This week, we are going to share how we cope with living in small houses. Not all of us still live in tiny houses but we all have at some point. Andrew and I live in a house that is just shy of 1100 sq feet. We have two children, but want more and are wondering how we’ll all fit in here for much longer… especially with the long Minnesota winters!
Here are the things that have helped me cope:
– Create more storage space. Small homes feel less cluttered when everything has a spot to be put away. But, small houses often have small storage! One way we’ve dealt with this is to be creative with our storage. We turned my old bulky dresser into a buffet by removing the mirror on the back. Our bedroom is small so the dresser took up too much space there. Our dining room needed more storage for things like placemats, bibs, and candles. We filled the leftover drawers with diapers, nebulizer & meds, and memory books. This has become a nice-looking, functional storage solution for us.
–Maximize your existing storage space. We try to use every inch of our existing storage space. This means that my coat closets have anything but coats in them. As you can see, I fill my closets with ugly plastic drawers. While having built-in storage would be nice, the plastic works great for now. Also, I have found that you can sell them on Craigslist later. They are worth the $30 (for 2) investment for my sanity. These have also worked great for Ruth’s closet. She is able to put away all her clothes by herself now because she can see through the drawers and know what goes where.
–Confine toys to limited spaces. We have a playroom. It’s not big, but it’s where the toys can be put away and the door can be closed. To me, this makes it feel like I can still have “grown up” space in my living room. I know other people who achieve this simply by having nice-looking toy baskets or trunks to keep toys disguised in their main living areas. Another note about this is that we have certain toys that are only for room time. Ruth and Byron both have individual play time in their rooms for 45 minutes most days. I let them have special toys during this time that they do not bring into the rest of the house. This was a good option for Ruth’s magnetic paper dolls which have 1 zillion pieces. It’s fun for her, and it’s contained.
–Get rid of stuff you don’t love or need. I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before. Maybe you think I’m really organized. I’m not; I’m just crazy about getting rid of stuff I don’t love or need simply because I have a small house. No matter how often I purge my stuff, there is always more! So, I have to be on top of this.