Simplify and Downsize...You can do it too! - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 10:39 AM
 
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I just wanted to add, the more stuff I purge, the richer I feel. I realize how much we really have. Funny, huh?
No, I totally agree! I like what Delight said about being able to love everything you have in your home.
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#122 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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I just wanted to add, the more stuff I purge, the richer I feel. I realize how much we really have. Funny, huh?
Word.

You just reminded me--I have FOUR cast iron skillets of roughly the same size. Hmmm...
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#123 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 12:21 PM
 
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how wonderful!!! so inspirational!!!!!! you've got big ones, takes alot of guts to do that. i need to get my husband to read some of your suggestions.

Delight, I saw on your blog, you cloth diaper. I didn't see where you kept them. Would you be willing to show a pic of your cloth in a small place. I'm having that dilemma now.
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#124 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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Delight, I saw on your blog, you cloth diaper. I didn't see where you kept them. Would you be willing to show a pic of your cloth in a small place. I'm having that dilemma now.
I'm not Delight, but I can tell you what I do, maybe it will be helpful. We only use flats, prefolds, and wool, so those don't take up much space to begin with. The diapers are just all stacked in a basket that sits on top of the toy shelf in the living room. The wipes get stacked in a wire basket on the back of the toilet tank. The diaper pail is just a metal bucket from Target, it's not very big, just big enough for one load of dipes. That goes in the bathroom. Our bathroom is very tiny too (only as long as the bathtub, and maybe five feet wide, very very small.), but it works for us.

ETA: I forgot to say that I too have been so inspired by you Delight. I went through my wardrobe and pared it down more. And did the kitchen too so we only have four sets of dishes out. I got rid of some toys too, but have quite a ways to go with those. I told my dh about your blog and pics and stuff and he got really inspired and wants to move to a small apartment in an area we love and really work on our debt. Thank you so much for the inspiration!
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#125 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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I just wanted to add how inspiring this post was...

We live in an 800 sq foot house with our three kids. I'm really staring to see how space doesnt add anything to your life except more stuff, and as long as we can sleep and eat and live, this house is all we need. But greed and materialism is so sneaky! We really struggle.

I love your blog, btw- really great!
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#126 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 03:16 PM
 
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Another fan :

I'm in the process of decluttering and when stbx moves out in a few months a lot more will be gone. I still fight the consumerism urge & the need to buy because it's a deal, but I'm working on those.
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#127 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 03:59 PM
 
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I too have felt so rich and so wasteful after getting rid of so much stuff. Wasteful because why did I have all of that to begin with? It's just amazing how you don't see how much you have sometimes. I am cleaning out the garage this week. I am going to feel so much better after that is done. Then finish the kids rooms...the closets...the dressers....
It never ends!!
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#128 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 04:06 PM
 
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well, you've inspired me now too! i thought my house was pretty uncluttered, but hubby and i spent most of the day decluttering.. we've come up with 5 garbage bags of stuff to donate! and 2 bags of garbage! and 3 more bags of stuff i'm going to try to sell! woohoo!

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
Acting as a Gestational Surrogate for my cousin, EDD Jan 17th
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#129 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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I can't stop, seriously, but this is such a wonderful feeling, SO FREEING!!!

I mean, I've been decluttering for years now, but looking at the pictures of that little apartment made me realize that there is this whole other level I can take it too.

So all day I keep peeking around here and there and tossing things in the donation bins (or trash!!!) Just random stuff and it adds up . . . and I see so much more left to do . . .

I just wanted to add that we love IKEA and they have a lot of ideas for living in a small space. When we visited the store they had a display which was of a very tiny apartment (can't remember the square footage, it was smaller than Delight's) and they showed it all set up for two adults and a baby and it was SO great for ideas, I was very inspired! They sell lots of storage and organization solutions too and their prices are extremely affordable. The designs are very hip and young too. I feel like I sound like an advertisement but I know a lot of people don't know about IKEA so I just wanted to pass on the idea . . .

