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#1 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I heard this wonderful spot on the radio about tiny homes-- truly small, one-room little places. some people were using them for hurricaine releif, but for most it was a life-style choice. THe homes they were discussing were beautiful and thoughtful, efficient and charming.

I can imagine that it would be refreshing to have only what I really needed---no extra clothes or dishes or space or anything. everything would have to be well-designed, and ordered, and it would lead one to appreciate each thing you had because you valued it enough to keep it.

I suppose it could be similar if one lived on a house boat, mobile home, or even just conscientiously in a very small apartment. Anyone have a tiny home, who can talk about how they do it?

The concept has been intriguing and inspiring me.
I found related websites by searching for "tiny homes", "tiny home success stories", and "small house society"
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#2 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 01:12 AM
 
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I think there have been several threads about this somewhere on MDC...I love this topic though I have always wanted to live in a little little house. I am at my HAPPIEST in a hotel room!! Only necessities and everything within sight!

Our dream is to pay off all debt and then build a cottage from Country Plans. And then furnish it with IKEA stuff I love that place. Perfect for small spaces.

I have obsessed over the Tumblewood houses forever. Ooooh

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#3 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 09:04 AM
 
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Look for boatbaby's threads. She lives on a boat.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#4 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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We don't have a TINY home now but we're getting ready to sell our 1400sf house and move into a 1000 or so sf house. I'm excited about it because I'm SICK of all the clutter!!! We're having a garage sale tomorrow and I've spent the last few weeks decluttering..I cannot believe how much JUNK we have!!!

I have a friend who lives in a 2 bedroom with 6 kids and one on the way..I think the key is organization!!! I think anyone can live in about any space if it's organized well..

When we're older we plan on buying a smaller home or at least a home where a large portion of it can be closed off unless the kids are visiting. My mom and dad have a HUGE house so all the kids can come home at once but my mom works a ton and is forever and always complaining about how she doesn't have time to clean!!

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#5 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 12:06 PM
 
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We live in a 525 sq foot one-bedroom cottage kinda thing. We try to be pretty efficient about where we put things but what has really held us back is not having the money to buy non-conventional furniture. Our conventional couches take up a huge amount of space in our living area. We're also a little attached to our TV (don't get cable but watch a lot of movies), that would free up a lot of space too. We are all in all really good at fitting our things into a small amount of space and we've managed to make this place pretty livable.

Perhaps I will take some photos and post them later? In our living space we have a dining table, two couches, a woodstove, a TV, and a kid craft corner. In the bedroom we have our bed, bunks for the kids, all of our three dressers, toys in the closet organizer system, bookshelves, and the computer desk/work area. The bedroom is too cramped for my liking but I really like the living room how it is right now.

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#6 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 01:42 PM
 
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We live in a mobile home. It is small, but very cute and country-ish. We have 2 bedrooms, bathroom with 2 sinks, living room and kitchen. That's it. I've complained so many times about not having more space, but I'm starting to realize that we have more than enough space- we just have too much junk!
I think we have about 890 sq ft. for the 4 of us., so that is probably more space than you're talking about, but I couldn't really imagine having any less sq. footage than that without becoming claustrophobic

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#7 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 01:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikirj
Perhaps I will take some photos and post them later?
Yeah yeah!
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#8 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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840 sq. foot 2 bedroom 1 bath mobile home...2 adults, 2 preteens and 1 toddler. Small, but comfy.
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#9 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkenny
840 sq. foot 2 bedroom 1 bath mobile home...2 adults, 2 preteens and 1 toddler. Small, but comfy.
see... you're doing ok DH keeps insisting that we don't have room for another little person, but I beg to differ..
Our homes are about the same size

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#10 of 35 Old 05-18-2006, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love to see photos! It's such a wonderful idea-- a perfect, little house! I will admit that I think everyone on the radio spot was living solo. Maybe there was one couple. We live in a pretty medium-sized apartment, with two bedrooms. (we are expecting our 2nd kiddo) but we won't be here forever and realistically expect to go smaller, not bigger. The amazing thing is, the family who lived here before us had five kids!

The small- house concept makes me think of camping in canoe country, or backpacking. We have to carry everything, so it becomes an art to have what you need, but as little as possible. Versatility is beautiful. I always find it so freeing, but then forget about it when we get back home.
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#11 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 01:19 AM
 
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Yes! Pictures pictures!! I live for pictures!

