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Showing posts from April, 2018

It Doesn't Have to Be Tiny: You Have Options

I've been watching more Tiny House shows lately, and for obvious reasons, I am particularly drawn in to the shows about families that have decided to go tiny. Some of them I really admire, and I can't help but root for them along the way, especially the families that are rebuilding or recovering from some kind of illness or tragedy.

Other families, though...I watch them and I wonder where they are now. I would honestly be surprised if they were all still living in their tiny houses. I know for a fact that some of them have moved on, whether by choice or by forced eviction.

And here's the thing that I wish I could say upfront to some of these families: going tiny is not your only (or even best) option.

It really all comes down to the motivation for going tiny. Is it to be more environmentally conscious? Is it to reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning and maintaining your home? Is it to grow closer together as a family? Is it to save money? Is it to have the benefit of…

Tiny House KonMari: Pushing through the Emotions

As I keep plugging along with this whole KonMari thing, I find myself feeling such a range of emotions. After I had tackled clothes, I felt very overwhelmed, and that feeling tends to come and go. I also feel a lot of relief about not having so many things that I don't love anymore.

What really surprised me, though, was how angry I have been feeling about this whole thing at times. I took another load to the Goodwill last week, and after I dropped it off, I began to feel very upset, and it's been difficult to pinpoint exactly what is prompting these feelings of anger. I don't know if this frustration stems from the fact that I'm getting rid of stuff I want to keep (in which case I might need to refocus on what items spark joy) or if I'm mad that I don't have as much room to store things as I wish I did. This particular load of items to donate included three things that had been given to me, one of them handmade, and I think that's significant to my feelings…

Tiny House KonMari: Books Revisited, Rules Broken

Remember my book post from the other day? Well, right after I posted it, my mom surprised me by pulling out about four tubs of books that we had been storing at her house. Now some of these I remembered, but many of them I had completely forgotten that we even owned. I found myself returning once again to books. Sigh. So much for being done.

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo says that anything you forget the first time through immediately goes into the discard pile. I'm not ashamed to say that I completely disregarded this rule on more than one occasion, and this book resurfacing was the biggest glaring example of this.

I did not give these books the full KonMari treatment because I didn't have the time or mental energy to do so. All of these books were holdovers from our university days that we simply packed up when we moved. There were many textbooks, a number of classics from my many lit classes, some random self-help type books that I think we must have…

I Want My Own Bedroom

A few weeks ago, Sunshine surprised me by asking for her own room. I clarified that she meant her own room to share with her sister (because that is non-negotiable at this point), and she happily conceded that Sweetheart could sleep there as well. I then asked her what she meant when she said she wanted her own room, and it quickly became clear that what she really wants is a place to play that is all hers (and her sister's).

Right now our little bedroom is pretty much all bed with a walkway to access the closet. Save for a few stuffed animals, we don't keep any toys in there. All of the toys are kept in the living room and in Sunshine's special cupboard in the kitchen.

My long-term plan for a while has been to turn the loft into a bedroom/playroom for our kids, but that transition is still a ways off, primarily because we're still in the middle of building a detached game room next to our little house to hold Chris's collection of video games, but also because Sw…

Tiny House KonMari: Books

When it came time to tackle our books, I definitely had some mixed emotions. Getting rid of books seems so wasteful to me, and I felt a lot of guilt because many of the books no one loved enough to keep were ones that had been given to us. My mom works for a child care center attached to a private elementary school, and she gets those book catalogs to order from all the time. And she orders from them all the time, but her standards for children's books are much different from mine. One of my college minors was English, and I worked for the head of the English department during my university years, so I spent a great deal of time being exposed to quality literature. I try not to be a book snob, but I do prefer that the books we own to be of a high caliber. I have no problem with reading (and letting my kids read) wholesome "fluff," but when it comes to making room for books in this little house, I do have higher standards. The library can store the "fluff" book…

Tiny House KonMari: His Clothes

I have discovered something unexpected since beginning this KonMari journey: it's a lot easier to put away laundry now that my drawers aren't overfull anymore. This really hit home the other day when I was trying to stuff a seventeenth t-shirt of Chris's into a bin that only happily holds sixteen rolled up t-shirts and no more.

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo makes it clear that you only declutter that which belongs to you. Many times, though, as other housemates observe the process, they climb on board themselves. At least, that's what Ms. Kondo says.

Well, on that day when the shirt just would not fit in the bin, I yelled across the house to Chris that he owned too many shirts, and the next thing I knew, he was in the bedroom with me deciding which clothes of his spark joy and which ones don't.

All told, he discarded a small pile and donated a large trash bag full of stuff to Goodwill, and I gained another drawer in the closet to fill with ot…

Staying Busy

It was quiet here at the Small Home Family blog last week as we were out and about doing life together. Between Easter and spring break and ophthalmologist appointments and date days, we kept ourselves pretty busy.

At two and four, my girls are still too young to be officially in school, but their cousins were on spring break this week, and we took the opportunity to make use of our zoo membership. My cousin and I plus five girls between the ages of two and nine piled into their Suburban for the hour drive to our local zoo.

Can I just say that one of my favorite gifts is the zoo membership that my in laws give us for Christmas each year? So many other gifts are played with and quickly forgotten, but this type of gift lasts for the whole year and takes up no space in our house. We were able to bless my cousin and her kids with it, too, since it got us all in for free, and our kids had a blast together. Sweetheart especially is at an age where everything is so new and exciting, and watch…