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

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.

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

The Realities of Trying Tiny!

So, here’s the truth. It’s all about the fridge! Or at least that’s what made me look around to be honest about how HARD trying to live tiny is and sometimes very disappointing! While I’ve enjoyed the benefits of decreasing the amount of possessions we have to maintain, realizing that we may not be able to adjust to an actual tiny lifestyle is sad. However, by observing how we really live and what essentials we NEED, it will help us to make a place that’s just right for us that we won’t regret.

Here are some of the highlights of issues we have found:

Food Storage – We shop sales for our groceries. In a tiny house there will be very little storage for it. We cook our meals and I try to make sure there’s leftovers for the next day. In a tiny house with a small fridge there won’t be much space for that. Because not only would we have an entree but also fruits, veggies, snacks, etc. We also freeze meals for those on-the-go days when I don’t get to cook. Between the sales and freezing foods there’s not enough space. There’s barely enough space now!

I tried. I was putting empty cardboard boxes in the fridge/freezer to take up space and reduce the size available (see the picture above). During the holidays we make buckeyes that need refrigerated so the boxes were removed and we’ve been taking up that space with vegetables and other goods. The same happened with the freezer. I do believe we still have 3 boxes in the back of fridge still, so the experiment wasn’t a complete failure.

One benefit from a smaller fridge is less waste, you eat more of the food in it. There’s not so much space that you forget what is in there. We don’t usually have that problem.

We also do canning and are uncertain where we would find space for that.

Living– We like to entertain and have friends over – A lot! In a tiny house that’s 8ft wide and 30ft long, there won’t be enough space. This is true especially in the cold months, and here in Indiana that can be up to 6 months!! During the summer we can use the outdoor space as an extension of our living space.

Exercise– Space will be a problem too, we enjoy tai chi and yoga. We also have an elliptical for winter time (honestly, it may get replaced in favor of a gym membership, which we are trying now).

Personal Space– Due to my medical conditions, I need daily rest, relaxation and time away from the chaos, this includes the mess of the kitchen, people, clutter, which happens during a project and I have to take breaks. I can’t climb a ladder on a regular basis, so we have to have our bedroom separate. I have seen some tiny homes that have accomplished this really well, but it didn’t leave space for the actual living part of life.

Recycling– This is a minor point right now, but I would love to have a place I could separate my trash and recycle. I currently live in 900sq ft. and have no room for it, how will I have room in 240sq ft? (if you have any suggestions, I’d love to know!)

I know there are many points of view of tiny living, some do it to be pushed to live within their communities or out doors, some to be ‘greener’ or more environmentally friendly, others for the simplicity of life, living debt free, being portable and the list goes on. For us, our goals are 1. simplicity (less to clean/maintain) 2. debt free 3. more time to do what we love.

I worry about being in a place that’s too small and won’t offer the simplicity because it will be tedious and aggravating from not having the ability to do the things we need. I hate tripping over things and feeling closed in.

We just rearranged our bedroom and it really felt closed in, so we changed it again, it’s much better now. But the first arrangement was closer to what we would probably have in a tiny house. It bothered me, it made me wonder if our dreams of living tiny are just a delusion.

Despite these things, we will keep organizing, compacting, sorting and tossing/selling as much as we can. Because in the end, we may not have the 8×30 (240sqft) we had hoped but perhaps a 12×30 (400sqft) instead. It’s still smaller than half of what we have now. It will still be less to clean and maintain, we will build it ourselves with savings, so we will be debt free and have time to do what we love.

Thanks for your readership! I appreciate your interest and comments are encouraged!

Sincerely,

Audrey

Tiny Life Christmas 2014

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Here it is! Finally, the long awaited Tiny Life Christmas post! We kept the tree small. It is an old fiber optic tree given to us from a family member. I loved it, the colors changed and we didn’t have to twirl it to put lights on it!

We kept the decorations on surfaces that were otherwise, white and unused. This allowed us to jazz up the house for the duration with out feeling overwhelmed.

However, I must say that the greatest thing I’ve enjoyed about tiny living Christmas, is that when it was all over, everything fit into ONE rubbermaid tub! (The tissue box is there for size reference) AND I didn’t feel like I was loosing out or sacrificing anything. It was a joyful Christmas! The less fussy decorating was much appreciated.

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This included our little snow man. The globe changes color, I LOVE this little guy!

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2 Wreaths and lights. (front door wreath not pictured)

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Decorative wooden cranberry beads and bows.

