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#61 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Delight, I just found your blog at lunchtime...and I already cleaned out my closet!! And my books!! Thank you for being such an inspiration. Our house is 1189 sq ft an I often feel like we are in such tight quaters when really it's all of our stuff!! I now see so much possibility in the space around me. We had told ourselves that we could not have another child w/o abigger house. I knew all along that this is not true but now I really see how it could work. BTW, I have a red couch too and my livving room/dining room is also yellow, green, and red.
Isn't a new perspective great? We get so stuck in our thought processes that we can't see out of a situation. Lately, I even find myself thinking..."we could totally have 2 kids in this apt". A year ago I probably would have thought that was insane.

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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#62 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 10:46 PM
 
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Sara, I decluttered more today!! My MIL is a total garage sale packrat. Garage sales are great but if you don't use the stuff not so great. Do you have people always trying to give you stuff? I just can't say no b/c I don't want to be mean, then I have all this junk in my house and it drives me nuts. I also must say that I was very impressed by the toys fitting into one box!! That has got to be our single biggest problem. I know they don't need a lot and I don't buy for my kids really but I hate to get rid of toys that they sometimes play with. Any suggestions?
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#63 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:15 PM
 
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I'd think that having a small home would reduce people offering you stuff? I'd guess Sara wouldn't get many people trying to dump stuff on her.

Maybe you could try saying "That's lovely and I wish I had the room for it, but I simply don't" if you can't bring yourself to just say no.
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#64 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As for people giving me stuff...they've pretty much stopped. There is a joke that "you better not give Sara anything...or you'll see it on eBay". Somewhat true. If they truly know me, they would stop giving me crappy stuff anyway. But it's the thought that counts of course...so most of the time I will graciously accept the gift...and then freecycle or craigslist it. My MIL has come to know me well...she will bring me something and say, "ok...tell me if you don't like this". At least she gives me an out.

Anyway. On to the toys. Your kids will play with whatever is there. They may whine or be mad for a bit...but maybe you can get them involved? Can they help pick toys to donate to other kids? I know it's different for older kids...so I can't really give advice on how to help them adapt. Basically, if I don't like a toy, I just give it away and Bella never notices. Most of the time, it's ME having the trouble getting rid of something because I'm the one who thought it was such a cool toy. For me, the key is finding toys that are compact or can shrink down. She LOVES her playsilks. I think I have 4-5 of them and they shrink down to nothing. But when she's playing with them, they are huge and extravagent. We have nesting blocks, small wooden blocks, soft cloth dolls, small musical instruments. It's all small...and it works.

I know their are tons of threads on toys...you'd probably find some great ideas by searching on that. Congrats on continuing the decluttering! Isn't it addicting!?

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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#65 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd think that having a small home would reduce people offering you stuff? I'd guess Sara wouldn't get many people trying to dump stuff on her.

Maybe you could try saying "That's lovely and I wish I had the room for it, but I simply don't" if you can't bring yourself to just say no.
You're right...the small apt. is the perfect "excuse". I love it.

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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#66 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:25 PM
 
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Wow! Your home is BEAUTIFUL! Your photographs are well done - are you professional?

Have you seen the book "The Not So Big House"? I can't remember the name of the author but the subject is just what you said, smaller spaces, made more livable.

You've inspired me to reconsider my own space!
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#67 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:27 PM
 
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Ever wondered what a 478 sq. ft apartment looked like? C'mon in and check it out! Blogged here. Photos here.

Has anyone else gone REALLY small and loved it?
Your home is beautiful...really beautiful. But can I inquire how many people live there? If it were just me and one other person, I think we could manage with around 500 sq ft, but if you add more people you need more space (IMO).

Still, the McMansions being built today are OBSCENE!!
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#68 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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Ok, I LOVE your patchwork quilt!! Please, please tell me where you bought it (or is it hand-made?)!

Your taste is impeccable and if you can tell me where you shop, I would be overjoyed! So pretty!
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#69 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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You are right about the toys, Sara. They will play with what's around. I never really thought of it that way. The problem for me is DS looooves his toys. And he plays with them alot. I am pretty good about getting rid of toys I don't like though there are several in ds's room right now that I hate. He is going to see a moivie with grandpa tomorrow I plan on my sneak operation then.
DD never plays with anything so it's easier to get rid of her stuff.
I will try the "I just don't have room thing" sapphire_chan. She's coming in a couple of weeks and she is going to find a lot of her junk gone!!
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#70 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Your home is BEAUTIFUL! Your photographs are well done - are you professional?
I was a photographer in the Air National Guard for 6 years...so I had lots of free training My major in college was graphic design/photography...and now I just do some freelancing for friends and family.Thanks for asking

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Have you seen the book "The Not So Big House"? I can't remember the name of the author but the subject is just what you said, smaller spaces, made more livable. You've inspired me to reconsider my own space!
Yes! I actually just heard Sarah Susanka speak this week. I blogged about it here. And there is a thread about it here.

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Your home is beautiful...really beautiful. But can I inquire how many people live there? If it were just me and one other person, I think we could manage with around 500 sq ft, but if you add more people you need more space (IMO).
It's me, DH, and DD (2.5 yrs). It's the perfect size FOR US.

