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

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. 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

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.

Tiny dinner two

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

Paring Down Part 5: Shoes 10pr to 5pr!

Yes, I did it! I went through my shoes and pared down. To be honest, I always thought, I don’t own that many shoes…. This used to be true. I used to only own 2 pair! and now? Now I found I owned: 10!! My goodness how did that happen? One word: Crocs!! I own four pair of Crocs! Seriously!!

So here’s where I started 10 pairs:

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From left to right:

Old gym shoes, Black Mary Jane, Black Dress Crocs, 2pr old off brand Crocs, 2pr new Crocs, Brand new black winter boots, Red house slipper boots, Old but still nice grey winter boots.

So, you might be wondering, why so many Crocs? I have problems with my feet and they are so comfortable, it makes it easier for me to stand and walk than any other shoe I have found yet. And I’m still looking! *any suggestions for a shoe that has good arch support and is soft n squishy, I’d like to know!*

Here’s what was decided:

~3 pair Gifted

 

One pair of old off brand Crocs, New dress Crocs and my favorite, nice winter boots, were all gifted to my mom, who loves them! Especially the boots, she was so excited and they looked so nice on her, it made it easier to part with them.

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~1 pair Trashed:

It was easy to get rid of the old gym shoes, they went into the bin! There was no life left in them to donate.

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~1 pair kept for guests

While I got rid of those four I actually kept 6pr, that’s because I kept the other pair of old off brand Crocs for guests, mainly my friend who comes and does my dishes. She says they really help her hips feel better. I feel the least I can do is keep a pair of shoes to help while she does it, right?

So, here is a pic of hers and my Crocs:

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~2 pair Crocs kept for myself

In the picture below are my two pairs of Crocs. Now you may be wondering why I need two pairs. Well, for one, it’s good to have two pair to switch back and forth so they can rest and it increases their life span plus I wear them in the shower, so I can wear one, while the other dries. Also, my two pair are very different. One pair is for hot weather or just indoors (I am never bare foot inside), the other pair is for indoors and when it is wet out, notice there are no holes on the sides for water to splash in or dirt from gardening? These are my main ‘outdoor’ Crocs for when I take the dog out. I LOVE them because they work exactly the way they should! Dewy morning and evening doggy walks no longer leave my feet wet and slippery!

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~2 (3) pair outdoor pairs kept

 

These below are my outdoor shoes. The black boots, center, are my new, very expensive Dansko winter boots that are warm, water proof and have good arch support. These will be my winter wear when ever I leave the house this winter. These will last me a lot of winters and so far have been worth the money! The blue Crocs we discussed above, the cheap black Mary Jane’s on the far left are because I need a ‘dress’ shoe of some sort to go with dresses and skirts when I go to weddings, funerals or gatherings in general. These are comfortable enough and do the job of looking like formal wear with out hurting my feet too bad.

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~1 pair kept for indoor comfort

Lastly are the boots that I have a feeling will be given to my niece eventually but for now in the colder months they are nice to wear inside, a nice change from the Crocs, they are fuzzy on the inside and really comfy. They also have leather bottoms, so I could technically wear them outside, if there’s no water, or to stand on the porch to let the pooch out.

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So, getting rid of half my shoes is a good beginning. But I’m realizing that no matter how much I “smart-size,” due to my medical issues with my feet, I will still need 5 pair of shoes: 1. dress shoe 2. 2pr indoor comfy shoes 3. winter boots 4. gym shoes.

If only I could get one or two pair to do double duty and cover more than one use that would be ideal. However, I haven’t figured that out yet.

Have you gone through your shoes yet?? If so, was it hard to let them go? What are your favorite pair and why??

Thanks so much for reading! Next week I’m going to tell you all about “Trying Tiny” with a formal dinner!

If you enjoyed this feel free to like, share and I would love to hear from you! If you have any questions about living tiny, I could answer or find the answer for you!

Take care and good luck with your own projects!

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

Paring Down – Part 3 Washer/Dryer Our First Tiny House Purchase!

We got a stackable washer and dryer to save space by going vertical! These things brand new are $1200!! We have always planned to have a stackable unit but figured we  would save and planned on getting it when we moved into the tiny house. But we saw this was at a relative’s yard sale and it was a great price, so we bought it! After selling our dryer and probably giving the washer away (or scrapping it), the upgrade will have cost just under $100! Well worth it since our washer was very old and started tearing up our clothes, however still usable and good for anyone who is in desperate need temporarily.

