Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tips for living in a little house ~

May 18, 2011 005

We live in a little house.  Our house is almost 1200 square feet…and that’s for 7 people.  This week I’ve been doing some organizing and de-cluttering.  I thought that I would share some of the things we do to make this small space work for our larger than normal family. 

  • Get rid of clutter

This is probably my number one tip for living in a little house.  The clutter needs to be controlled.  In a small house, clutter can take over quickly.  For me, if my home is cluttered I become very irritable and stressed out.  That’s not fun for anyone. 

However in a home with seven people, stuff starts to build up.  Usually about twice a year, I clean out clutter from all rooms.  ( I do this during the summer and right before Christmas.)  We throw away anything that can not be repaired.  We also donate items that are gently used to various charities or we have a garage sale. 

These are not the only times we de-clutter.  On occasion, I will give the kids bags and tell them to put 10 items into it that they don’t really play with anymore/can’t wear anymore or to put ten pieces of trash/broken toys into it.  This helps control the clutter on a smaller scale in between our big de-cluttering celebrations.  {smile}

  • Have a place for everything.

There a very few items in our home that were not purposefully put there.  (Unless we’re talking about the floor when the kids have been playing.)  Knowing where things go makes it easier to put it back when you are done with it.

  • Keep the house tidy.

We try to keep our home tidy… especially the main living spaces.  In our small house there is not much floor space, so if the floor is messy it is hard to walk.  Our house is not tidy all of the time due to the kids playing or a project we are working on.  So twice a day we all pitch in and tidy the main living spaces. 

May 18, 2011 007

  • Find creative spaces to house items.

Living in a small house has really made us put our creative energy to use.  For instance, our kitchen is very limited on cabinet & drawer space so we use baskets on top of the refrigerator to hold plastic container lids, kitchen towels, mixing bowls, and a few small appliances.  The key is to be creative with storage but to not let it looked cluttered and we do that by…

  • Use baskets and other containers for storage.

We use a lot of baskets.  ( I love Target’s basket and have found many on sale.  The thrift store is a good place to find baskets too.)  Canning jars are also good for holding smaller items. 

Here are some other posts that I’ve written on living large in a small home. 


Do you have any tips for organizing/living in a small home? 


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  1. Multi-purpose items throughout the home, as welil as spaces that function in different ways.

    Share things. Frankly, it would be easier on all of us if each child kept his and her scissors, glue, crayons, yadda yadda in his/her own 31 Organizer bag. But. Unfortunately, Mom thinks that this doesn't foster the Habit of sharing. And things get lost. So, it all goes in one spot.

    Spend time outside. :) A whole more room out than in. lol!

  2. I got trigger happy and wasn't done! I have had to let got of a lot of kitchen doo-daa's. I was a Pampered Chef lady for 4 years, and acculumated ALOT of kitchen paraphenalia. It was hard to let a lot of that go (and truthfully? my mom has alot of it at her home in NC. just in case, lol) but I quickly found after moving to VA that I didn't need so much of that. I knew I needed to work on my knife skillz anyway, and now I had the impetus to do so. Not that I dared send my Food Chopper away -- I would take someone's eye out if I tried to chop nuts with a knife!
    So our kitchen is much more slender in the tool department, and my husband is trying to get more out...but he had better stay away from the lemon zester. :)

  3. Sally ~ We did the same exact thing in the kitchen when we moved into this house. I got rid of a lot of Pampered Chef stuff. The funny thing is...I really haven't missed it. (Though I always wanted one of those Food Choppers and would make space for that!) ;)

    I almost put the same thing about spending time outside. That was actually almost my last point! Actually, we do all of the other things that you mentioned too. We "little house dwellers" all think alike. :)

  4. My sweetie is definitely a pack rat! I would love to declutter, but he wants to keep everything. This past summer we finished most of our basement and a room for my dad. Since then we have realized that for 13 people living in this house we have very little storage space. It got worse after we moved my daughter home from school a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for the tips!


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