amazing things with multi purposing furniture. 

 

My house is 3000 feet.  It's killing me!  It's great being able to have a separate sewing room, play room, art room.....you know what?  most the time EVERYONE gathers in the same area anyways LOL!  I'm still working on decluttering and I have one more room to go, and a small area outside the laundry room.

 

You can definately have personal space in a small house. How do you sleep?  Do the kids have their own rooms?  My kids just started sleeping in theirs at 4 and 6. If you have a family bed room and think it will stay that way for a while, then use a "kid" room as a play room or soemthing else until the shift happens.  You can make a cozy reading corner, and small arts and crafts studio area anywhere.  I LOVE organizing small spaces.

425lisamarie is offline  
#85 of 89 Old 11-17-2010, 09:28 AM
 
laohaire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Strange, I don't consider 1200 sq ft to be living a simplified life - just sounds pretty normal to me. I guess in some parts of the country there are a lot of new McMansions with 5000 sq ft so it must be unusual in some parts. But I consider the McMansions to be the "new, strange" thing rather than normal, and the 1200 sq ft to be on the traditional side.

 

Other than the US (and maybe Canada) where in the world would 1200 sq ft seem small, except to the wealthy?

 

My parents lived in a couple of 4000 sq ft houses, and they were nice and one in particular we liked a lot. But even so, I have to say, there was a LOT of unused space, rooms that just sat there as storage, etc. Bathrooms that were never used but still had to be dusted and maintained. (One house had 5 different bathrooms, granted most were just 1/2 baths, but still... it was like we could not possibly be expected to cross to a different room to get to a bathroom). I was a kid then so I have no idea what the heating and cooling bills were, but I can sure say that there was a great deal of money just going out the window there. Also, my parents are NOT minimalists AT ALL, and I still can't figure out what other stuff they would need to acquire to fill up that kind of space.

 

We are a family of 3 living in 1170 sq ft. I won't claim it feels like a mansion to us, but it's perfectly fine. We never feel like "wow, this is small." It's just a home, a reasonably sized home. If we had another child, I don't see why we'd need to move either. I do agree that layout does make a difference, and I fully understand that not every 1170 sq ft house would feel big enough. But the issue then would be layout, and not square footage. Living in 1200 sq ft just isn't a minimalist life, unless you're from Beverly Hills I guess. It's a normal life.

 

I don't know about the kitchen, the kitchen is important to me and a "tiny" kitchen could be difficult. But again, that's layout and not square footage. Our 1170 square foot house has a HUGE kitchen. It's not one of those Martha Stewart kitchens with islands and all (it's a 1905 house that's not completely updated), but it has plenty of counter space and cabinets. Former owners even added a laundry closet to it, and there's enough space for a small table. And we have a big table in our dining room. Three reasonably sized bedrooms. The bathroom has room to move around in, we store a laundry hamper in there and such. (But granted, there is only one, which is fine with us but considered medieval living by many). We are not ultra-organized. DH has tons of computer junk. DD has tons of toys all over the place (and believe me, it's not a factor of the size of the house.. she has TONS of toys!! Some of them very large, as well, like ride-on toys and play kitchen and so on). We have a weight bench and an elliptical trainer. Our basement is not finished, and while we do have some junk stored down there, it's not used as living space in any way. There's nothing in the attic.

 

I don't know how well the house you're looking at is laid out, but there's just nothing inherent about 1200 sq ft that will be hard for a family of 4 to live with. Only if you are used to one-use rooms (like a home theater, or an exercise room) - and those are very new things, and will likely not be valued in the future when it's just too expensive to heat rooms that are only used a few hours a week or month or year.


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

laohaire is offline  
#86 of 89 Old 11-17-2010, 03:41 PM
 
coyotemist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pacific NW near a lovely mountain
Posts: 1,769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We live in about 1600 or 1700 square feet, but our saving grace is the playroom.  It's a converted garage, and houses the kids TV, a second TV with a Playstation, the big toys like Hotwheels tracks and stuff, my sewing stuff and yarn, a big closet, the family files, and kids bookshelves. 

 

I keep sifting through the layers of stuff we've accumulated over the years.  We haven't always been as good at getting rid of stuff as we have at keeping and accumulating.  It's very freeing to see it go out the door!

 

We have 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths for a family of 5.  It's just perfect, and at times it's too much to clean (hard to keep up with every room).  But, as with anything  else, I look at it as a journey.  Our house isn't small by any means, I consider it middle sized, but someday I want a tiny little cottage surrounded by an English Garden! :)


"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"~Mary Oliver

RT knitting mama  to 3 (& 8 who didn't make it) wife working on 13 years to a silly man who drives me crazy.
coyotemist is offline  
#87 of 89 Old 11-21-2010, 03:47 AM
 
Crunchy*VT*Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Home of the Screaming Pennies
Posts: 2,964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We live in a 1400 sq ft home for five of us and we have PLENTY of room. 

 

We downsized from a 2400 sq ft home that was a waste of money -- we had rooms that we never went into except once a week to clean and dust them.

 

We spend a lot of time outside and we have minimal furniture -- which I like because less stuff = less stuff to clean.

 

So for us this has been a very welcome move.  We've been here five years and we've decided this is our forever home (at least until the kids move out)

 

But as the other posters pointed out, this is a very personal decision based on how much space you think you need. 

 

Can you do it?  Most definitely.

 

Will you be happy there?  It depends on you and your lifestyle.


 

 

Crunchy*VT*Mom is offline  
#88 of 89 Old 11-21-2010, 04:02 AM
 
IntuitiveJamie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 3,812
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We live in just under 1300 and I love it. I always want to live in a smaller home. I'm into simplified living for many reasons. I have also lived as a family of three in 1000 and thought it was great too. We are a family of four now and what we have is more than sufficient. I agree with Pepp. leaf- it's all about the layout too. We have a very open split floor plan and 10 ft ceilings in the living room and it makes it feel much bigger then it really is.

 


Mindful Spirit Expo is on April 21 and 22nd. Raise your consciousness!

Intuitive Encounters business merger means discounts for a limited time.

IntuitiveJamie is offline  
#89 of 89 Old 11-21-2010, 04:05 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,722
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would go for it.You can make any home work for you,and you said you will be moving soon anyway.Congrats on selling the other home!

 

I get a kick out of looking at small homes. I recently found one that was 440 sq ft.It was just a one bed,but I have come across 800 sq ft homes that were 3 bed. My dh wants a big space.As the house cleaner I think smaller is better.Besides it costs less to heat/cool a smaller home!

My dd has the smallest bedroom in our current home,but heck it fits her bed,desk,dresser,and bookshelf.My ds has a bigger room and it is such a mess with toys.The only thing dh wants is a room for a pool table.I bet he never plays if we ever get it.

mattemma04 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off