I honestly don’t think you can truly wrap-up the challenges of living in a small space. Each day in and of itself is a challenge to keep it all together, but I wanted to take some time to wrap-up with some more ideas to help you keep trudging along. So far this month we have talked about purging in, Small Space, Big Challenges and Solutions. We talked about what to do with all that Winter Gear that seems to overtake the house in, Small Space, Big Challenges – Winter Gear. Last week we talked about how having a small space doesn’t have to affect your comfort or ability to homeschool with Small Space, Big Challenges – School Room. Obviously, that doesn’t cover all of what it takes to manage living comfortably in a small space.
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE getting new appliances for the kitchen. Anything that says it can save me time in the kitchen is something I gravitate toward. However, being in a small space means that I have to be choosy about what actually stays in my kitchen. Because of that, I do not have an automatic can opener. It takes up way too much valuable space on my counter when I can just as easily open a can with a manual one. Plus I get the added benefit of some exercise. Is there any appliance you could part with to save counter space?
I would LOVE to have an actual pantry, but we just don’t. That means that we have to be choosy about what food we have in our cabinets. We shop every two weeks and store it all in just 2 cabinets. The good news is that means we almost always have a good idea of what is in our house for food. Nothing sits in the back and rots because we didn’t know about it. That also means no big bulk store shopping trips for cases of black beans because we just don’t have the room to store them. Sure we may pay a few pennies more for our black beans but we are saving space and that is worth something, a whole lot of something in my book. Could you be shopping more local for small quantities of things instead of stocking up, to save space?
To me the bathroom is such a simple case of purging items to save the most space. What do you really need in a bathroom anyway? Toothbrush, toiletries, feminine products, hair supplies, makeup (maybe), cleaner, toilet paper, bath toys for the kids and that is just about it. Our bathroom, and the only one we have, is pretty small with a small single cabinet sink and no closet space, yet we are able to have everything we need and still feel like our space is clean and organized. Are there products you don’t use or rarely use that could be purged?
To make this easier, each of us has a small basket in the bathroom on a wire shelving unit. If it doesn’t fit in the basket, it doesn’t stay. It is as simple as that. Sure, I could make a long list of wants, like extra hair clips and more shades of eye shadow, but does that ultimately get me what I want, which is a neat and clean living space? No it doesn’t. So even those these may be hard choices, you have to decide what is more important to you, space or things.
One of the biggest things we have tamed down over the years is the amount of books we hold on to. Our bedroom was loaded with bookcases filled with books. Since parting with most of them in exchange for tablets and e-books, we have gained so much more space. Not only does our bedroom look cleaner and have less dust, but the whole space feels more bright and open. Another great example of this would be someone I knew of that loved to collect teddy bears. When family found out it was something she liked, she started to receive so many each year for Christmas and birthdays. Her collection grew, but when she had to move to a smaller house all those teddy bears just could not go with her. So instead of lots of teddy bears in her new place, she picked a few favorites to hang around her room but started collecting other types of teddy bears like movies of bears, necklaces, changing the decor in the bathroom to have a bear shower curtain. All those choices allowed her to continue her passion for teddy bears, while saving the space she desperately needed in her new place. Is there something you are holding on to in your bedroom that could be parted with in exchange for a smaller version some other way?
So while this in no way covers everything that goes into making small space living work with a family, I hope it has given you some things to think about and some ideas to get you moving on your path to a more restful home. What other areas could you be thinking about to work on? Do you have other ideas that could help someone who is just starting to deal with the challenges of small space living? If you do, we would love to hear them. Please take the time to comment below so you too can help someone out.