Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our Little House

We have a little house. Most of you know this. Some of you have seen pictures of my little house. I know some have smaller houses than mine, but as a general rule most people have much, much bigger houses than ours. It has been six months since we sold our previous home and we moved into our little rental house that is right across the street from our "land of inheritance" as Misfit Cygnet taught me it was.

We only have about two or three months and then we be moving to another little house (but still bigger) than the one we have now. We have decided to postpone building for another two or so years and move a "manufactured home" aka a single wide on our 80 acres and live debt free for a couple of years. Then we will build our house. Not having a house payment has been too enjoyable to go back too. So we have simply decided not to.

Blah, blah, blah. This post is about what I've learned in six months of small.

760 sq feet. That's the size. I LOVE IT!

There are a couple of little things that I would like different, but it's a rental and we are fine.

I have learned that I can live without a microwave. I have also decided that I don't want a microwave in any other house we get either.

I have learned that I like not having a dishwasher. I don't want to go back to having that appliance either. If not for any other reason than having my children have more work to do. I know they would disagree with me on that one though!

I like having only one room to congregate in. I only want a family room now in our new house. I no longer want a library room, office, music room, living room, parlor, and whatever, whatever. I've realized that these rooms separated our family. We are around each other more now. That means we talk, play, laugh, sing, read and interact with each other. Another good lesson learned.

I've learned we only need one bathroom. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get over ruled on only having one bathroom in our new house however. We won't have three or four now for sure though!

Having a big backyard, with trees a plenty and acres of free roaming space (complete with water flowing through it) is absolutely lovely for an awesome core phase!

We don't really miss our dressers. Everyone has rolling cubbies under their beds with their clothes in it. I want to get hooks/pegs for hanging up some clothing and old fashioned trunks for the rest of our clothing when we have more room in our 1200 sq foot house (the single wide). Dressers mean owning more clothing.
We got rid of a lot of clothing when we down sized and I realize we still have too much clothing. So I don't miss the clothing we got rid of.

This goes along with the previous thought. We don't need big closets. We won't be building a master closet in our new house and we will only put a small one in each room. Just enough for church clothes and three pairs of shoes (church shoes, tennis shoes and flip flops). In fact if I can get away with it I only want one bedroom closet for the whole house and have everyone's church clothes/shoes in that closet. So probably our bedroom because my husband needs some closet space for his business clothes. I'll just put the flip flops and tennis shoes in the mudroom. Yes, I like that idea quite a bit.

We want a big mud room! We will store our "weapons," laundry stuff, winter clothing, our Boggs (snow/mud/rain/irrigation boots), etc in this room. Liberty said she would give up square footage in her room to ensure a bigger mud room.

We are definitely glad that we brought the piano into the house (instead of putting it in storage). It's a little squishy in the living room, but two of the children have taken off on their piano since we moved here.
I do miss my/our books. We only have one bookshelf with books right now in the house. I did get rid of A LOT of books when we moved. I only left the classics. I got rid of Scholastic books, cartoony books, pop fiction, public school looking books/workbooks, and other twaddle. I haven't missed them. There is always the library to borrow from. I still have three bookshelves worth of books in boxes in the garage. I can access them and they've been gone through regularly. I look forward to having room for the bookshelves again. I don't waste my money at the thrift store on books anymore unless I know the book will be cherished and read and reread (a classic).

I like having less stuff in the kitchen. I think I am going to get rid of most of the extra kitchen stuff I saved just in case. More dishes and stuff just means more stuff to get dirty before you wash-pretty soon you just have a mess and it depresses you. I like washing as I go and always being caught up.

I love that all the art projects/crafts are gone. What a waste of resources with the glue, the markers, papers, crayons, glitter, paints, etc. etc! I am so glad they are gone!!!!!! I have found my children have learned to be creative in real ways. They make real things now like sewing, knitting, carving, etc. Their free-time play is also very, very creative. I think their creative juices flow on a much, much higher level now than ever before.
Really, I think they are doing just fine with no glitter and tubs of glue! I feel much better myself. I should post pictures of Liberty's quilts-very creative and beautiful. She has some pictures up on her blog for those who know her blog address.

We also downsized to one notebook and a sketch book for each child. They can get a new book anytime they have finished their old ones. They draw neater, they write neater and they do not waste. Amazing. I admit I was a little disbelieving with the whole concept, but it's awesome.

I like having a little house because since I am striving to have "family work" for several hours a day we definitely can deep clean the house and keep it clean always.

I have thrived in having less stuff around me in general. I will be getting rid of lots of stray boxes in the garage. If I didn't want it in the last six months I don't think I will need it now. I feel the freedom to live my life now instead of feeling like I needed to organize, clean and dust all of the time.

I will miss this house. Everyone always acts like I should be miserable living here though. However, it has totally changed my thought process and will impact the rest of my life.

Small is good. Simplicity is good. Having less "stuff" is very good!


Heather said...