But the biggest surprise was the amount of space it saved, I couldn’t believe it. Since we had a shelf above our original set, I didn’t think it would add much, but it really did. I am very pleased with this.

On the down side,there isn’t a good place to store my laundry soap, dryer sheets and other laundry related items. We will perhaps have a small shelf built near it in the tiny home. See photos below.

Laundry room before
Laundry room before
Laundry room after
Laundry room after
Corner:  open space!
Corner: open space!

 

Paring Down – Part 2: 85 Cook/Bake Wares down to 39!

We did it! After last week’s post, about struggling to pare down my beloved cook ware and bake ware, we buckled down and just did it. The results are fantastic! I can’t believe the difference. Sure, there was some hesitation as we sorted through but I think in the end what we have now is so much better. No, I didn’t keep two 13×9 baking dishes, just one. However, the cabinets are much more organized, less stressful and easier to get to. I used to hurt my back trying to dig through the corner cabinet, but the way we sorted it, it’s all at my finger tips now! We even switched the pots and pans into their own cabinet. To see it in video visit our Youtube channel: TheWaxingTurtle

I’ve posted pictures and explanations below as to why we kept what we did. There are about 4 pictures of each section, 1st to show the starting mess, 2nd to show detail of what was actually in that mess, 3rd to show what we kept and a final 4th to show the space cleaned up. You can read the photo captions to gain more insight to what we kept and exactly why.

Remember, things that didn’t get kept are going into a rubbermaid tub for 3-6 months to see if we can live with out them. Then we will see if family and friends have need of the items, the rest will be sold or donated to charity.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us and our crazy decision to pare down and get ready for living the tiny life!

NOTE: I’ve worked 5hours on this post, please forgive the mistakes and the crazy photo layout, as it’s been very trying and I know you guys want to see the progress we’ve made. So, I decided done is better than perfect, for now! I can’t figure out how to post photos with text like I did last week. I don’t know if it is malfunctioning or if there is a setting I’ve missed.

Corner Cabinet Before (pictures #1 & #2): 

#1- corner cabinet before
#1- corner cabinet before
#2- Corner cabinet items before
#2- Corner cabinet items before

What a mess. It was always so hard to find what I needed, when I needed it. This took a lot of time and energy! Started with 7 pots and pans with 8 lids, 2 tupperware containers, 7 glass baking dishes, casserole warmer, cake saver, large metal mixing bowl, 2 serving bowls

 The picture to the right is a better view of what was in there.

Corner Cabinet After (pictures #3 & #4)

#3- Corner cabinet after
#3- Corner cabinet after
#4- Items kept
#4- Items kept

The pots and pans have been relocated, and the cutting boards and trays have taken their place. We kept the majority of the pots and pans because all but one is very high quality (we have had them 13yrs), we use them, and they nest well. We realized we didn’t need so many metal baking dishes as they were replaced by two high quality stoneware sheets we recently purchased for that reason. Kept: one 13×9 with lid, smaller baking dish, and one small casserole dish with lid, (we were unsure about these two so they may get tossed in a few months) two storage tupperware containers, 6 pots/pans and 5 lids. We kept so many pots/pans because all but one are part of a set and each has multiple functions, cooking at home is one way we save TONS of money, so, we thought it was worth the space. In our tiny home, they will probably get hung on a wall or a baker’s rack.

Side Cabinet Before  (pictures #5 & #6):

Here we used to place the random items for the Cusinart food chopper, cutting boards, miscellaneous baking paraphernalia and large plastic bags, cookie sheets, salad spinner, lunch trays used when making christmas cookies and so many other projects.