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#130 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 05:53 PM
 
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they had a display which was of a very tiny apartment (can't remember the square footage, it was smaller than Delight's) and they showed it all set up for two adults and a baby and it was SO great for ideas, I was very inspired!
It's like if you have a larger family then you can't have a small space? I have 4 children and DH and I live in 1100sq ft now which is double (plus 144sq ft) the OP's space but in a freestanding house.

I have 2 boys and 2 girls and they each share a bedroom. We can't have clutter since my youngest has SID and can't tolerate it as he gets emotional and sick over a visually cluttered mess.

*When the children were older one toilet plus a potty sufficed but imagine me telling my 10yo to use the potty! LOL! He'd pee in the yard first! It brought back memories of when I only had one child.

We have to stagger the shower/bathing since our hot water heater runs out of hot water with 6 people even if they are taking *Navy* showers! (Meaning you shut off the water while you soap up to conserve!)

**I too enjoyed viewing the OP's photos. It reminds me of when my DH and I were first living together 12 years ago!
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#131 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 07:59 PM
 
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Delight- You are definitely an inspiration! Your place is so simple, neat, beautiful, and organized!

We currently are a family of 5 (with number 6 due in 11 days ) in a 430 sq ft apartment. This is NOT the ideal space for us, but due to unforseen circumstances we are making due. We have been here for over a year and for the beginning we were very very unhappy and it took a lot for us to get in the right frame of mind. Our old house was 1300 sq ft and too much room for us. We just kept on buying more stuff because there was room. Now we are storing most of the stuff (even though we got rid of a lot) in friends basements.

Today we were moving some of it and I realized just how much stuff won't need when we move out of here in 6 months. We keep so much things "just in case". But when you pay to keep things in a storage unit, you begin to think about just letting the payments go and letting the storage place auction it off!!! I think besides a dining room table, we have 2 smaller tables (older wooden ones that we used to use when we had pot lucks) and a new folding table to fit all of us for the apartment. I just totally forgot we had that many tables!!! : Yea, I'm alright! NOT!!

I think that since we have decided to make the most of this place and have changed our attitudes, things run much more smoothly. But the real issue is my 9 yo son. He just has so many things and he "loves" them and plays with them all. But he doesn't put everything away. So it has come to the point where, if by 10:00 am it isn't in it's place, I put it in a trash bag and throw it in the garage. I am planning on seeing how long it takes to get ALL of his things out there in the garage. My 12 yo dd has been very flexible with letting go of her stuff. She is also a much wiser consumer, while ds just blows his allowance whenever he gets the chance. But I know there is a piece of my dd that somewhat regrets our current situation. I also know that when she grows up and goes off on her own to live however she may choose, she will have had the experience of living simply and knowing you can make it work when you want to.

I have come to see how fortunate we are for so many things that don't need to go into a storage unit. It has forced us to deal with issues that are so easily left undone when you can retreat into a different room in the house. Our family has become so much stronger and closer. It has also shown us how much we can live without. Filling your time up with family activities instead of shopping for stuff has improved all of our sanities

Now I have to sit down with DH and figure out just what we should keep for when we leave here. I have so many clothes for when the kids grow that are in mint condition and I don't see getting rid of. We have decided that we don't want to move into a huge space, but maybe something around 800-1000 sq ft. I really like having common space and bedrooms combined with alcoves for sleeping. But we will have to see what is next on this crazy life journey.

Stacey

Stacey- WOHM and wife to Jesse- : Athena , Huckleberry : Fiona : Shillelagh : and Calliope
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#132 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 08:10 PM
 
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Some calculations just for fun:
Assuming Delight and her dh to both be ~30 years old and Bella to be 3 there are 33years of person in a 478 sqft apartment
That's 14.5 sqft per year of person

Aunt Lavender, you mention a 10 year old and a potty, so I'm going to arbitrarily call you 37, 37, 10, 7, 4, 2 = 97 years in 1100 sqft = 11.3 sqft per year of person

By the numbers without allowing for younger children having accumulated fewer possessions and hobbies: 478sqft/3 people= 159.3 sqft/person 1100/6=183.3 sqft/person. Fairly comparable.