Sara ::: Mama to Bella Grace & Lucy Mae Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 1 Peter 3:4
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#12 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 07:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2babybeans
see... you're doing ok DH keeps insisting that we don't have room for another little person, but I beg to differ..
Our homes are about the same size
Yep, we do pretty good...as the kids get older, they are mostly only home to eat or sleep anyway! (You can borrow that excuse! )
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#13 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 09:01 AM
 
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After spending this last week scrubbing and delcuttering to get ready to put our house on the market I'm sticking to as small a home as we can stand for as long as possible. I'm constantly having to clean, scrub, etc and our house is only 1400sf. We're moving to a 1000-1100sf home and I'm really excited about it now!! Much less cleaning!! Woohoo!!!

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#14 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 10:15 AM
 
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We have a 960 sq ft house (I am not positive if that is all inside or if they inlcuded the garage in that, I hope they didn't include the garage!) with 2 adults, 1 14 mo, 1 dog, and FOUR cats. Ay yi yi. It is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath with a TINY kitchen (that's the worst part--it feels cramped when more than one person is in it).

I read that in the 50s, the ave family of 4 lived in a 1000 sq ft house, while NOW the ave fam of 4 lives in a 2500 (!) sq ft house. Truthfully, I hope to be out of this house before we have another kiddo (more b/c of the neighborhood than the house) but that statement gives me heart. It is also comforting to see so people here living in small spaces.

Our house DOES feel cramped, but I think A LOT of that comes from the number of pets we have (mainly b/c it is hard to keep the house at the level of cleanliness that I like with a 14 mo and a menagerie), as well as the fact that we have traditional furniture.

Can anyone point me in some good directions for re-situating my belongings to make my house feel more spacious?

I like this thread, b/c if we can't move and I want another kiddo, I don't want to feel that space is a factor holding me back.

But oh man do I want a bigger kitchen!! And another bathroom would be awesome since dh CAMPS in there. (If I were to add onto my house, I would add a bathroom onto our room and also make our laundry "room" into an actual room (they are back to back, so this is feasible). The cool thing about that is it would divide our backyard and would make a private area outside my room, and since i am fantasizing, I would want to take out my window and put in French doors leading onto a little private patio. How sweet does that sound? But I find it interesting that my fantasy work on my current house actually WOULDN'T make the kitchen bigger (although the laundry area is right off the kitchen, so maybe it would, by default) or ANY of the rooms bigger, so that's cool!)
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#15 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 10:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petersmamma
Can anyone point me in some good directions for re-situating my belongings to make my house feel more spacious?
As in furniture or belongings that can be stored?

If it's something that you don't use often, it can be stashed away. We only have one small coat closet and one medium sized bedroom closet (we tore out the closet in the smaller bedroom to make more room). We have a bunch of Rubbermaid totes, all the same size, that we store things in (like out of season clothing, holiday items etc.) and they're stashed 3 high in that one closet.

You can utilize all your other space for storage too....under the beds (with a dust ruffle, noone knows!), under the couch, etc.
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#16 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 12:27 PM
 
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Didn't know my pictures would be so wanted!

The kids are still asleep, I'll get the bedroom photos later today, but I snapped some of the living area and kitchen this morning before the kids got their hands on it. OK, so my 4yo made an appearance...but yeah, before they were awake and mess-making.

The kitchen is pretty small in this place too, but it is large enough for two people to work in. And the fact that you can see what the kids are doing while you're in there is worth a lot to me. We would have more space in there but I've had to station a large two-step stool right in the most useful spot, just because I'm too short to reach the top level of the cabinets without it (ok, the top TWO levels of the cabinets, or I would just put rarely-used stuff on top and climb when I needed to...). It also has more counter space than the larger kitchen we had before this. I'm not sure how that works out, but it is way easier to bake now (I like baking!).

Petersmamma, if you're actually uncomfy, I vote they included the garage in the square footage . We had a family of 5 in a 720 sq foot, 2br apartment and it was a very comfortable size for us. So I think that either they included the garage, you have too much stuff, or the layout of your house is really crappy.

We had good luck in your situation with CREATING divided space, a technique we still use here. I don't know if I still have photos of the old apartment, because that is way more relevant to you, and I could show you how we made a distinct office space in the living room, and it was still comfortable. We basically placed a long couch 3/4 of the way down the room and put the office (computer stuff, my school stuff, DH's hobby stuff) behind it.

We also like to make "stations." When I manage to post photos later you'll see that there so I won't go too much into that. The point of making many small spaces is that when people want to do something alone or in pairs, there is a definite 'spot' for that. Like next to the woodstove we have a padded storage box that doubles as the warm-winter-reading corner, and across from that the loveseat, which is also a reading area but has a table with the blocks and baby toys under it, so it is a reading/block building/puzzle/car racing spot. Does that make any sense?

