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Together

We spent the afternoon at the other "family compound" the other day, my brother, Sunshine, and I. My brother has been helping me assemble the bed frame for the trundle platform, and the shop space at the new property is amazing. Every tool I've needed (other than a pocket hole drill/jig/whatever-it's-called) is basically at my disposal. There are seven work benches (I think...I counted them one day), table saws and miter saws and clamps and drill presses and squares and tape measures and belt sanders. It's like a craftsman's paradise. (I've asked which work bench is mine. I'm only half kidding. I've been using my grandpa's and my dad's until someone assigns me my own.)

Sunshine got to play in the sprinkler with her cousins while my brother and I worked in the shop. My dad stopped by to help me figure out the cross braces that I decided to add to the bed at the last minute. (I've been taking pictures of this whole process so that I can…
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Normalizing Multigenerational Living

We like to joke in our family about our two family compounds, and one is where we live on land owned by my parents. There is the "big house" and the "little house" (guess which one we live in?). There are seven people and two cats currently living on this property, and while it's not always easy, it's a lifestyle that I love.
The other family compound is about fifteen minutes away at the property that my cousin and grandfather just moved to last month. They have seven people living there with two more to join them in the next couple of years as soon as they can get the second apartment finished.
I know this lifestyle isn't for everyone. Not every person grows up in a tight-knit family like mine. But I'm going to be honest here and say that our society's obsession with personal independence has stolen something from us.
I know I tend to think more romantically about the past than is warranted (especially for someone who loves indoor plumbing as …

KonMari-ing as a Parent

It's time for a KonMari update here at the Small Home Family blog, and today I want to talk about what it's like to go through the KonMari process as a parent.


Give Yourself Grace In her first book, Marie Kondo describes a journey that frankly seems almost impossible with young kids. In her second book, writing as a mother herself, Kondo gives more grace, and I think that grace is going to be necessary for most parents who choose to follow this method. It's okay if it takes longer than six months or if you need to skip around to make it happen. We've been going slightly out of order in our decluttering journey, choosing to tackle komono before we deal with paper. I just find the paper category so overwhelming and difficult to deal with when there are kids underfoot. Rather than getting off-track completely, I've decided to keep moving in the other categories and come back to paper later. Make the method work for you.
Use Smaller Categories Here's the truth: it&…

The Bed

After we finished painting the first two walls, we went ahead and set up the loft bed to surprise Sunshine.

 The IKEA KURA bed is not the easiest bed to assemble in a room that's only 8x8 feet. There was a lot of "watch out!" and "be careful!" and "don't scratch the paint!" going on. Ha! We had to improvise a bit since we weren't sure we'd be able to flip the bed over like the instructions said to do. I almost got trapped in the bed when we were screwing on the slats. (True story.)

But we got it done with a lot of laughter and a fair bit of ingenuity.

That night when Grandma brought Sunshine home after watching her for hours while we got everything ready, our little girl was absolutely ecstatic. Her smile was huge, and she was practically shaking from the excitement about her new bed. She has struggled a little with the adjustment to sleeping where she can't reach for me at night, but I am hoping that with time, she will get used to t…

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On Facebook, we've been posting photos of the progress we're making adding a trundle to our girls' new bed, so check it out and like our page for continued updates!
If Twitter is more your thing, check out our feed, where we occasionally share content from around the web showing other families who have decided to downsize. Today, we tweeted an article about a family of five living in a small travel trailer in California while they save up to build their dream home on their own plot of land out in the country. If you live tiny (or small!) with kids and would like to be featured on our Twitter page, hit me up at diane@smallhomefamily.com. We'd love to hear your story!