Which of course assumes that all space is equal which, as all of us with obviously wasted space can attest, it isn't.

Some other interesting comparisons would be by living area, sqft of bathroom per person, sqft of pure storage space per person, etc etc.
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#133 of 319 Old 10-09-2006, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All those things are within walking distance??? I'm so envious!! Wow, you live in a utopia!
Sometimes I feel like that! On Sunday, it was Utopia-like. We got up on Sunday morning, and it was amazingly sunny and crisp. We got on our bikes and rode down to the coffee shop...and as we rode, the skyline of downtown before us...it was almost like life was perfect for a moment Things were even better after I had my coffee. LOL!

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I just wanted to add, the more stuff I purge, the richer I feel. I realize how much we really have. Funny, huh?
Yes I feel that a lot...thanks for putting it into words.

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Word.

You just reminded me--I have FOUR cast iron skillets of roughly the same size. Hmmm...
Isn't it funny how kitchen stuff just multiplies without us noticing? It's so fun to downsize your kitchen because it's an instant change. Most of us probably spend a lot of time in there, and when you're bogged down by extras/clutter, it's so draining. Less stuff = more energy = happy life.

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Delight, I saw on your blog, you cloth diaper. I didn't see where you kept them. Would you be willing to show a pic of your cloth in a small place. I'm having that dilemma now.
Bella is potty trained now...so we're done with the cloth diaper stage. But, if we were stlil doing it, I would just have them in a basket in the closet. For a wet bag, I would hang one on the back of a door instead of having a hard sided one.

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ETA: I forgot to say that I too have been so inspired by you Delight. I went through my wardrobe and pared it down more. And did the kitchen too so we only have four sets of dishes out. I got rid of some toys too, but have quite a ways to go with those. I told my dh about your blog and pics and stuff and he got really inspired and wants to move to a small apartment in an area we love and really work on our debt. Thank you so much for the inspiration!
Wow!

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Delight- You are definitely an inspiration! Your place is so simple, neat, beautiful, and organized!

We currently are a family of 5 (with number 6 due in 11 days ) in a 430 sq ft apartment.

It has forced us to deal with issues that are so easily left undone when you can retreat into a different room in the house. Our family has become so much stronger and closer. It has also shown us how much we can live without. Filling your time up with family activities instead of shopping for stuff has improved all of our sanities
Oh my goodness...now that's a lot of people in a smaller space than mine! I'm in awe of you. I love everything you said...especially about how living in a small space forces you to deal with things that you would normally retreat from.

I also just want to say thank you to all of you for being so encouraging. It's so touching...I've had many tears in my eyes this week as I've read your stories of decluttering your homes and your lives. If every one of you shares your story and passion with ONE other person...just think of the decluttering love we could spread! Our possessions and our homes tend to be very closely tied to our self-esteem/emotions...so as we clean them, declutter them, and clear them out...so will our lives start to be clean and sparkly...more purposeful and more fun!

Let's keep it up!

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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#134 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 03:39 AM
 
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It's like if you have a larger family then you can't have a small space? I have 4 children and DH and I live in 1100sq ft now which is double (plus 144sq ft) the OP's space but in a freestanding
:


We have 3 kids in 1076 sq feet. We are moving in 18 months because my neighbor sold us his apartment (he is building a house) which will be our forever h ouse with 1500 sq feet. We intended to stay here longer, but there is never real estate in this community, so when an oppertunity came up we snatched it. My friend lives in 800 square feet with 4 boys (ages 14 - 7) and she also runs an in home day care. : but it's amazing what people thing you "need" in the states and what other people manage with elsewhere.