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Also, while decorating our tiny tree, we realized we had too many ornaments and some too large to go on it. This is even after we sorted through and only kept those with special meaning and those that we truly LOVE. So, we used them to decorate the rest of the house. (see cranberry beads too)

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Last year we made these neat fabric, restickable decorations that can go almost anywhere. They get stored on wax paper, then folded to about the size of a Christmas card.

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And now, it’s all in that one tub! Voila! No clutter. OH WAIT… Except the wrapping paper mess….

This is what it looked like at first.

10686608_10155135521325441_810504702595538458_nTo keep it organized I put a paper bag over the rolls.

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That helped it store easily onto the top of our closet shelf.

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We are working our way through all the wrapping paper and bows. Oh, how I love to decorate the packages so prettily! By time we get to actual tiny living we will have much less. We will buy only what we need and limit wrapping products to ribbon and three tubes of paper for birthday, misc (plain color) and christmas. Which we will find space for in the Christmas tub.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this installment of Living the TIny Life. Christmas is such a big part of our cultures and traditions, it would be difficult to give it all up. I hope you’ve been inspired to pare down your things the way you would like. To only have those which make you very happy and bring you joy with out feeling a void.

Please post and let me know how you handled Christmas or would like to this year!

Sincerely,

Audrey

Trying Tiny Part 3: The Dinner Party!

:: Plug for fellow Tiny Houser- Derek “Deek” Diedrickson’s appearance on HGTV! ::

He has a youtube channel under: RelaxShacksdotcom as well as a Facebook page.

Deek is a tiny house and tiny space builder, musician, author and so much fun to watch. He has a great sense of humor and brings a unique energy that keeps the videos not only informative but also entertaining! Please check him out and show him some support!

THE DINNER PARTY:

Sticking with our attempt at Trying Tiny I made a full formal meal and served it on our folding table, family style. This table is what we plan to use in our Tiny Home. Typically you would do it buffet style, so I wanted to see if we could comfortably visit and eat. I made Hungarian meat and gravy, potatoes, corn, green beans, beets, rolls, Iced Tea. The table is 4ft long and just under 2ft wide. We used the couch and a cooler as seating, despite the chair at the end, I did not use it for this experiment.

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With all the trimmings on the table we had room for the three of us. I feel comfortable saying that would could fit 4-6 at this table but only if we did it buffet style.

Having room is one thing, being comfortable is another. My guests were not excited to use the couch as seating as it didn’t have any back support. We think there are a couple ways to make this better, one would be making a bolster pillow to help support your back while sitting or using tv tray style plating instead of the folding table. But that would mean using space to store said trays.

The dinner was delicious but honestly crowded. I wasn’t comfortable moving around. So, I think this experiment was informative and helpful, now we know to stick to buffet style serving!

Thanks for reading! Please be sure to check out Deek’s new program and show some tiny love!!

Sincerely,

Audrey

Trying Tiny Part 2 Making Changes

Wow! Where to start. I don’t want to overwhelm you with photos (those will come later) but we have been working on trial and error style living. This included things from using up what we already have, limiting counter space, changing behaviors and so much more.

As you saw last week in Vertical Space,  we’ve moved the towel drawers, but they got repurposed for our tea collection. We are trying to use up all that tea and get rid of the drawers permanently and stop purchasing so much! But we LOVE tea!

*We have taped the counter tops to replicate what we expect our counters to be – 18inches rather than the normal 24inches.

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*We set our toaster oven on the counter top to see how that will work. We have decided we want to get a Convection Oven/Microwave combo that is mounted above the stove so it wont take up the precious real estate of the counter tops.

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*We are also trying to change the way we do dishes to suite a one sided sink style of doing dishes by placing a tray over the other side to immolate what we plan to have. The plan is to have 1 sink tub with a dish pan inside of it. Fill the dish tub with hot,soapy water set it on the counter top, wash the dish, rinse it in the empty sink tub then put on the drying rack. (in the tiny house, the drying rack will be where the dishes are stored as well (see lower photo).

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We are thinking to have it in front of the window like the one on the left but have it as a rack, like the one on the right. The neat idea would be to have translucent, colored glass dishes so when the sun shines in, it would look like a stained glass window! I’m completely in LOVE with this idea. What reality is, I don’t know.

 

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*We are also working on buying only what we need at the grocery store in order to get used to smaller cabinet and fridge space. The cabinets are improving but not quite where we want to be yet, as seen in, Organization, the same with the fridge. I keep adding empty boxes to the fridge to reduce the space, but we still seem to fit a bunch in there!

