Hello fellow small house owners! Newbie!

ponce418August 17, 2007

i frequent the gardening boards & sometimes pop over to the home boards, but this is my 1st post here. i gotta say i've loved reading everything you guys have to say thus far.

hubbie & i bought our little lake cottage 3 yrs ago. while its the perfect little slice of heaven to us, i'm sure some of our family & friends don't agree. we have a small, galley style kitchen w/ 2 counters & 7 cabinets in total. kitchen table only comfortably seats 3. our living room is a decent size. i keep all the overflow from the kitchen in our laundry room. then there's 2 bedrooms & the garage (FILLED w/ stuff since we're remodeling at the moment).

no storage for us in the basement 'cause we don't HAVE a basement. nope. water table's too high for that. we have a crawlspace. the big news is that we plan to purchase a shed nice spring for addl storage. Ohhh!

oh, and our house has a combined two closets in total.

how do we get buy? well, for starters furniture doesn't get purchased if it can't do double duty. example: our coffee table. it has cabinets on both sides for storage. same goes for the bench near the garage door. it opens up to reveal even MORE storage options. little by little w/ alittle creativity & "out of the box" thinkin' we've made it work. and personally, i wouldn't live any other way.

the motto of our home is "we don't want what we don't need."

we've also spent ALOT of time working on the backyard. until the deep snow arrives, that's our additional living space. got ourselves an outdoor living set, fire pit, patio, so unless its raining, really cold or storming, we entertain outside as much as possible.

anyway, that's our story. now tell me, true, how do you make your little slice of heaven work for you?

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Glad to hear you've truly adapted to a smaller home! I've said it before- in most parts of the world, a small American home would be considered a mansion. Most people (me included) have too much stuff. Our next home will be about 20% smaller than this one- should be interesting.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 3:53PM
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Awww...you can do it, flgar! (Downsize, that is) Tossing stuff out gets truly addicting once you get the hang of it. My husband frequently chuckles at how happy I am to be carting a half dozen garbage bags off to good will. But its truly. I love to get rid of the junk. I feel...lighter...afterwards. Its rather liberating given the right attitude.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 9:50PM
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Double duty...good description for us living smaller. I still need to get rid of stuff, mainly due to remodeling. For some reason I acquired more trying to get this done. Plus a son that decided to invade one room and has changed what my orignal plans were. Other than adding his stuff and losing a room, he isn't here most of the time, but lost the guest/art room.

Built one shed and now have another. One for garden/art stuff, the other for storage. No basement either and a one car garage. Smaller car too, a tiny MINI which takes up little space, so plenty of room in garage.

Also use lots of trunks....side table storage, fireplace wood, blankets, computer and photography stuff.

One of the best decisions I made was removing sliding closet doors and changing over to double doors. I added a good foot to the closet space interior. Use the back of doors for hanging clothes and storage options. Since there are two doors on each closet, they don't open out into the room very far (2' max) and are so much easier for full access to the closet area.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 8:15AM
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I make my small home work by purging. Purge, purge, purge. I have two small boys (one about to turn 6, the other 2 1/2) and the number of toys and clothes that can accumulate from two little people is astounding! (I have 3 sisters, 5 sisters-in-law, a mother-in-law, a step-mother-in-law, my mother, and a step-mother--all of whom try to sneak in a steady stream of stuff to my boys.)

I'm appreciative of their generosity, but I had to finally draw the line. Not only do I not want my sons getting spoiled, but my house just can't handle that much STUFF. So I donate a lot. After every season I divide my older son's outgrown clothes into two piles--a hand-me-down pile for the youngest and a donate pile. I clear out their toys regularly and donate many of those, too. I also did an initial purge of my own things (decorative items, clothing, etc.) and now I don't buy anything for myself or the house unless it's an absolute necessity.

It's the only way to hold onto my sanity!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 10:01AM
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I am currently in the year long process of getting rid of excess stuff. I'm ashamed at all the stuff I've bought over the years - on a whim - and now it's taking up valuable space . Space is a challenge - not necessarily because of having too much - but the way this house is designed is a real space waster . I do like my little house though . I'd be lost in a huge house. I complain - but I still manage ! LOL

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 7:31PM
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I get very excited at this time of year, when the seasons are about to change...the warm weather is fading and the cold weather is about to arrive. And its not because I like cold weather. I actually dislike it very much.

But our scheduled "purge" is coming up. Since we have minimal closet space, all our cold weather clothes are kept in big plastic storage bins in the attic. When the cooler temps arrive, the bins come down from the attic & its time to get that stuff hung in the closets...and get the warm weather clothes packed up for winter. And THAT'S when we purge. As I'm taking stuff out of my closet I think about every last item (even shoes). If the item is getting faded, or losin' its shape or I simply haven't worn it all season, its GONE. Off to goodwill. We cycle thru the winter clothes next year when spring hits. And therefore, we've kept our clothing storage down to two bins a piece (including shoes).

That helps.

We're also finishing up on the outdoor projects for the year (we own a fixer upper). As soon as that's done, the garage (which doubles as our workshop) will get a clean out, as well.

And I gotta say, I LURVE stores like IKEA. Example: they make these rough wood shelving systems w/ protected plastic feet. Bought a slew of those for relatively cheap & have them along one wall in the garage for storage.

Organization is key, as I've found. Worst time of year for us is Christmas. My mom & mother-in-law are HUGE fans of "trinkets." We get so many little unneeded trinkets at Xmas that its not funny. No matter how we try to tell them not to waste their money on that stuff 'cause we don't have ROOM for all these little decorative items.

So, the day after Xmas we sort through everything under our tree. We keep what we need/want, everything else gets returned or donated. In fact, hubbie started a rule soon after moving into our home. For every bag of stuff we bring into the house, something needs to go. Its the only way to survive & NOT be surrounded by piles of stuff in our little home.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 9:53AM
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