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#17 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 05:21 PM
 
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Photos:

http://www.littlestllama.com/house.html

Enjoy . They aren't such great quality, I probably should have waited until later in the day when the light was better, but oh well.

Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.

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#18 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nikirj
Like next to the woodstove we have a padded storage box that doubles as the warm-winter-reading corner
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#19 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 05:43 PM
 
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Great pix Niki. I think it's amazing what shelving and creative thinking can do!

..... and what does YOUR diaper pail smell like?
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#20 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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Er, the diaper pail, to be honest, smells like the Giraffe enclosure at the zoo.

And Lory says I must mention that we live in the forest and have made outdoor spaces for ourselves, as well, because this place would kinda SUCK if it was right in the city. I think I'd go nuts if I had an apartment this size, and the kids couldn't go out whenever they felt like it.

ETA - and the bench, Lory has christened "The Lory Seat." I guess she really likes it (I do too).

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#21 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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I so want your dressers - they are exactly what I've been looking for - simple solid dressers made of REAL wood. Right now all our stuff is in those rubbermaid pull out stackable drawers but they are too deep and they topple over if the kids pull the top one out too far, etc.

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#22 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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wow thanks for sharing your home! very inspiring. we're thinking about making a major move/change/simplification that would include moving to a much smaller home/apartment. i love that you live in a one bedroom!
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#23 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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Great pictures. Very inspiring. Makes me love living in a small house. Plus I love how you have the books above the dresser on shelves. Now I can move my library out of the cosleeper!
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#24 of 35 Old 05-19-2006, 11:34 PM
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What do y'all do with boys and girls in small houses? Do boys and girls share bedrooms?

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#25 of 35 Old 05-20-2006, 12:07 AM
 
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DH and I just started building a 16 foot diameter straw bale retreat cabin for three year quiet retreat. (Is that 192 sq. feet?) We'll be living in it though 2 years before retreat starts. We will probably build an additional 12 foot meditation room so we don't live in our practice area, but we'll have a bed, low table for study and eating (like a big coffee table), and a small kitchen area in the main round. No fridge since we'll be off-grid (root cellar) and maybe even a solar oven in the wall. Very easy and not much in the way of belongings.

But my boy and girl shared the same room until he was 12 or so and then I shared with dd. When I married again, they had their own rooms, but we still only had about 900 square feet or so until recently. We had 1500 sq. foot manufactured home for 3 years; oldest moved out and we're in a 900 sq. foot apartment til the next is gone. When they were really little, we lived in a cabin in Alaska about 400 sq. feet total. It was my favorite home.
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#26 of 35 Old 05-20-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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Thanks everyone!

I realized that my calculations were wrong. The house is 20x25, so 500 sq feet, not 525. I am not sure where I added the extra 25. Wishful thinking maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo
I so want your dressers - they are exactly what I've been looking for - simple solid dressers made of REAL wood. Right now all our stuff is in those rubbermaid pull out stackable drawers but they are too deep and they topple over if the kids pull the top one out too far, etc.
They were a gift from MIL when we moved here from Hawaii and had NO furniture! She got them from IKEA. But it took a lot of finesse to stop her from just going to Walmart and picking up piece-o-crud dressers there. Which is, of course, what she wanted to do; she saw we had all our clothing stacked in a closet and wanted to 'fix it' (we did need it). We managed to convince her that anything she bought at Walmart would only last half as long as something she bought at IKEA. We still haven't broken her of the Walmart habit, but at least she (usually) doesn't buy us stuff from there anymore. We got a whole ton of the rest of the stuff at IKEA, including the closet shelving and the wall-shelves we've hung above the dressers. And then we got a bunch of stuff off of freecycle too. Including the woodstove! And the couches.

We obviously all share a bedroom but the kids are small yet (oldest is 6) and they are not really even beginning to enter the age where they are interested in privacy at all. They're still happy to swim together naked, change in the same room, etc.

We moved into this place thinking we'd figure out an addition or move again soon. We've found ourselves pretty decently comfortable here, though, after making a few changes. Still, we'd like to have a little more space within the next year or so as our eldest matures into a need for privacy. Right now she can go up into her bed, pull a sheet over that rainbow-ish thing, turn on her star light, and be alone for a bit if she likes; this is all she seems to need. I imagine that need will grow over the next couple of years and I don't want to make her go through it in a painful way before we get down to making more space.

I would never put off a wanted child for lack of space. Although a combo of circumstances in which lack of space played a factor, yeah.

Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.

