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Living With Your Small Space

Last post Tue, Mar 6 2012 4:55 PM by MarthaMFI. 24 replies.
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  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 8:15 AM

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

    Living With Your Small Space

    Small spaces can be cheaper on rent or mortgage and cheaper on utilities than large homes. This appealing to the budget minded but storing all the stuff can be challenging.

    I have lived in smaller homes before and I learned a few things about how to manage. One of the things is using the space you do have in creative ways. Floor to ceiling shelving can be a clutter saver, giving you more places to put things up neatly. Owning less and tossing what you don't need is key. Seating is great but even  better if it doubles as a storage unit. Beds can add more places to slide drawers or boxes under. Putting everything in the kitchen cabinet is neat but when you have only four and a family to cook and serve for, you may not get it all in there. Hooks under a cabinet can hold cups, utensils can be mounted on the wall or put in a container on the counter and some people like to hang pots.

    What other solutions do you have?

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 12:43 PM In reply to

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

    We live in an 1100sq ft town house. It is a 3 bed, I bath.  The critical factors are not buying stuff and keeping what you do have organized. A large messy home is no fun, but a small messy home is just unbearable.  Most of my boy’s toys when they were growing up were outdoor toys-bikes, rollerblades, footballs. We have one shelf in the basement for puzzles, board games , model kits plus a large container of Legos and that is it.  We were very firm about pick up-twice a day and at bed time, everything was put away.

    One of the things we did years ago was pull down the breakfast bar that divided the kitchen/dining area. These look cute when there are just 2/3 people, but we had so much more room for the dining table and chairs without it. It also gave us a little more wall space to put up some small shelves.

    We also put floor to ceiling shelves in the basement-these have been a lifesaver.

    We keep nothing in our bathroom except soap, shampoo & TP. Each person takes what they need in with them in a container/holdall and stores this on the floor of their bedroom closet when not in use. This keeps the bathroom free of clutter and easy to clean.

    Bunk beds are a must with multiple kids sharing rooms, plus organize the closets/chests to suit the needs of the user-example – I have all boys, so they need very little, if any hanging space, so their closets are all shelves/bins. I have a clothing rack in the basement that they can hang their dress/church clothes.

    My washer is in the basement along with drying and dress racks. I don’t own a dryer, so that space is used for shelves for household/pantry-type storage.

    We have a small patio area out back that I have one of those collapsible, umbrella-type clothes lines that I use when the weather is good. Also have some containers out there that I have grown lettuce and herbs-would like to expand this or maybe get a plot in a community garden. Also purchased a small storage shed to put out back for additional storage.

    Long ago talked the complex management into putting bike racks in the parking lot-so we keep all our bikes there.

    If you are considering buying a small home –check out the area carefully before you buy. We have lived in ours for 20 plus years, but we bought close to parks and trails. This way even though we don’t have a back yard as such, we are walking distance so we could take the boys to the park or bike riding on the trails without having to get in the car.  This makes all the difference when living in a small space with kids.

  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 1:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

     use shoe box's for storage under the bed

    double space up in guest room

    3 use's for one box

    also throw stuff away that is not needed why clutter

    chrissanne
  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 4:21 PM In reply to

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

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

    Stranger From The Sea:
    One of the things we did years ago was pull down the breakfast bar that divided the kitchen/dining area.

    When the kids were younger, we lived in a three bedroom mobile home that had a bar between the kitchen and living room. I actually liked it because it helped to divide space but had cabinets on one side so it was storage functional. The end corner of the other was tucked in the living room and we turned that area into desk space. We used part of the bar as a bookshelf for it.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 4:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

    If I told you I live in less than 300 square feet, you might think I'm exagerating, but I'm not, so I know about small space living. I do it every day. Big Smile

     

    My sleeping/sitting/living area is less than 100 square feet. Although the kitchen is very small, it has a full-sized stove and enough cabinets. I do a lot of cooking and it works fine.

     

    The main rule of thumb for me is if I don't use it, it gets donated or thrown away. I don't like clutter and in a small space anything out of place shows up right away. The bed is made, the dishes get washed, dresser and counter tops are clear of unnecessary items. I go through my belongings regularly and ,with some sentimental exceptions, if something is not used for a year or so I obviously don't need it. 

     

     I think unused 'stuff' is more of a burden than anything. That goes for clothes, food, furniture, paperwork, books, magazines, electronics, etc. I've given away anything I don't use and really, truly don't miss any of it.

    Although there is no real outdoor space, there is a small state park nearby where I go for fresh air and to soak in the beauty. There are walking trails and picnic tables and benches and grills for outdoor cooking. It's only a five minute drive away.

    budgetwise



    "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Ps. 139:14
  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 8:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

    Budgetwise, what a beautiful getaway place, so peaceful! 

    I'm actually jealous of those living with less space.  Our two-story, 4-bedroom home was great while the dk's were home but way too big for just me and dh.  I've closed off as many rooms as possible, but those rooms are mostly full.  If we ever get to move to a smaller place, we have a LOT of things to get rid of, but dh is packrat deluxe and won't want to part with much, I know.

    One tip I learned while homeschooling - rather than save years and years of drawings, pictures and work samples, I simply photographed the things I wanted to 'save' and made the pictures into an album of each child's school years.  The same could be done for anything that has special meaning or memories but awkward to keep or store...Liz.

     

  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 9:32 PM In reply to

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

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

    budgetwise:
    If I told you I live in less than 300 square feet

    I have seen some unusual arrangements due to after storm living and necessity.

    Are you in an apartment.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 11:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

    Brandy:

    Small spaces can be cheaper on rent or mortgage and cheaper on utilities than large homes. This appealing to the budget minded but storing all the stuff can be challenging.

    I have lived in smaller homes before and I learned a few things about how to manage. One of the things is using the space you do have in creative ways. Floor to ceiling shelving can be a clutter saver, giving you more places to put things up neatly. Owning less and tossing what you don't need is key. Seating is great but even  better if it doubles as a storage unit. Beds can add more places to slide drawers or boxes under. Putting everything in the kitchen cabinet is neat but when you have only four and a family to cook and serve for, you may not get it all in there. Hooks under a cabinet can hold cups, utensils can be mounted on the wall or put in a container on the counter and some people like to hang pots.

    What other solutions do you have?

     

    My salution is little storage box's get 4 uses out of it and use under couch's or beds for storage me Im an expert in really tight cramped corners my room is a sewing room craft room book room and office and regluar bed in it with mirror in it just every thing has its place to much of it gets thrown out no hoarder here just got really small room.

     

  • Tue, Feb 7 2012 11:55 PM In reply to

    • gayla50
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 24 2007
    • Western North Carolina
    • Posts 8,491

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

    I use space carefully .. we have a large house and plenty of land .. I am a packrat and my DH is too  ,  I have a couple of small building I keep things in  ..

    Gayla

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Frugal Food and Cooking and in Slow Cooker Foods



    Purpose is what gives life a meaning
  • Wed, Feb 8 2012 12:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Living With Your Small Space

    It is an apartment...laid out somewhat like a mobile home, with the bathroom offset like the foot of the letter ' L '. I'm fortunate to have a small storage area (used for seasonal and canning supplies) and easy access to the community laundry.

     

    I have lived in very large houses, too, but have always felt more comfortable psychologically in cozy spaces. Smile

    budgetwise



    "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Ps. 139:14
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