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Thread: Small house envy...

  1. #11
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Yeah, the minimal stuff thing is challenging. My home office is probably about Tumbleweed House size, minus the loft (about 110 sq.ft). So sometimes I tell myself, OK, if I actually had a Tumbleweed House, I'd have to be comfortable living in exactly this amount of space. In my home office I have a futon, a desk, a storage armoire and a bookshelf.

    I'm not that great at keeping it minimal. I have project work, and bills, and office supplies, and books, and miscellaneous stuff that I need to transport to somewhere else in the house. So I wonder if I'd be up to really keeping a house as nice as the one in the original post.

    I do spend a LOT of time in this room, so I don't think cabin fever would be the problem if I ever did decide to get a tiny house. But the stuff is another story.
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  2. #12
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    This is one the greatest small houses I've seen....love the bookshelf walls, and the kitchen layout. Looks terrifically live-able

  3. #13
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Al Jazeera is having a special presentation on Sunday:


    "TINY is a documentary about home, and how we find it.

    The film follows one couple’s attempt to build a “tiny house” from scratch, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into homes smaller than the average parking space.

    Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about good design, the nature of home, and the changing American Dream.

    Check out TINY: A STORY ABOUT LIVING SMALL on AJAM Al Jazeera America Presents this Sunday at 9E/6P"

  4. #14
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    I particularly like this house. I definitely have some lusting over it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    Stages of life. Starting out this would be great and represent freedom, then you get to marriage/family and more space needed. Probably some hobbies when the kids are gone and your at an empty house. Then small again when you age.
    You know, I don't know.

    I'm currently in the family stage, and we were really happy at 480 sq ft. We currently have 650 sq ft or so -- which is really more than we need. We have one completely unused room!

    We currently use the kitchen, dining, lounge, bathroom, and back room -- just like in our old 480 sq ft cottage. The backroom is playing "closet/everthing" room again. I have a freecycle dresser in there for our clothing. The closet holds the hanging clothes, suitcases (with out of season stuff), pillows and puffy quilts, and vacuum cleaner. my ILs are bringing us some book cases (i've already gotten rid of several books that I'm surprised that I kept). DS's toy trunks are in there (and his books will also go on the book cases). We keep our thai mats in there during the day when not in use for sleeping.

    The lounge is the everything room. We've been working in there on our computers, DS brings out his toys. I bring the bed out at night, and during the day, I put it away. Bedding goes into the dresser in the dining room (freecycle) -- sheets and towels in one drawer; blankets in another; kitchen linens in a third, and then some kitchen implements (like my mandolin slicer) in another. I have two empty drawers. We tidy it before we go to bed -- toys away, computers away, clothes set out for the next day, dishes are washed and put away, etc. Basically, it's all sorted.

    I'm line drying clothes in the back room -- everything dries so quickly (overnight!). I can just go from rack to dresser/closet very easily this way.

    We're looking at making the extra room into DH's office space, or a space where we can do yoga, meditation, work, etc. Not sure yet how that space will work. So far, we're happy not using it. We'll see what happens as we expand outward.

  5. #15
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    When I was single I rather liked my small (250 sq ft) apartment. It suited me just fine and had plenty of room for everything I wanted to do. Plus, it was incredibly easy to take care of. A couple of hours every other week and I had cleaned the whole place. Add another hour and I could also get my laundry done during that time. I had tons of free time to do fun stuff.

    Now that I'm not single I live in a 1200 sq foot apartment. I like having this much space since it allows SO and I to be in different parts of the home doing our own things (me reading stuff and listening to music, him watching TV and chatting with people online). If I were single again I could live in a space the size of our second bedroom (all my old furniture is in here already) plus kitchen and bathroom. Total space would be about 250 sq ft again.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoebird View Post
    I particularly like this house. I definitely have some lusting over it.



    You know, I don't know.

    I'm currently in the family stage, and we were really happy at 480 sq ft. We currently have 650 sq ft or so -- which is really more than we need. We have one completely unused room!

    We currently use the kitchen, dining, lounge, bathroom, and back room -- just like in our old 480 sq ft cottage. The backroom is playing "closet/everthing" room again. I have a freecycle dresser in there for our clothing. The closet holds the hanging clothes, suitcases (with out of season stuff), pillows and puffy quilts, and vacuum cleaner. my ILs are bringing us some book cases (i've already gotten rid of several books that I'm surprised that I kept). DS's toy trunks are in there (and his books will also go on the book cases). We keep our thai mats in there during the day when not in use for sleeping.

    The lounge is the everything room. We've been working in there on our computers, DS brings out his toys. I bring the bed out at night, and during the day, I put it away. Bedding goes into the dresser in the dining room (freecycle) -- sheets and towels in one drawer; blankets in another; kitchen linens in a third, and then some kitchen implements (like my mandolin slicer) in another. I have two empty drawers. We tidy it before we go to bed -- toys away, computers away, clothes set out for the next day, dishes are washed and put away, etc. Basically, it's all sorted.