Wow! A kindred spirit. I was too afraid to tell people I like living in my little house. We downsized with the intent to build another house on our land. I had so much fun renovating a 14 x 70 mobile home (kind of like playing with a doll house), that I really don't think I'm up to building another house and then having to worry about keeping it clean. That's what I hated most with my larger homes. I love "living small."

Kellie, said...

I too love loving in my small house. We have 950 sq ft, four daughters, and only two bedrooms, but we have a large dinging area for meals and a large living room for us to be together in. I do sometimes wish that we had another toilet (I have plan for the closet in our bathroom for that), but I don't need another bathroom. I do like not being able to have so much stuff. I am with you on the microwave. Ours is on its last leg and when it dies we will not be getting another one. I am not ready to give up my dishwasher, maybe when my children are a little older (the oldest is only 7)

After 760 sq ft, 1200 is going to feel so huge. Hopefully no one will get lost!!!

Celeste B. said...

We downsized, but not as much as the other posts here. We moved from 2800 sq. ft. to 1600 sq. ft. in a duplex to save money. My husband misses having two sinks in the bathrooms, but I love it! Less to clean. He is just thinking of not having to take turns at the sink. However, I do like having two bathrooms (three teens). I grew up with only one bathroom and it was not fun with 9 people. We sold or gave away over half of our stuff and there is only a couple things I wish I still had.

I have not dumped the microwave or the dishwasher, but I told everyone I want to stop using the dishwasher and you would think I told them we were going to stop eating. It hardly works anyway, we wash the dishes before we put them in!

crazy4boys said...

Great thoughts...even for those of us not in little houses. When we move next I'm going to work really hard not to use square footage as a make-or-break deal. Where do you keep your food storage though? Most of our closets are filled with boxes of food, same for under some beds. Our master bedroom closet is actually a "store" - the shelves are filled with food storage. I'm not sure I could downsize without it! And would you believe it, we're purging again!!!!

crazy4boys said...

It might me fun for you (and by that I mean ME) to do a series of posts on what you consider "the essentials" for each room of the house. What are the things you keep in the kitchen and what do you not miss? What things would you need in a bedroom and what things can you do without? And so on and so forth. I think a lot of us get trapped in the "I NEED this" mindset that it would be interesting to hear what you don't really miss, and what you do need.

Just a thought!

Anonymous said...

I love the family closet so much but might I suggest you put it near or as part of the laundry room? Family memebrs can get and lay out the next days clothing in their room b4 going to bed. Or better yet have the laundry, closet and bathroom all adjoining so clothes are never anywhere else.

Strong Man said...

What a fascinating and excellent attitude!

You really are a "Mother who Knows" what matters.

And you never even mentioned the blessing of financial freedom you have as a result of a smaller mortgage than you might otherwise have.

Christy said...

I completely agree about the mud room! I would love to have an enormous laundry room where all the clothing is stored and washed.

I'd love to see photos of your "little house." It is always inspiring to me to see how others are living with less.

Shauna said...

I need to read the Headgate article you recommended. Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Small House said...

Amen! My favorite part about our small house is that it only takes me an hour to clean it all! I really wish we had a second toilet though. We've been really creative with food storage though. It's so nice to see how many people are finding the joy of living with less!

Nicole said...

This is a great post. It made me think about some things I need to do.
I live in a small place too--a 600 sq. ft. one room studio with my husband and four kiddoes. While it is nice to be mortgage free, I would LOVE bedrooms! Even just one. And while we've not owned a microwave for years, (they're not good for us anyway) after not having a dishwasher for 3 years, I have to say it is the thing I miss the most! (And my 8 yr old does most of the dishes!) Doing dishes by hand is our most time consuming chore, mostly because out of necessity I have to cook everything from scratch and that generates a lot of dishes.
So, bedrooms and a dishwasher. Oh, and a large pantry for kitchen appliances and food storage. Really, that'd do it for me.
The biggest thing structurally-house-wise that I have learned is that there needs to be what Susanka calls an "away space". A place for some alone time, down time, time outs--that would be nice. ;-)
So the pros--no room for tons of toys, lots of togetherness, (which we want regardless) and if something is out of place it is highly noticeable to everyone (Which can sometimes be a con; for instance when someone drops by our life is an open book.).

Misty said...

I have learned quite a bit from this post especially. I agree completely with the mud room. I would like lockers for each person in the mudroom. :)

We really don't need a lot, do we? I am now inspired to go through everything again and cut down on excess.

No matter what size our homes are, we can live simply, and we don't need stuff. I have a friend who has an eight bedroom very large home, and she uses it all the time for extended family and other guests, but she has downsized a ton on the stuff in her house.

It is also my opinion that the more land one has, the less home one needs. I would gladly trade square footage for acreage any day! (In fact, we just did, and I couldn't be happier!)

Thanks for the inspiration! I can't wait to go through our closets again!

Ginger said...

Wonderful...I did this when we lived in Hawaii. I want to go back.

The Lazy Organizer said...

I'm so happy to hear that you won't be building a new home right away! I don't believe it is wise to go into debt for anything, including a home. After a year of talking my husband has finally agreed that we need to sell our home so we can live debt free. I am praying daily that that happens soon!