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#135 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 04:11 AM
 
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Ahhh, the craziness!!! I just can't stop decluttering!!!

It's a Delight-Filled Life.
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#136 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 04:13 AM
 
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Very nice!
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#137 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 04:29 AM
 
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I am actually crying after looking at your pictures. Earlier tonight I took some pictures of my own house to show a friend, so I am emotional about the house at the moment to begin with. I am struggling to try and gain some control. We live in 2400 sq. feet that is about 85% filled and a cluttered mess. I have managed to keep the playroom and the kids rooms clean so that they have some peaceful places to play but the rest of the house is beyond me now. Thank you for sharing your pictures and decluttered life, it gives me some hope and encouragement.

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#138 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 07:35 AM
 
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LOVE your apartment, Delight. Thank you SO much for sharing.

We (me, dh, 4 boys) live in approx. 1000 sqft.

If noone is in - or I'm alone - our house is simple and spacey. But then most days there are - at least - six people scattered around in here

Our house is white and brown with splashes of green (white walls, wood floors, wood kitchen, leather couches, wood beds, white linens, green plants) But I'm inspired by your colours. Maybe I should add some colour.
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#139 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am actually crying after looking at your pictures. Earlier tonight I took some pictures of my own house to show a friend, so I am emotional about the house at the moment to begin with. I am struggling to try and gain some control. We live in 2400 sq. feet that is about 85% filled and a cluttered mess. I have managed to keep the playroom and the kids rooms clean so that they have some peaceful places to play but the rest of the house is beyond me now. Thank you for sharing your pictures and decluttered life, it gives me some hope and encouragement.
... hang in there mama, take it one step at a time. One piece at at time. There have been times when I have actually chanted...

"Just pick up ONE thing and put it away...now pick up the NEXT thing..."

Do it to music. It helps And try not to look at your whole house at once. Choose one room and START. You already said you can keep your kids' play areas clean...so you CAN do it! Heck, if you can keep kids' rooms clean, you can do anything!

One last thing...the state of your house does not reflect your abillities as a mother/wife/partner/friend. Try not to let your emotions get too caught up in the clutter...it's only stuff. You can do 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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#140 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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Delight, I LOVE your vintage tablecloth. Awesome. I have a small collection of vintage cooking aprons, I am trying to think of a way to display them creatively but practically . . . right now they are just all hanging on a nail in the storage room which is right off of the kitchen. I'm still thinking about it, maybe something will come to mind.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#141 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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Delight, I LOVE your vintage tablecloth. Awesome.
Yes! I LOVE your tablecloth so much that I went to the thrift store and bought one for myself!

Now, my question is: how do you keep it clean? or do you let it get dirty & wash it frequently?

I have a two boys - 4 & 2 years old. Needless to say, meal time is a mess here! I'm wondering if I should just let them make the mess and wash the tablecloth afterwards or take the tablecloth off the table at every meal...
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#142 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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Subbing.
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#143 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Delight, I LOVE your vintage tablecloth. Awesome. I have a small collection of vintage cooking aprons, I am trying to think of a way to display them creatively but practically . . . right now they are just all hanging on a nail in the storage room which is right off of the kitchen. I'm still thinking about it, maybe something will come to mind.
A cute peg shelf would work nicely. I've also seen curtains made from vintage aprons. Or frame them.

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Yes! I LOVE your tablecloth so much that I went to the thrift store and bought one for myself!

Now, my question is: how do you keep it clean? or do you let it get dirty & wash it frequently?

I have a two boys - 4 & 2 years old. Needless to say, meal time is a mess here! I'm wondering if I should just let them make the mess and wash the tablecloth afterwards or take the tablecloth off the table at every meal...
It gets dirty. I pull it back when Bella eats, but it still gets dirty. That particular one has a few small holes in it too. Gives it character!

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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#144 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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Awesome and inspiring, Thanks so much for sharing Maybe I can use this to try and sway my dh towards downsizing our living space...

