Box Truck Film

Deek and Alex need our help!

There’s only 17 hours left to help our friends reach their goal! Please, if you love the tiny community, help these guys out to make this awesome film! Think we can shock them with and get the last 2/3 in the next 17hours?? That’d be some amazing stuff!

https://www.fortua.com/campaigns/a-film-fusing-reuse-benefits-and-tiny-home-solutions

Is it really tiny living?

You might be asking, “Is it really tiny living if you have a second building/separate studio/or storage unit?”

Some people say NO because you still have too much space. Some people say YES because you’re organizing your space, living with intent and not waste.

So, ultimately, it depends on your goals, and like the many people who choose this life, the reasons are very diverse! I know I’ve mentioned it before but today, I’m going to dive in a little deeper about the reasons for tiny life.

For some, living tiny means to reduce your carbon footprint, so they go as small as they can living off of community space like outdoors, libraries, gyms, and parks. Using local resources increases your quality of life with out having to own and maintain the square footage. Some want to live tiny in order to travel. These folks sell off everything except the bare essentials and the open road and adventure is their “home.” People like us are looking to simplify and organize their lives, hence the second building for hobbies/work/storage, etc. This makes it possible to have the things you need on a semi-regular basis, ei. studio/camping/skiing/sports/music/yoga equipment, with out it being in the way daily. This helps to organize your life, your space, your mind and emotional well being.

Living in our small apartment with all of my husbands art supplies has been a challenge our entire married lives. He also finds that there’s not enough space to work and live. By making a separate, small area at his mom’s, he is both utilizing space that would otherwise go unused and creating a positive work environment for himself. Since he has moved his studio he has actually engaged in more artistic endeavors than he has in ages!! This helps him to focus, engage and do what he loves, creating a positive experience for him, me and our marriage!

When thinking tiny, remember, you don’t have to own it, you can share with someone else. Whether that be space, equipment, or hobbies.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment, like and share! Next blog will be photos of our NEW apartment!

We’re MOVING!!

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I wasn’t sure it was going to happen, so I waited till the ink was dry on the lease to our new SMALLER apartment!! We move in 2-3weeks. They are putting the final touches on a major renovation. I can not wait to show you! The bathroom tile is so beautiful! See “Reasons for the Move” below.

It is 158sq ft smaller than the place we live now, another step toward tiny living! Our place now says that it’s 930sq ft, but I measured only 880sq ft living space and that’s not subtracting the front porch (probably closer to 860). But I realized they were counting the back porch as well. How weird is that?

The new place, not counting any porches, is 713sq ft of interior living space! It will be the smallest place we have lived since our small ONE bedroom, 670sq ft apartment, where we lived just after we were married, 14yrs ago. It also comes with a small storage shed, perfect for bicycles, lawn furniture, a grill and folding tables.

Currently we are packing and I’m proud to say there’s very little headed to the trash/goodwill as we’ve sorted most of it out. So far, just some extra wrapping paper and 3 flat couch pillows! (You can see previous blogs if you search “sorting.”) It has two bedrooms and one bath, but it has two large windows in the living room! I’m so excited to have more light, we’ve lived in basement apartments for 4years! I’m ready for some SUNSHINE! We signed a 32month contract, so we’ll be here for awhile!

The big deal will come when we go through my husbands clothing, as I’ve went through mine about a year ago. I will look again. Also, a big change is that he is moving his studio to his mother’s garage area. Mainly because he feels separating his living space from his working space, he will get more done. He’s been slowly taking things over and has actually done more art work than in the past year. I think it will work well for him!! We will be keeping some supplies as an artist can never be naked. We have drawing, sewing and a little bit of paint. I will have to show you in another post once we are set up.

I wanted to do a blog to show you how we pared down, sorted and organized. And have been successful so far. However, when it comes to his studio supplies and equipment, it’s hard for me to blog that as he just works on it when he is in the mood. So I never know what’s been changed. However, we did a video of our place where we are now and will do another video of our new place before we move in and after we’ve settled in. I think seeing the changes will help to understand how things turned out.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to like, share or comment, your feedback is very helpful!

I’ll keep you up to date on our move and if we do any major sorting!! Also, find my follow up blog, “Is it really tiny living?” next week discussing tiny lifers who have two tiny houses and/or storage sheds.