Easier to see: 2 Cusinart bowls, salad spinner, slicer, garlic press, hamburger pattier, 2 cooling racks, 2sm metal cookie/cooking sheets, 2lg metal cookie sheets, 5 lunch trays, 2lg cutting boards

Side Cabinet After  (pictures #7 & #8):

To the left are the items we kept from the original mess, a salad spinner, as farmers we get a lot of greens in the summer and this saves energy and time, it’s used as a colander for washing/rinsing and dries the greens for refrigeration. One cutting board, one Cusinart bowl, one large cutting board, and our large plastic bags for storing the greens and other items. 3 lunch trays which get used all the time for cookies, projects, so many uses.
(not pictured is my white colander for hot items like noodles and potatoes and three tiny cutting mats that are good for small jobs and easy clean up)they were placed in the corner cabinet as you can see in the pictures up above. That’s because we repurposed this space for easier use of the pots and pans. The added shelf in the back was removed when we did our first paring down, it came from the cabinet we keep our glasses in (see the post “Paring Down part 1”).

Measuring Utensil Shelf Before (pictures #9 & #10):

In this cabinet we had a mess of measuring tools, 3 measuring bowls, 10cups, tiny sifter, 17 spoons, 3 scoops, one funnel

Measuring Utensil Shelf After  (pictures #11 & #12):

This way is much simpler and easier to use. We kept: a funnel, one set of spoons, cups (plus one extra used as a scoop for soups), one funnel and one large bowl used for mixing smaller items like cake, pancakes, and it is microwavable, the liquid measuring cup is a standard item for a kitchen, but it might get tossed eventually. I’m not sure if we use it enough for it to stay. Time will tell. I hope in the tiny house to have the cups and spoons on hooks on the inside of a cabinet door so I won’t need to have them tucked in a bowl.

Oven Drawer Before (pictures #13 & #14) After#15:

In the drawer before were 2 aluminum pie plates, 1 tiny alum. bread pan, 1 alum pan, 1 old cupcake pan, 2 muffin pans, 2 stoneware cookie/cooking sheets, 3 alum. pie plates.

Items kept: 3 aluminum pie plates because I bake a lot of apple and pumpkin pies for family gatherings, 2 muffin pans (which may get tossed later like the cupcake pans did, in lieu of using a cake pan), two stoneware cookie sheets. These are used to make not only cookies but also meat loaf and pumpkin rolls and frozen goods like tater tots, etc. When making cookies it’s good to have 2 pans, one going in, one coming out.

There will not be a follow up after photo as the oven drawer is now empty. We placed what we kept into the corner cabinet.

This exercise in living more with less has been wonderful. The actual paring down part has been hard, but it’s paid off. We no longer own so many dishes that the sink is overflowing with dishes before we wash them. Since we do not own a dish washer, this can become a serious chore. But owning fewer, means washing more often and things stay neat and tide, more easily. The easy part is what we like. That’s one of the major points to tiny living, to make your life a little easier and less stressful.

We are well on our way to making decisions to help us prepare physically and mentally for life in a tiny home!

Please be sure to comment, like, share, and subscribe. Your feedback on what you like, what you want to know and personal experience helps to create a sense of community and belonging.

~Audrey

#5- Misc. cookie sheets, salad spinner, lunch trays used when making christmas cookies and so many other projects
#5- Misc.  Cabinet
#6- Misc. Cabinet items, easier to see: 2 Cusinart bowls, salad spinner, slicer, garlic press, hamburger pattier, 2 cooling racks, 2sm metal cookie/cooking sheets, 2lg metal cookie sheets, 5 lunch trays, 2lg cutting boards
#6- Misc. Cabinet items before
#7- Items kept: Salad spinner, as farmers we get a lot of greens in the summer and this saves energy and time, it's used as a colander for washing/rinsing and dries the greens for refrigeration. One cutting board, one Cusinart bowl, one large cutting board, and our large plastic bags for storing the greens and other items. 3 lunch trays which get used all the time for cookies, projects, so many uses.  (not pictured is my white colander for hot items like noodles and potatoes and three tiny cutting mats that are good for small jobs and easy clean up)
#7- Items kept.
#8- The side cabinet was repurposed for pots and pans as they fit better in here and are much more easily reached. The shelf that was removed from our glass/mugs cabinet, found on "Paring Down Part 1, was added here for better organization.
#8- The side cabinet was repurposed.
#9- Measuring tool cabinet before.
#9- Measuring tool cabinet before.
#11- Measuring Items Before: 3 measuring bowls, 10cups, tiny sifter, 17 spoons, 3 scoops, one funnel
#10- Measuring Items Before.
#11- Measuring tools kept: a funnel, one set of spoons, cups (plus one extra used as a scoop for soups), one funnel and one large bowl used for mixing smaller items like cake, pancakes, and it is microwavable, the liquid measuring cup is a standard item for a kitchen, but it might get tossed eventually. I'm not sure if we use it enough for it to stay. Time will tell.
#11- Measuring tools kept.
#12
#12
Mess before: this is the oven drawer, there is no "AFTER" picture because it is empty, except the broil pan that came with the apartment.
#13- Mess before: this is the oven drawer.
These were in the oven drawer: 2 aluminum pie plates, 1 tiny alum. bread pan, 1 alum pan, 1 old cupcake pan, 2 muffin pans, 2 stoneware cookie/cooking sheets, 3 alum. pie plates
#14- These were in the oven drawer before.
Baking items kept: 3 aluminum pie plates because I bake a lot of apple and pumpkin pies for family gatherings, 2 muffin pans (which may get tossed later like the cupcake pans did, in lieu of using a cake pan), two stoneware cookie sheets. These are used to make not only cookies but also meat loaf and pumpkin rolls and frozen goods like tater tots, etc. When making cookies it's good to have 2 pans, one going in, one coming out.
#15- Baking items kept.
#4- Corner Cabinet after: Look how nice and neat everything is! All with in easy finding and reaching!
#4- AGAIN Corner Cabinet after.