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#27 of 35 Old 05-20-2006, 04:52 PM
 
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I'm not sure if we count as small. We have two adults, two kids, a cat, a dog and 2 guinea pigs in a 1200 sq ft house. We do have a garage, a screened in porch, and a nice back yard which all make it feel much larger, in my opinion. We are one of the smaller houses in our neighborhood. I am actually very comfortable in the house. We have 3 bedrooms. One for me and DH, one for the girls, then the other is an office/guestroom.

Sometimes I do think it would be great to live in 2000+sq ft like most of my neighbors, but then I remember I can vacuum my whole house without moving the electrical chord! Hey, count your blessings!
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#28 of 35 Old 05-20-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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Raleigh Mom, I am from SC and that describes most of the houses in my family growing up. My grandmother lives in an 1150, the other in a 1250. I grew up in a 1200, and my cousins: they had the big house! Once Uncle Cecil enclosed the garage, they had a whopping 1450 sq feet!!!!!!! They all have three bedrooms, one or two baths and carports or garages. Usually they're on at least half an acre, and I think that does contribute to the sense of space.

It was normal, and only now as an adult can I imagine those houses as small.
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#29 of 35 Old 05-20-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight
...I have obsessed over the Tumblewood houses forever. Ooooh
These are soooo cool. I don't know if I could do quite that small, but they are nice!

We have about 1350 sq ft & right now it's me, dd & stbx so pretty soon it will be just me & dd. We have too much crap so it feels cluttered. I have a hard time letting things go...gifts & such. I also have a hard time throwing something away that still has some 'life' left in it or can be reused. But I'm getting much better.If I don't love it or use it, out it goes. I've also become more discriminating in what I buy which definitely helps.

I do think this is a perfect size, but could be even better with a better layout. The kitchen is small & feels closed off from the other rooms & the front door always seems so cluttered because we don't have a closet. Actually there are no closets on the entire first floor, and the only closets upstairs are in the bedrooms (no linen closet or such). I do like that all the bedrooms are upstairs a lot.

Outside space definitely helps, although our lot is 50 x 100, we still have a good size room to play & for me to have a garden. There is also a little park down the street which is nice also.

Sometimes I would like a little more space, but like pp's have mentioned, it's just more to clean. It's awesome that I can vaccuum all of the downstairs without unplugging the vaccuum & do all of the upstairs from one outlet too.
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#30 of 35 Old 05-20-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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We're in the planning stages of going from 2400 to appox. 200 sq.ft.! 2 adults & 1 toddler. We're hoping to find really good temporary homes for the 2 kitties, if not.. we'll be bringing them along,too.
Presently, we have a 3br/1.5ba, 3story, split-level w/2car garage & .6 acres. We're going to rent it out & move into an Airstream. We're still in the planning stages...but we're looking at anywhere between 24' & 31'. So, very small.


I've lived in a VW for a few months, my dodge caravan for a few months, and seen lots of different layouts of motor homes & semi-truck cabs... you have to think in the terms of cubic ft more than square footage- taking advantage of height, as well. But it can be done. You have to get down to the bare minimums & if you attain something new, something old has to go to make room.

I agree w/nikirj, your outside space is a huge factor. The reason I've lived in vehicles is because it allowed me to travel around the country... but living out in a yurt in the woods is just as appealing to me.. it's the small, simplified space.


We're really going to have pare down to that size, enough clothes for a week, 3 boxes of toys that can be rotated out... cooking utensils... toiletries... some art supplies, port.sewing machine, stereo, cd's, port.dvd player. We're hoping to receive this little portable washing machine very soon... I don't want to endorse this product until I've tried it, but it's part of the plan.

We'll be packing up all of our pictures & quilts,as well as picking out some of our choice records & books to put in a storage closet we'll be renting here in town. After we have all we plan to keep, I'll be selling stuff on ebay as well as the Trading Post here... and after all of that is gone... opening up my entire house, right at the end of rummage sale season & selling it. I may even offer previews for $5 or something. I have so much great stuff, it's all been carefully selected from rummage sales or goodwill, lots of beautiful gifts which are really hard to part w/ but I just have to. I feel so owned by my things. I feel so giddy when I think of pulling away from here w/just what I need, my family & freedom. It's something that keeps coming back to me, I feel this need to have a possessional cleansing & be mobile... just to see what happens. We're not hitting the open road, yet... but planning on staying at my parent's property in FL for a season, my husband is pretty handy & does lots of house painting so he'll be getting licensed & working down there for about 5x what he would make here in the midwest. SO> that's the plan! We'll see how it takes shape!
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