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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#71 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I LOVE your patchwork quilt!! Please, please tell me where you bought it (or is it hand-made?)!

Your taste is impeccable and if you can tell me where you shop, I would be overjoyed! So pretty!
I got the quilt from Pottery Barn (Providence Quilt) ... I think you can still find it on eBay. If you move your mouse over most of the photos in Flickr (as long as you're not in slide show view), you can see little sticky notes that say where I've found things. If there is something in particular...let me know. Most of it is totally random!

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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#72 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:45 PM
 
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Your home is beautiful...really beautiful. But can I inquire how many people live there? If it were just me and one other person, I think we could manage with around 500 sq ft, but if you add more people you need more space (IMO).
My 8yo, 10yo, and I live in 513 sq ft. I hear tell that some former tenants were a family of 5 (!). I don't know how crowded the family of 5 was, but my kids and I are pretty comfortable in the space we live in. Our biggest issue is storage since our house has no closets (doh!). I have learned to be very creative with storage and declutter ruthlessly.
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#73 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have learned to be very creative with storage and declutter ruthlessly.
I think that you pretty much summed up why small space CAN work. It's a DAILY thing for me...I declutter daily. I have a box ready and waiting for things that don't make the cut. I love how you put it..."ruthlessly". That's so true. I think outside the box with storage, etc.

It goes so completely against what our consumerism obsessed society tells us though...buy buy buy! keep keep keep! bigger bigger bigger! I think that's why it feels so weird at first. It goes against what most of us were taught.

Do you all find that certain "hoarding" tendancies have been passed down from mother/father to daugther, etc? I can definitely see this in my mom. She keeps so much stuff and never declutters...just moves paper and other stuff around. From one room to the other. And I used to be this way! I could wallow in my clutter with the best of 'em. I feel like I've finally broken the destructive cycle!

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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#74 of 319 Old 10-07-2006, 11:59 PM
 
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I could wallow in my clutter with the best of 'em. I feel like I've finally broken the destructive cycle!
Seriously? (Looks at the apartment pics again.) Really? (Looks again.) Nope, just don't see it. Which is just proof that your hard work and dedication has worked.
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#75 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Seriously? (Looks at the apartment pics again.) Really? (Looks again.) Nope, just don't see it. Which is just proof that your hard work and dedication has worked.
Yes, seriously My big decluttering push came when we decided to sell our house about 6 months ago. I was never buried in clutter, but I had much more than I could ever need or use. I just finally came to the realization that I didn't need all the gadgets, all the extra shampoo bottles, all the extra jeans, etc.
I wish I would have taken before and after photos!

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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#76 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 12:29 AM
 
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I got the quilt from Pottery Barn (Providence Quilt) ... I think you can still find it on eBay. If you move your mouse over most of the photos in Flickr (as long as you're not in slide show view), you can see little sticky notes that say where I've found things. If there is something in particular...let me know. Most of it is totally random!
How cool! Thanks!
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#77 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 12:58 AM
 
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Very inspiring! We live in a 2200 sq ft house, because we wanted four kids and it was a great deal. It feels so huge to me, and I daydream of downsizing like you did.

I had to laugh at the comments about people not giving you stuff when you live in such a small house; people seem to take our "big house" as an excuse to use us as their dumping ground. My mom and dad clean out their garage/closet and show up at my doorstep with half a dozen boxes "that I should go through." It's piling up, and I'm ready to get ruthless, but my dad expects me to keep all the stuff he saved--everything from my grade school cheerleading outfit to my 4-H ribbons to my kindergarten schoolwork. And my MIL buys way too much stuff for my DD and guilts my DH into keeping it. How do you deal with the people who get offended when you get rid of something they gave you?

I also wanted to ask how a Food Chopper differs from the miniature food processor?
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#78 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you deal with the people who get offended when you get rid of something they gave you?
How do they know you got rid of it? Do you tell them? They don't need to know your dirty little decluttering secret! For all they know, it's gathering dust in a box in your basement/attic.

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I also wanted to ask how a Food Chopper differs from the miniature food processor?
The Food Chopper is the Pampered Chef manual food chopper. Amazing little tool. Great for onions, nuts, veggies, herbs, ice, you name it. Quicker than getting out the food processor.

Mini-Food Processor is for small jobs that I don't want to get the big one out for. I've thought about getting rid of it...but we'll use it in the bus when we go camping and have electricity. I used it a lot when I was eating raw food and traveling. Easy to take with.

