Monday, November 10, 2008

Living Simply

Sometimes, I wake up and wonder... where the hell am I?

I still find myself waking up confused about the home I am in. Why is my room so much smaller? Why are the kids sharing that walk-in closet of a room? Where did my custom kitchen with double ovens and bay windows go? Where is my big ol' quiet yard and why am I not at the end of a quiet cul de sac anymore?

And then I remember that we sold that house and moved.

It was a move that needed to happen. Our priorities had been out of whack, but we woke up. Living simply has been so rewarding in so many ways. But boy has this move come with quite a bit of adjustment. We lost about 1,000 square feet and along with that, a ton of storage. In order to move down, we first had to get rid of all of our large furniture before even moving over here. I found myself holding back tears and repeating "It's just stuff" over and over. *sigh* Even after purging a bedroom set, an antique chaise, a washer and dryer, and other sundry items, we still came here with too much. Our wrap-around sectional that floated in our old bonus room was grossly oversized for our new digs. Our farm house style dining table came along with us, but takes up all the designated space making things kind of tight with the hutch. I'm still working on that one. I repurposed our garage and made it a toy and game area. It's not that spacious family room, but it works.

Today, I came across this Better Homes article today. I can't do half of these because I'm renting. But there are still many things I can do without risking my deposit. For instance, letting the light in all over the place gives the impression that the space is larger. We don't have too many dark spots in the townhome, which is amazing considering our attached neighbors on both sides. Aces! Another tip is to extend living quarters to the outdoors. Check! I have a small sitting area out on my patio that I enjoy every morning as the sun comes up over the hills. It's not my big back yard, but with all my plants and trees surrounding me, my little space is quite pleasant.

I still dream of our house. I still wish the kids had a big yard and could ride safely in a quiet cul de sac. But the reality of my simpler life is just as nice as a canyon view. Being home with the kids and building my photo business would be impossible if I was a slave to a mortgage. I'm happy to have pared down our life... even at the cost of all that space and storage. No matter how much I complain.

It's totally worth it.


If you have any examples of how you have turned your limited space into cute and cozy quarters, please leave a link in the comments. I could use some new ideas and inspiration!


Rowena said...

Coming from NYC, I know small spaces. You should check out They have so many good ideas. They even have a "small cool" contest with lots of entries from readers. I think they are almost at the end of the fall colors contest.

Plus, I've found cottage living to be an interesting magazine. Cottages being small, there's lots to adapt to apartment and other small living spaces.

Ann said...

I don't have any tips, but how 'bout this blog - I LOVE her:

I find her so inspiring.

Seriously Mama said...

We are considering the same type of move. 3000 sq ft to less that 2000. I am not sure how to feel about it yet. :-)

Naomi said...

A home is like a purse. If you have a big one, you'll find ways to fill it with all sorts of crap. Get a smaller little clutch, and somehow everything you need will fit in there just fine.

Everyone keeps asking when I'm going to sell my house and buy something bigger, and I keep asking for what? So I can find more crap I don't need to fill it with? Being a Realtor, I've been in lots of huge houses. I'll take my little ranch over any of them any day.

Tips?...clutter is bad. It makes your house seem smaller.