Sincerely,

Audrey

Reasons for the move:

~Affordability, it will be about $100/month cheaper allowing us to be more comfortable paying bills, buying medications.

~Space, the space is laid out much smarter and is smaller, helping us get closer to our more simplified life. I’ll finally have a galley kitchen!!

~NO carpets! Looking forward to having an easier time maintaining the housekeeping as well as helping allergies.

~Privacy, we will share a wall with just ONE neighbor, not three, like we are now!

~Location, center of town, but enough trees around to feel cozy. The park is just a few blocks away, so is the grocery.

~Rent stability, we’ve locked in the current rent for 32 months at the new place and they rarely raise it vs. where we are now has increased EVERY year! ( we would have been paying $60/month more than when we moved in 3yrs ago, if we renewed.) I’d be ok with it if they maintained the actual buildings very well.

~Landlord vs. Corporate Management, landlord is more personable and respectful. The corporate management here has become confrontational in their management style. Although their maintenance is wonderful. We will be our own maintenance dept at the new place, which has it’s own pros and cons.

Facebook for Entertainment

Hey guys, I know I’ve been out of action for a bit. Lots going on and haven’t had the time or ability to do anything tiny related. However, I’ve been posting regularly on our facebook page Living the Tiny Life. That’s where I post interesting and sometimes even entertaining tiny ideas, furniture, and have conversations and polls with readers.

Please come on by there and hang out, leave a comment and know that you are not forgotten about!

Thanks for reading. I look forward to being up and at it again in a few months!

P.S.

If the link doesn’t take you to our page, you can find it in the search under the same name.

Ciao!

I’m going CRAZY! But enjoying the ride!

Good golly Miss Molly!! I feel like I’m going to lose my mind! For my dear followers, you know we’ve been working on paring down since August. And I feel like we keep chipping away, little here, little there. and then BAM, we add more stuff! Does that make sense?? NO, NO it doesn’t! For instance, we added a kitchen aid mixer in December. Something we’ve always wanted and use quite a bit, to be honest. But in September added a large stuffed animal, a few handmade quilts, recently a couple more dishes that were in storage the rest we did sell off, and donated! I know I shouldn’t complain because it’s not like we added a table and chairs, we’ve been very smart about our choices, but boy is it a long process!

I must confess here, I have a surgery coming and it’s all consuming right now. It’s not expected to be life altering for long. But getting the phone call to schedule it made me realize, AGAIN, WHY we are doing this. Why we are wanting less and live a more simplified life!

So here I will post happy pictures of the life I hope one day to live!! Thanks for reading!

First, we will start with our favorite “Tiny House” Tom and Shaye’s tiny home. It’s wonderful, 8’x24′ for a total of 161sqft living space. We would need to add a bit more space to have a ground floor bedroom, but I love the simplicity, clean lines and large kitchen space. Oh we would need to add an apartment fridge as well. But for a link for a video tour click here.

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Tom and Shaye's floor plan

Next is the always inspirational: The Hansel House. This is fairy tale living at its best! We love this famous little house, but it does seem a little cramped for our taste at 300sqft. But given the chance, I think we would love to live here! Also, they do have some nifty space using ideas. Watch the video tour here. For interesting history about it and photos of the inside click here.

The Hansel House

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Our Favorite: English Cottage: This is our most favorite, we love the angled roofs, dutch style wood showing and stucco siding as well as all those beautiful windows and stone on the outside and chimney for the toasty warm fire inside! It’s only 17’6″ x 23′ making it 402sqft, 300sqft living space. We would probably square it off and make it 25×25 for a full 625sqft which is regulation size, albeit a bit big for us, for the county we want to live in. For floor plans click here.

English Cottage
English Cottage

Changes are a coming!

It seems everyday that we battle the amount of possessions we have. We sort, toss, organize and yet, it still seems to be overwhelming. The closet that once was empty is now filled with canned goods because we ran out of pantry space and I got tired of looking at the clutter on the floor.

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But we gave some items to a relative:

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And changed the area around, which has made a large impact, like our new dining table, it’s an old typewriter table, (the sides fold down and it’s on wheels so it become half that size)?

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We even sorted through all our games, this shelf was just crammed, nearly to the ceiling, this is what we have left of them. We have more work to do on this shelving unit. All the discs you see are headed to become digital and then we will give them or sell them to some one else.