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#79 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 01:58 AM
 
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And I used to be this way! I could wallow in my clutter with the best of 'em. I feel like I've finally broken the destructive cycle!
Our place in CA was over twice as big as this house, and hopelessly cluttered. It was depressing, all the STUFF everywhere. It made it really hard to keep the place clean, too. It's hard to clean around and behind piles of clutter! After I got divorced I vowed I would not live that way anymore. It wasn't easy to learn to let go of the "stuff" and it's been a journey for sure. Our house still isn't exactly how I'd like it (due to continuous experimenting and lack of funds) but it's coming close. I also seriously need to declutter our kitchen cabinets... our only non-open storage area so of course it's collected way too much junk. Yes, I'm talking to you, abandoned Britta pitcher.
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#80 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 02:22 AM
 
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How do they know you got rid of it? Do you tell them? They don't need to know your dirty little decluttering secret! For all they know, it's gathering dust in a box in your basement/attic.
They ask! LOL. If they don't see it in our house, they ask where it is.
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#81 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 05:08 AM
 
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I spent a lot of time reading your blog the other night and have been looking over your pics heaps - so inspiring! I've majorly decluttered my kitchen, storage scotch chest and today we filled a large trailer with junk from the garage to go to the tip. Feels great!!! I went through my clothes last week. Phew!

I was looking at your basket of towels - are they regular type towels or made of just a thin cotton? They look great, but I've only seen terry towels here (I'm in New Zealand).

ETA: Oh, and I love the fact that you have been so positive about living in a small space. Even though we have no intention of downsizing - it has saved me feeling like I need to upsize and I now really appreciate our small house.

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#82 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I spent a lot of time reading your blog the other night and have been looking over your pics heaps - so inspiring! I've majorly decluttered my kitchen, storage scotch chest and today we filled a large trailer with junk from the garage to go to the tip. Feels great!!! I went through my clothes last week. Phew!
WOW! What a great feeling!

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I was looking at your basket of towels - are they regular type towels or made of just a thin cotton? They look great, but I've only seen terry towels here (I'm in New Zealand).
Are you talking about the cloth wipes on the back of my toilet? If so...they are mostly just 2-ply flannel/velour or flannel/terry. I've bought them from www.wallypop.net and www.emibeans.com ... of course, you can totally make them yourself if you sew, or just cut up old towel or t-shirts.

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ETA: Oh, and I love the fact that you have been so positive about living in a small space. Even though we have no intention of downsizing - it has saved me feeling like I need to upsize and I now really appreciate our small house.
That's awesome...being content in the space you're in is so important, and realizing you don't "need" something that you thought you did is a great feeling too.

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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#83 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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They ask! LOL. If they don't see it in our house, they ask where it is.
Oh my goodness...seriously? : What kind of stuff are you talking about? Big items that are really obvious when they aren't there? I was thinking little things...plus my in-laws live 6 hours out of town, so they never know what we have kept anyway. And my mom and dad just don't pay attention!

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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#84 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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I've posted before, but I just have to say I love what you've done with your space and I read your blog this morning...so well written and thoughtful. You are a very talented writer and designer!

So, did you DH also like this plan or did he just go along with it? I would love to declutter and downsize, however, my DH is a total pack rat and collector of all things uncollectable.

I guess I can start with my own personal spaces and go from there...but any suggestions??

Thank you for the inspiration. I shared your links with a friend too so she can look at them for ideas!
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#85 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, did you DH also like this plan or did he just go along with it? I would love to declutter and downsize, however, my DH is a total pack rat and collector of all things uncollectable.

I guess I can start with my own personal spaces and go from there...but any suggestions??
Yes, Matt is totally into downsizing too. No convincing need My only advice would be to start with your own stuff and the family spaces, and hopefully he will see the dramatic difference. You can also help him organize his collection in a more thoughtful way...if you approach it in a way that will help HIM, it might be easier.

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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Yes! I actually just heard Sarah Susanka speak this week. I blogged about it here. And there is a thread about it here.

I just read your blog about the Not So Big House author. Sounds like a great talk. I love that book. I also noticed she mentioned Paul Ray and the Cultural Creatives book. That's a great one, too!

Good for you for putting it into practice!
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#87 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 11:29 AM
 
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My 8yo, 10yo, and I live in 513 sq ft. I hear tell that some former tenants were a family of 5 (!). I don't know how crowded the family of 5 was, but my kids and I are pretty comfortable in the space we live in. Our biggest issue is storage since our house has no closets (doh!). I have learned to be very creative with storage and declutter ruthlessly.
Good point! Throughout most of the last century, it was common place for families with 4 kids or 6 kids or even more to live in a 3 bedroom home with a kitchen and a living room and one bathroom.

Our expectations for space have certainly changed in this country. Look at houses built from 1900 to 1970 or so. The scale is so different from today.
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#88 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 11:34 AM
 
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Yes, Matt is totally into downsizing too. No convincing need My only advice would be to start with your own stuff and the family spaces, and hopefully he will see the dramatic difference. You can also help him organize his collection in a more thoughtful way...if you approach it in a way that will help HIM, it might be easier.
Thanks! I will try that and hopefully we'll end up with something good! I am going to check into the other books you mentioned on your site. Thanks!
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#89 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 11:45 AM
 
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Good point! Throughout most of the last century, it was common place for families with 4 kids or 6 kids or even more to live in a 3 bedroom home with a kitchen and a living room and one bathroom.
Having gone to two bathrooms, I will *always* have at least a second toilet in some corner of the house.
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#90 of 319 Old 10-08-2006, 12:41 PM
 
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very cute! i gotta say.. i have the same vegan cookbooks as you and the same magnetic spice holders!

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
Acting as a Gestational Surrogate for my cousin, EDD Jan 17th
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