Categories
Decluttering Frugality Housing Simplicity

Downsizing

I decided to see how to live in a much smaller space.  In our 2-bedroom home, one of the bedrooms is 8 x 10 feet with a built-in dresser. The other is 12 x 12 feet.

My daughter has had the little bedroom since we moved here, swapping out her numerous toys and keeping her pets elsewhere in the home.

I decided to surprise her by switching the bedrooms.

This is a challenge.  My bedroom also doubles as a storage room and the smaller one must do double-duty as well.  This should give me ample incentive to downsize.

So this morning I removed everything from her room and started placing my stuff within.  One wall was perfect for my shelves so it was completely lined, floor to ceiling with my personal items and the extra stuff we haven’t managed to part with yet. To conceal this I took a piece of wire and some hooks to hang up two white sheets—it totally changes the look of the room!  Even though the space is smaller it actually looks a bit bigger somehow with all of the white. I wonder what that room would look like if I painted the walls white as well? Give it a combination of minimalist/shabby chic look or something…

I didn’t think to take any before photos but I took some after photos.  The room is not decorated yet, but I wanted to give an idea of what I’ve been doing. 

I am hoping that not only will my daughter enjoy the much-enlarged space (I even put the guinea pigs in her new room), but that I will learn more about myself.  I am already trying to figure out a way to obtain a twin-sized futon pad—anyone in Western KY want to trade a twin futon for a full?

Honestly, I only use my bedroom for storage, reading and sleeping.  I spend most of my time in the kitchen on the laptop so how much space do I actually need? If I managed a futon frame I could put it in the living room as a couch and allow that to serve double-duty as my bed.

Anyway, here are the photos:

 This is the view from the doorway.  The light is a wall-mount and a bit glaring.  That big white fabric wall is hiding floor to ceiling shelves (mismatched of course!). It looks kinda neat in there with all the floaty white fabric, especially where I used it for the curtains as well.

This is my full-size futon folded up in thirds for daytime storage. I would love to have a twin-size one, small enough to fold and put away like the Japanese are famous for, but right now a Japanese shiki futon is out of my budget.

This is from the  fabric wall looking toward my closet.  I am really thinking of painting all of the paneling in this house white to brighten up the place!  White on white would be a fascinating look, and if I got sick of it at least I would have a base coat already down. ?

This is the little built-in dresser.  There is a LOT of wasted space above that built-in and I don’t have so much as a mirror to fill it with.  I’m thinking of scavenging some old wood I have outside to put a small shelf or two in all of that space. For the moment those old crates will have to do (sigh). Sorry about the light glare.. Next time I will try to take pictures while it is still daylight outside!

Overall it looks pretty good for a day’s hard work!  Almost all of my stuff fit, though I am placing a shelf in the living room that was a bit much for the small area!

I will keep you posted on how I cope with such a small bedroom though I must admit—so far it feels like a good change!  Just today I eliminated several boxes worth of items and consolidated some more, making for a bit less junk than I had…

On a sad note, I stumbled upon the papers from my mother’s death several years ago.  I took about an hour to go through them, reading the statements (she was killed in a car accident in December of 1992), looking at the photos and the picture of the officers freeing her from the car after the accident (it made the front page even so I have that article).

What do you do with stuff like that?  I detest that memory.  I was 22 and she was my last surviving parent. I want to take that bag and burn it—and the memories with it—but what if Katie wants it when she is older? I really want it out of my life, but Katie is only 10 and too young to understand what it contains.. What do you do in that situation?  Every time I look through it and my father’s papers I just sit and cry, but I gather I’m under an obligation to keep this stuff for Katie for when she grows up—but she never met them—she was born many years after they walked this earth. I’m just torn by the entire subject.  A need to eliminate things that trigger painful memories and an obligation to pass things on to their grandchildren.  What would YOU do?

Categories
Decluttering Minimalism

Downsizing

Good Morning!

I hope all of you slept well.  We closed some windows, and added an extra blanket to our beds, and slept like babies while the temperature dipped into the forties last night!

After reading the book on small houses last night, I am considering the benefits of downsizing even more than I have in the past.  While I do not know if the two of us could live comfortably in a home that small, I do wonder if we could live in less space than we have now.

Years ago, I lived in a 10×50 mobile home with three kids and two dogs.  With all of those children combined with the fact that I wasn’t ready to downsize my posession, we ended up cramped, to say the least.  I own a lot less now than I did back then as far as personal posessions go, but a lot more as far as furniture goes.  

The saddest part?  Most of that furniture doesn’t get used.  It just sits in my living room looking pretty, wasting precious space.  

The truth of the matter is I really didn’t want the couch and loveseat when I purchased them, but I bowed to pressure from a friend to have “nicer furniture.”  

Sometimes it is better to stay off by yourself.

The living room looks much better with the aquarium sitting where the old television was.  The light on the aquarium will become our nightlight in there, meaning our electricity usage won’t go up any.  We are in that room only to travel to the other section of the house, and so keep a light on to see…  

I wonder:  if I put the tv on freecycle and rearrange the livingroom, if I could save some electric by putting my office area in the living room instead of having it in the laundry room?  We keep a light on in the living room regardless, and we are frequently in the office area doing something on the computers, so could we manage to keep some lights out by moving the office area?