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Thread: Hello from sunny, expensive California!

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Hello from sunny, expensive California!

    Hi everyone!
    My name is Colleen, and I'm the mama to an 11-year-old and a 9-month-old. We have downsized since Baby Boy came, moving from 975+ square feet to about 660 square feet, and I still have more to get rid of. We were going to move into a tiny house, but that blew up, metaphorically, in an epic fashion.

    I'm a writer, and I've been blogging about slowing down and simplifying because I believe so many of us are too proud of how busy we are, and we're missing out on getting to do the things we love. I speak from experience, and it's so ingrained that every day I struggle to remind myself that it's more important to be present in my children's lives and to do what brings me joy (writing) than it is to cross things off my to-do list.

    It's exciting to me to have found this forum since there aren't too many like-minded people that I come across in my daily life here in Silicon Valley. This is close to the top of the list of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., and so we're making an effort to live frugally so we can make ends meet.

    I'm looking forward to learning, getting tips from those farther along this journey, and if I can help others, that would be especially awesome. Thanks!
    PS: Join me for a newsletter on simplifying to make time for what we love. Message me with "I'm in" to join.

  2. #2
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Welcome! I'm looking forward to reading more about your journey. Most people when they add children think they need to add space. I remember my mother-in-law saying "well...it's a starter home" when we bought a 1000 sq ft house after we married. The only thing we did was finish the big 500 sq ft attic into a 4th bedroom and big music room. We raised two kids in that house. I turned a downstairs small bedroom into a laundry room (tired of banging my head under the stairs with every load). Never did add on to the dining or make our master bath bigger. The boys are pretty much gone but I'm so glad they got to spend their growing up years in the same house.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Welcome, Colleen! So excited to hear more about your path to minimizing and downsizing, even as your family is upsizing!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    from Canada!
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #5
    Senior Member awakenedsoul's Avatar
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    Hi Colleen,

    Welcome. I'm also living in a small house in California. Mine is a 567 square foot 1940's cottage. Like you, I'm also a blogger. It must be a challenge to have four people living in that sized home. Do you have a large yard? I've got two big dogs, but it helps that one likes to be outside most of the time.

    I look forward to reading your posts. I've found it helpful to buy what's on sale at the grocery store. I try not to spend more than $1.00 a lb. on produce. I also take the bus and bicycle a lot of the time. How is the public transportation where you live?

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Welcome, Colleen!

    I'm interested to read more about your ongoing efforts in simplicity. Your particular locale must present some unique challenges, what with the cost of housing and what I would expect is a cultural predisposition to having the latest and greatest everything at your disposal (Galaxy 7? That is so 2016! ). Do you write for the tech companies there?
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  7. #7
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    Welcome! I too will be interested in how you make it work for 4 people in that small of a space. Since the weather is so nice where you live I would imagine you spend a significant amount of time outside so I am sure that really helps. when we retired and the kids were gone we downsized to 1400 sq ft and a lot of people thought we were crazy to live in such a small house)

  8. #8
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    I grew up in a very small house --750 square feet for a family of five -- so maybe I was conditioned at an early age to be content in a small house. It's great that your boys got to grow up in one cozy house. I'm a nomad at heart, but I understand the value of stability for kids, so I'm trying to provide that for my children.
    PS: Join me for a newsletter on simplifying to make time for what we love. Message me with "I'm in" to join.

  9. #9
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    Growing up we were a family of 5 in 1200 sq ft. But we lived in WI where you are stuck inside a great deal which I think makes a difference. We raised our 3 kids in a 1600 sq ft house. The neighbor kids were over a lot so it was nice to have the room.

  10. #10
    Senior Member IshbelRobertson's Avatar
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    Welcome! I am a member on the 'other' side of the pond.

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