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Let me know what you think about our progress and ideas! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading, please be sure to share, comment and start a conversation.

Sincerely,

Audrey

Vertical space

Living tiny is all about using your space wisely, this includes vertical space that otherwise goes unnoticed. I was shocked at how much counter space was saved just by adding a few extra things in my kitchen!

In true tiny living fashion, I found an old dresser drawer, courtesy of my sister, glued it up, changed the handles around and Voila! A shelf! Actually two shelves!

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So here is what the corner looked like before. Those two stacked drawers took up a lot of space!

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But by adding that shelf, it cleared up a lot of counter space! The blender base was moved to a different shelf with other like items.

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The top drawer was dish towels, the bottom drawer was dish rags. I found cleaver space under the sink by using two hooks and an old cookie bucket.
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Here is what it looks like now! Lots of counter space! I’m very happy with this change. The pot holders are on top of the shelf, very handy for oven use.

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By using a little creativity, I was able to open space and make a fun and usable place with out a ton of effort or materials. Once it was hung, I regretted not painting it, perhaps that will be a project for another day! I do love being able to show my monkeys.

Thanks for reading, any cleaver, space saving tips you have used? Got pictures and want to share them? Let me know and I can post them!

Sincerely,

Audrey

 

P.S.

There are two other blogs I’ve started in the last couple of weeks, check them out, if you are interested in knowing more about us and our lives! One is called, My Chronic Lessons it is about things I’ve learned through chronic illnesses: http://www.mychroniclessons.wordpress.com

The other one is a 30 day, daily photography challenge through WordPress. It is about my husband, marriage and our life together in pictures called: His & Hers in Photos: http://www.hisandhersinphotos.wordpress.com

 

The Scourge of Trying Tiny! Just say NO!

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It is hard to just say no when someone cares about you enough to give you a gift. However, when one is trying to go tiny the idea is to get rid of things, keep the basics, organize, condense and relieve oneself of excess…. So, somebody please explain to me where these mugs came from??

Oh, two are from storage and some how snuck their way back into the cupboard, one was given to us – ummmmm, “Just say NO!” seems to be screaming in my head again, and one was being used for dog water in the back room, now replaced with an appropriate container. The black one is for my mom, she bought it and when she moves, she will take it with her, however, it still increases the number of items we had pared down.

One of the reasons we have so many things in our house that we are overwhelmed is because someone gave them to us. Whether it be a stock pot as a birthday gift (even though they knew we already had one), mugs, which we obviously have plenty, more dishes, stuffed animals, blankets, clothes and even food like canned goods, snacks, and baked goods! While the food is tasty, we are out of room to keep it, so often I take them and share with others. I feel awful complaining because we are sincerely blessed with such thoughtful people in our lives.

But, it feels that at this rate, tiny living is not going to be possible unless we exercise that, “no,” muscle more often. It’s so hard, but if we really want a simpler lifestyle then we need to get our friends and family on board so instead of gifting us “things,” they may start to gift us experiences, like theatre/museum tickets, restaurant gift cards, or what would be super helpful is a gift card for the vet!! (::wink, wink :: to my friends and family reading.)

While the photo only shows 5 mugs, 5 small, unassuming mugs, it is what they represent as a whole that creates the problem. And I just don’t know how we will figure this out. I have been reorganizing to be able to have more space but there is a tipping point that keeping things comes at a great cost of the freedom we so dearly want.

Have you had to just say no? How are you living smaller, tinier, happier lives?

Thank you for reading and for liking, commenting, sharing, it means the world to me. Please be sure to let me know if there are topics about tiny living you want to know about!

Sincerely,

Audrey

 

Organization!

I never realized how cluttered clutter could look, simply by not being organized. Now, I see that I can keep a lot more important things just by organizing through consolidating, condensing and containing!

We are practicing tiny living in our current apartment, so we have been cutting down on cupboard space! In the first picture all that empty spsce was made by moving it to the tall pantry. What’s left are our medicines which need a better place, for now they will stay. The bowls and mixer were moved to the corner cabinet. Where the cookie sheets are (see Paring Down Part 2: bakeware)

Thank you for reading! Please share/comment!
NOTE: Sorry this post is a bit lacking, I’m doing it from my phone, from the comfort of my sister’s hospital room, she’s doing fine. 🙂
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