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There’s still a bit more sorting to do. We are actually contemplating a very small two bedroom where the second small bedroom is a library. We have a lot of reference materials and collections we’d like to keep. But perhaps that’s part of the issue, hard to let things go. I think in time this collection will dwindle, it’s just about taking the time to adjust to the idea then we can give it to a good home? Let’s hope. Other wise we will be living a situation just like we are now, and that will not achieve our goals!

Thanks for reading, if you have questions or thoughts, feel free to share! Also, my next post will be on tiny houses we love and hope to immolate when we get around to designing ours!

Paring Down Pt. 9: The Kitchen Closet and New Organization

Woah! What a chore, but it’s done!! Once my mom moves out this closet will be bare!

Before:

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After:

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I had a crafting box blog that was the blue tote on the third shelf. As I went through this I saw so much junk that most of it went to garage sale or trash.

Some of the items went under our new bed storage!

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This is the new craft box from #7 blog “Craft Box” it since has been given away to my friend.

Here’s where I keep our shoes and stuffed animals (if you look closely you can see the clear tub next to the stuffed dog, that’s my clown gear) too.

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So, while we got rid of a bunch of things we no longer used or they no longer fit our life, we still had things that needed a home. We made room for them under the bed by lifting it up!

Thank you for reading and liking/sharing! Please feel free to ask questions about how we choose what to get rid of or keep!

Ciao,

Audrey

Paring Down Pt. 8: The Fabric Box

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After, the machine, and in the orange tub: fabric, wooden sewing box, a white box of thread and a white box of ‘extras.’

You wouldn’t think two people who don’t sew much to collect so much fabric! However, we’ve been known to sew a quilt or three in our time as well as pillows, crafts along with teaching children to sew. It also helps that my mother-in-law is a master seamstress and glorious quilt maker. She is an inspiration to us and so, we started collecting fabric in hopes to do projects with her. She’s such a joy to work with and so knowledgeable, helpful and very patient.

Before starting we had to make some tough decisions. While owning a sewing machine is on our priority list, did we really need all that old fabric? If so, why? Through our sorting we found that much of it was kept for a project we either finished or realized we honestly were not committed to actually doing. To be truthful, admitting this was very hard to do. We are passionate about so many things, it’s hard to pick and choose. But ultimately, it came down to the question, “Where do we want to spend our time?” And we decided that we want to spend our time doing projects we LOVED and we didn’t want to spend our time lugging around an anchor. So, as hard as it was we let 75% of our fabric, dream projects and hopes we had for all of it -GO… It was so relieving. I felt so much better because those undone items weighed on my mind every time I saw the sewing machine or fabric box. Now, I get to spend my time where I want to spend it NOW, not where I “hoped” to spend it a year ago. We realized that year to year our tastes and priorities change, and we have to be willing to change with it. It doesn’t make us failures, it makes us human. And we do get some projects done, but not all of them. We keep trying, and now we can enjoy working on them instead of being overwhelmed by them!

The fabric we did keep were the kinds that were versatile for many projects, mainly large pieces, or were set aside for an item we really wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. This was a great opportunity to set goals for the remaining of the year.

We started with so much, there were three different tubs, a cardboard box hiding here, another there, it was all over the house… Here are the photos of the mess we had on our hands!

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Can you spot the THREE sewing baskets??

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That which we tossed was so old it was too worn to be used for anything solid, it no longer had any life in the fabric. The stuff we decided to sell were things like extra quilt blocks from previous quilts we finished, curtains I had hoped to make a belly dancing skirt from, lace curtains, upholstery fabric we decided we weren’t going to actually use, all of our buttons, and yarn.

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The white box was full of buttons. The fan box is full of fabrics too. This was our pile of yard sale items.

Paring Down Pt. 7: The Craft Box

As we sort through what we ‘need’ and what we ‘want’ I got to my craft box in the closet… Some things got ‘re-homed’ because they didn’t belong in it like markers and colored pencils (we have an art studio area for these items), others given away. But I did this project a few weeks ago and I’m sitting here thinking, you know honestly, I don’t think I ‘need’ anything in there.

Before:

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I kept some stamps to make the usual cards: Happy Birthday, Congrats on your Wedding, Thank you, Thinking of you. But honestly, I buy them now, cheap and it’s been so long since I’ve made a card or wanted to, do I really need to keep that?? I kept some nice colored card stock, glitter glue, glue sticks, for the same purpose.