    I'm line drying clothes in the back room -- everything dries so quickly (overnight!). I can just go from rack to dresser/closet very easily this way.

    We're looking at making the extra room into DH's office space, or a space where we can do yoga, meditation, work, etc. Not sure yet how that space will work. So far, we're happy not using it. We'll see what happens as we expand outward.
    To think everything, applies to everyone, is just naive. What I posted, is what I typically saw growing up. Times have changed and a lot of things that used to be are no more. People had workbenches in the garage or basement, and purchases would come with schematics/diagrams to fix things. Cars were tuned much more frequently then the 100K they are now; kids played outside, due to a lack of the tv, to play pong, or Atari on. I had this discussion yesterday, with a gal in for her son's tenth birthday, as her ex bought the kid a tv and she bought him a tablet. These things were monitored in our houses, by being in the family room. When the parents wanted to get away from the kids stuff, dad went to his workshop, and mom would do something from crafts to shopping with a girlfriend.

  7. #17
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I watched the documentary, and enjoyed it. But for those who have more possessions than a change of underwear and a mess kit, they're probably not practical. My 1600-some feet are more than I need, but arranged so that they're practically useless, with much wasted space. I would be happy in 800-1200 well-designed square feet with a garage.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    To think everything, applies to everyone, is just naive. What I posted, is what I typically saw growing up.
    So, you are taking your own advice? In your first assertion, you said it would not work for families. Essentially, what you saw growing up, and what you believe to be true, applies to everyone and everything.

    I was pointing out that your assertion that these smaller homes wouldn't work for families is incorrect based on what I do with my family. Simply to point out that it's not categorically the case that a family can't live in a small space, and similarly, that it might provide inspiration for other people who might be reading this going "I would love to live smaller, but I have a family. . .."

    Times have changed and a lot of things that used to be are no more. People had workbenches in the garage or basement, and purchases would come with schematics/diagrams to fix things. Cars were tuned much more frequently then the 100K they are now; kids played outside, due to a lack of the tv, to play pong, or Atari on. I had this discussion yesterday, with a gal in for her son's tenth birthday, as her ex bought the kid a tv and she bought him a tablet. These things were monitored in our houses, by being in the family room. When the parents wanted to get away from the kids stuff, dad went to his workshop, and mom would do something from crafts to shopping with a girlfriend.
    These things that you are nostalgic about still exist, just in different ways. DS spends a lot of time outside -- at parks, hiking, and in the community garden. We don't do much with tools, but our son's school has a woodworking workshop that's open to families, too, outside of school time. We have our lap tops, but no TV or video game platforms. DS is supervised in his tv watching, online video games, etc -- he doesn't have his own tablet (none of us have tablets).

    DH goes to the gym twice a week for his alone time; I take two yoga classes a week. My son's "kid stuff" is easy enough to manage -- everything has a place where we put them away, which we do before he goes to bed. In fact, we tidy the house each night before bed, then put the bed out. We wake to a clean place, a blank slate.

    I have friends who are trying to minimize, trying to downsize -- for money reasons, for simplicity reasons. They want to know how a family can do it. How does a family of 3? A family of 5?

    There's no magic number in square footage, simplicity, or minimalism. People will be different based on what they do -- there's nothing wrong with this, nor did I assert that there was one true way of doing things.

    Simply, this house *is* reasonable and accessible for a family, if the family chooses to live that way.

    And we do. We choose to live with less square footage, so that we can live a certain way. That certain way is well thought, requires planning, and once in place, it can really work. And, it's fun.

    Also, have you heard of these repair cafes? It's another thing that we are getting into. NO need for me to have and store things for woodworking, or maintaining a bike, or repairing things. People are creating communal spaces for these things -- which costs less, creates more community, and requires less storage.

    So, as you say, there's no one way to do things. And I'm a case in point. I dont' live like what you "typically" saw, or what people are pressuring us to "be" these days (or how much square footage and "stuff" we need). I live differently.

    Is it for everyone? No, of course not, and I never asserted that. But living smaller, living with less -- but having more -- is possible, even when you have a family.

  9. #19
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    Zoe, can you point to where I said it wouldn't work for families? I said stages of life, (edit: in reply to Gregs why would anyone want more) which is just what I typically see in today's society in this country. Lot's of things can and do work, but it feels like those of us who visit sites like these, tend to be the "exception" then the "rule" (in the end it is about choices and values).
    For woodworking in school shops, your lucky. So many schools have dropped them for reasons from the push to computers, to the liability (know anything about Sawstop?) and the choice of tools. (stationary verses track saws) Machine shops/industrial arts as well.
    I've heard of various forms of repair cafe's. From those that Churches start (garage programs that fix up vehicles for those in need or their members) to groups of like minded folk who go in together to open some kind of shop and divide the costs. (none around here though)

    I think we tend to agree more then you think, just inserting unwritten notions into our reading, skews the view.
    Last edited by ToomuchStuff; 11-27-13 at 8:49am.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    I think we tend to agree more then you think, just inserting unwritten notions into our reading, skews the view.
    So true, in so many situations.

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