~Beth~
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#145 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 03:17 PM
 
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Awesome and inspiring, Thanks so much for sharing Maybe I can use this to try and sway my dh towards downsizing our living space...
Hi! I had the same idea. I showed my H Delight's blog and pictures. He thought they were pretty cool, but I still have a long way to go in convincing him.

He is a packrat and it will be a huge change for him to not keep everything. Good luck to us both!!
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#146 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 03:31 PM
 
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Hi! I had the same idea. I showed my H Delight's blog and pictures. He thought they were pretty cool, but I still have a long way to go in convincing him.

He is a packrat and it will be a huge change for him to not keep everything. Good luck to us both!!
I've been trying to work on DH. We're in a small 2 bedroom apartment right now because that's all we can afford (because of lack of planning and debt from past stupidity). I've been telling him about energy savings of a small home, more time to do things we enjoy instead doing upkeep on the house, more time together as a family, etc. But he dreams of having a total McMansion. Huge rooms for each child, exercise room, office, guest rooms, family room, living room, dining room, home theater room, etc...filled with knick-knacks and "decorations".
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#147 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 08:27 PM
 
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We lived in a 500 sf apartment for a long time, ten years or so. We now live in a 1000 sf apartment, and despite having tossed a bunch of stuff before we moved, have found it hard to fit everything in here. I inherited a large dining room table from my late mother, and my grandmother's cedar chest also came to me after my mom died. These two things take up a lot of space, and really didn't fit well in our 500 sf place. Also, another issue is ds's toys -- he won't let us get rid of any of them, and they have really piled up. Yuck.
How do you decide what to keep? How do you say goodbye to family heirlooms? How do you get your child to part with things? And how do you work with the space you have? You have some major parts of your brain that I just don't have in the spacial area, I'm thinking. And the letting go area.

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#148 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 08:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Aguazul View Post
I've been trying to work on DH. We're in a small 2 bedroom apartment right now because that's all we can afford (because of lack of planning and debt from past stupidity). I've been telling him about energy savings of a small home, more time to do things we enjoy instead doing upkeep on the house, more time together as a family, etc. But he dreams of having a total McMansion. Huge rooms for each child, exercise room, office, guest rooms, family room, living room, dining room, home theater room, etc...filled with knick-knacks and "decorations".
Yeah, I fear my H's dream is a giant screen tv, a huge recliner and the remote not far from his hand. Oh, yeah, and he once told me how awesome it would be to buy one of those reclining couches with the built in mini-fridge so he can stock beer and pop within arm's reach.

Sigh. He doesn't mind clutter and he wants typical American home creature comforts all around him.
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#149 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 08:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pookietooth View Post
We lived in a 500 sf apartment for a long time, ten years or so. We now live in a 1000 sf apartment, and despite having tossed a bunch of stuff before we moved, have found it hard to fit everything in here. I inherited a large dining room table from my late mother, and my grandmother's cedar chest also came to me after my mom died. These two things take up a lot of space, and really didn't fit well in our 500 sf place. Also, another issue is ds's toys -- he won't let us get rid of any of them, and they have really piled up. Yuck.
How do you decide what to keep? How do you say goodbye to family heirlooms? How do you get your child to part with things? And how do you work with the space you have? You have some major parts of your brain that I just don't have in the spacial area, I'm thinking. And the letting go area.
Not sure of the answer but I will be interested in what others say! I guess I would suggest only hanging onto pieces of furniture that have special meaning, utility, or fit well with your life.

Lately, I've really been thinking of minimizing what I own so that I am not accumulation belongings just for the sake of accumulating them, you know? I want to be more purposeful and mindful.
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#150 of 319 Old 10-10-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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Alright, I'm so inspired! We just moved and I did a buge muti-phased purge of STUFF but our new (smaller) space still feels cluttered. I see some organizing and more purging in my future. Thanks for the inspiration...
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