Why Live The Tiny Life?

There are many reasons to choose the tiny life. For some it’s the freedom of being able to pick up and move when they want or need. Many more of us want to live affordably, debt free and mortgage free so that we can live a different kind of life, one more peaceful, less stressful. However, living tiny isn’t for every one. Some are happy to enjoy the average 2,300sq.ft. homes and wouldn’t have it any other way, that’s fine. But for me and my husband, we want the low cost and freedom from maintaining a larger home and all the things that go with it. So, what does it mean to live “tiny?”

Some of you may not know. So, a brief introduction might be helpful, first off, let’s start with the basics because there are a couple thoughts as to what it means to live the tiny life. One, is to actually live in a tiny home like Heather of Tiny House, Big Adventures. Here are some of her photos, used with her permission, notice it’s on wheels, which make it portable:

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She lives in Alaska
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This is her “tiny” kitchen

Another view is to live a tiny life as in, not accumulating “stuff,” organizing, recycling, living a simpler, smaller life than the average person. The idea is to make a smaller impact on the planet and making the most of what you have. By simplifying, you get more time for the important things in your life, such as, hobbies, family, friends, peace and solace. To do this some may participate in challenges to help pare down their things to make life more manageable such as the 333 Challenge where you pare down your wardrobe to 33 items for 3 months, you can find it at: http://theproject333.com/ or the 100 Item Challenge where you pare down all your belongings to just 100 items, another take on this challenge is to start by getting rid of 100 items.

There are many resources for how to pare down to live the simpler life and what it’s like to live it. Dee Williams gave a TED Talk which you can find on YouTube, Tammy Strobel runs a blog called http://www.rowdykittens.com, Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller were featured in a movie called, “We the Tiny House People.” They all also have several Youtube videos.

I hope they don’t mind me mentioning them in this blog because they are good inspirations for those of us either trying to live simple, pare down or be happier with less.

Our Story:

We owned an affordable home in the past, it was 750sq.ft. with a full basement making it 1,500sq.ft. of usable space. We crammed it full of so much stuff that we didn’t need, it was suffocating. Now living in only 900sq.ft., we still have more than we know what to do with. In our last post you saw how we reduced our kitchen a bit and we still have more to go. It’s been a nice change and we look forward to paring down more. We are choosing  to live tiny because my health is not good and maintaining a large space has become too difficult. The energy I do have I would like to spend it living life, not cleaning. I love to cook, paint, socialize, and bake. My husband is an artist and would rather create than maintain possessions. We also have debt we need to pay off to achieve the freedom and stress-free lifestyle we desire. Also in this shaky economy, job security is questionable and having a tiny home would offer security and stability. We hope that by doing things more simply and relaxed we will live a happier less stressed life.

We realize there are many questions that still need answered. Can we really survive in 240 sq. ft.? Will we actually simplify our lives and if so will we actually make time and put forth effort to do the things we love? I guess only time will tell.

Keep up by subscribing to my weekly posts! Please be sure to ask questions, like, share or leave a comment.

~Audrey