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The Compact Home

Last post Sat, Jul 14 2007 10:40 PM by Brandy. 70 replies.
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  • Thu, Apr 5 2007 12:06 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    The Compact Home

    I have for 20 months now felt I simply existed in a cramped temporary space. I am the sort who feels home is the sanctuary of the heart. I don't feel safe, comfortable or happy in my home therefore I am unhappy.

    So I am making peace with my surroundings and changing what I can.

    Does anyone else live in a compact home?

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Thu, Apr 5 2007 2:16 PM In reply to

    • kabin
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 29 2007
    • Indiana
    • Posts 1,618

    Re: The Compact Home

    How compact is compact? I have to ask, because we added onto our house 2 years ago to make it a total of 1,800 sq. ft., upstairs and down, but before that our house was 624 sq. ft. one level and the upstairs was a nasty mess of an attic. All 3 of us lived in that space for 10 years before we started to change it. It's hard to live that way when you have no closets, but we did it. Yes, I felt exactly as you do. I think it's good you decided to make the best of it.
  • Thu, Apr 5 2007 4:49 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: The Compact Home

    We had all five of us in 345 or so sq ft. We have spread out to a whole 600 sq ft now.

    I am trying to make the most of the space we have and actually find something to like about what I am looking at. I know this isn't permanent but I have to feel settled somewhat for my own peace of mind.

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Sun, Apr 8 2007 8:46 PM In reply to

    Re: The Compact Home

    I live in a very small house, about 500 sf, but it's not laid out very well so it feels like less.  There are NO closets, even in the bedroom, and the kitchen has two drawers and four small cupboards for storing everything (food, utensils, pots, dishes, etc). 

    Here are some things that helped me adjust to it...when I moved in, I knew I was downsizing, so I took a really critical look at all my belongings and got rid of a lot of them (about 20%).  I donated all of it.  I have never felt so good, and even now I feel there are some things I could get rid of. 

    Have a private space for yourself somewhere else, if you can.  I am lucky enough to have a large yard, and I look at that as part of my square footage.  I set up some private, secluded areas for me to relax in, read or pray or whatever. 

    Realize that just because you have no room, doesn't mean you have to give up features.  Find ways to "multitask" a space.  Don't have single-purpose devices, items, or spaces. 

    Hope you can use any of these tips...

  • Sun, Apr 8 2007 10:13 PM In reply to

    Re: The Compact Home

    I hate to use myself as an example, because the space I am living in is around 1200 sq. ft. and by no means as compact as you have mentioned.  I only write to say that I have experienced prayerfully "down-sizing" from a home twice as big when we moved to a new state.  Even though I wanted a smaller, more efficient home, I also had the hardest time adjusting to it.  I felt like I was living in a shoe box having gone from rambling victorian to a brady bunch ranch.  Still no great hardship, I know.  What I have noticed through the years is that often times the largest homes have the fewest children living in them and plenty of space for everyone to isolate themselves.  Both parents must work to pay for the priviledge of living in such a manner and so oddly, no one is home very often.  Contrast this to our homeschooling friends with 5 kids and two adults living in about under 1000 sq. ft.!   That's a lot of together time in a little space.  I have grown to love my smaller house and try to focus on it's assests and overlook its obvious lack of character.  I honestly think that less space has brought our family closer. 
    Pat
  • Mon, Apr 9 2007 8:18 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: The Compact Home

    PsykoKat,

    I wish I had done more with feeling settled 20 months ago but I didn't feel right doing it. It felt too permanent and depressing when I tried. But then not feeling settled wasn't good either.

    After participating in discussions around the web on compact or efficiency housing and reading articles, I asked myself what the real issue I had with small housing was. Examining my thoughts led me to realise that some of my issues could be lessened with some effort on my part to feel as if I did indeed have a home and to improve the functions of it or as you said make some outside areas, live and work with the spaces I have.

     



     
     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, Apr 9 2007 8:26 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: The Compact Home

    Lady of the house,

     I think we are a like our cake and eat it too family, lol. We enjoy family time but also like our own space. Rather than find this closeness bringing us together, we are loosing it due to being too close all the time.

    We have put aside so many things we enjoyed doing as individuals and as a family due to lack of space or proper facilities. Which is what brings me to say I am going to take my life back now  before it's too late. I don't know how I will manage some things but I am determined to find a way.

     

     

     


     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, Apr 9 2007 9:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Re: The Compact Home

    Our home is listed as 1300 sq ft, but actually about 900-1000 is livable sq ft. We moved from a 2200 sq ft house with a Full walkout basement to this cottage with a partial basement. talk about downsizing! But dh didn't have to downsize his stuff. He got a 34X78 pole barn with the deal.

    My biggest problem is it is basically 2 bedrooms. I have a nice master bedroom, but the boys share a very small room. It has built in bunkbeds with storage otherwise they'd never fit. But the STUFF! There just isn't any room at all for all their books, games, shoes, boots, etc etc etc!!! Right now we took a day off of homeschooling just so they can get their room where I can walk through it again! It's extremely frustrating!

    It's a little easier when we aren't snowed in with a foot and a half like today. We're outside more so the house doesn't feel as cramped.

    I would love some ideas for fitting boys stuff and boys ages 12 and 14 in a small room with a small closet!

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

  • Mon, Apr 9 2007 9:51 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Re: The Compact Home

    Michelle,


    What does your husband do with the barn? Can he share a corner where you can erect shelves or some other storage to put some of the extra stuff in?

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, Apr 9 2007 9:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Re: Re: The Compact Home

    His pole barn is as much of a disaster as the boys'bedroom!! He did build 12 ft high shelves when we moved in (it's a trussless barn) and those store Christmas decorations, camping gear, fencing material, tires and automotive stuff, and I'm not sure what else. But i never thought of putting some of this other stuff that gets kicked around here, out there. That would help considerably, if the boys had a designated area for GI Joes, BB guns, hunting bows, and even their hunting boots (at sizes 11 and 13 boots don't fit anywhere inside the house!)

    That may be the ticket, thanks Brandy! But that would mean cleaning part of the pole barn, I'm not looking forward to that....!

    BTW what websites have you found dealing with little homes?

    I actually like being in a small home, less to clean, less to heat. Wherever you are at, make it your own! It'll go a long way to making you more content. We had to live in a camper for 3 weeks in a state park while waiting to close on our home after selling our other house. The camper was borrowed, so I truly didn't have a place to call my own. But I brought in fresh floers and a few odds and ends that weren't in a storage unit, just to feel more like home.

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

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Feel free to read the great frugal living tips, ideas and discussions readers and community members have posted here. But if you'd like to post something or start a discussion, please click here to go over to our new community site and create an account.

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