I decided to hold on to all my embroidery supplies in hopes to finish up my second ever project. A friend bought me these supplies as they decided they wanted to teach me how and I was interested. My first project was easy, my second was quite large and I’d like to finish it as there’s just a little left to do. Then I think I will be done with it. I really enjoyed it but as time went on, I realized that with the problems I have with my eyes, it’s just not good for me. Sure I could do 10 minutes at a time, but it takes about that long to pull it out and get set up! So, I’m still searching for a hobby to have in my tiny home – thoughts?

After is the clear box:

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So, after this post, I’ve decided to find a new home for my craft box, keeping only what thread I need to finish that project. I have a good friend who has children interested in these things and I will pass it on to them. I do their art teaching as they are homeschooled, so it will be like donating supplies to the ‘classroom’!

I’d like to thank you sincerely for reading my blog. I know I have inspired others, which brings me such joy to know I’ve been of help to you! Who knows, without you, maybe I would have quit by now. I’d like to think not, but knowing I have people wanting to read keeps me going. It gives me a sense of accountability to keep sorting and sharing with you! Also, I love how you send me notes and news articles about tiny living and organizing to read that are really helpful to me too!

Please feel free to ‘Like’ comment or reblog! Thanks again!

Sincerely,

Audrey

Paring Down Part 6: What to do with all those photos?!

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So, here we are preparing for tiny living and I have 3 totes of photos and random memorabilia. I worked on sorting it all. I started out with 3 totes of things, and got it down to 1!! I had a tote of old photos, one of photo frames and albums and a tote of random items like large photos, X-rays, used check books and empty cardboard boxes, presumably kept for a later art project.

Things I kept:

~X-rays, medical files

~Photo albums

~Picture frames (headed for garage sale)

~Photos: I only kept those where I could name who was in the picture. They also got sorted into these boxes I got at my local “Mart” store for 94cents! Larger pictures were sorted to lay flat on top in the bigger box. I sorted/categorized the photos under the following headings: wedding/honeymoon, high school, my family, Steve’s family, friends, Italy, Australia, Germany, misc. (aerial views, farms), stuff (we are artist and take pictures of things for inspiration). See pictures below:

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The picture frames in the middle box are being kept to sell. They do not appear in any other pictures.
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With a little tetris-ing, all this fit into the one box on the left, see above
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The photos sit nicely at an angle
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This is a “Shoe Box” for 94cents!!
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Photo box that was full of old stuff, now being used for actual photos, large photos lay on top in this one.

Things I tossed:

~Duplicate photos

~Old receipts/paperwork (some were from 2002!)

~Broken picture frames

~Cardboard boxes

I couldn’t believe how many items we have carted from one house to the next. One of the totes had a shoe box full of random paperwork, I swear this is the stack of paperwork that was on the kitchen island in our first apartment that we swept into a box when moving into our first home in 2002!!

I even found a MRI radiology report from 2000! Which I needed in December!

This was very eye opening as it pointed to our tendency to collect, store and keep unnecessary items due to laziness or just being overwhelmed with what to do with things. And the disorganization of it all made it impossible to find that report when I needed it. So, I realized that I need to stay up-to-date with what’s in my file boxes. I don’t need anything older than 7 years old. So, now I can get rid of old direct sales receipts from the ‘at-home’ business I ran. They are in the back of my file box for safe keeping. With a little more effort and tad more attention, I can get my paperwork under control, be able to find what I need, when I need it!

The same goes for photos, it is such a relief to have them sorted. Now when I want to show off my wedding photos, or old high school pictures, I know where to find them, quickly and easily.

This was an excellent project. I do apologize that I didn’t have photos of all the things I tossed. But know that it was junk I always intended to “fix up” and use or do projects with. I carted most of it for years and I feel like it’s ok to let that go. The stress of it has been lifted, I no longer feel like a failure who didn’t get to my projects. Instead, I made room for new dreams, new possibilities!

Paring down to live the tiny life has been so liberating. Do we have lots to learn? Yes. Do we still have loads of things to sort through? Yes. But we are so much closer now than we were just 6 months ago! As our motto states, “Little by little, bit by bit, a new found freedom we WILL get!!”

Thank you for reading, if you are inspired, let me know! Please share your sorting story below and pictures really are worth a thousand words!

Sincerely,

Audrey