Saturday, November 23, 2013

Living in Small Spaces

The last few years have been a lesson in downsizing. One way to really get some impetuous to downsize is, apparently, to just move to smaller dwellings. Moving from Missouri to Arkansas was somewhat of a downsizing process. Moving from Arkansas to North Carolina has absolutely been a downsizing process.

We left quite a few pieces of furniture in Arkansas and got rid of a large amount of excess "stuff" before we left. 

I sit in my new living room with a sense of satisfaction that the house is decently well set up (still some work here and there, but primarily it is as it shall be--including pictures on the walls!). 900 square feet for four people required quite a level of finagling, but I am pleased with the end result. Now, having said that, I do have a pile of things to sort through and determine what to do with them. Fortunately there is a room in the main cottage that I can use as a staging area for now, which has been a huge benefit.

One of the adventures in all of this has been determining the best way to tidily situate our belongings. Our apartments are very much designed as a square. A combined living room/kitchen/dining area. Two doors lead off to two bedrooms with decent walk-in closets. From those rooms are two more doors which lead to a nice-sized bathroom. In all, an almost perfect square.

Thinking outside the box has been the largest key to all of this. One of my favorites is my "office in a chest". I have a large cedar chest that has been the home of various items over the years. The latest design is for all office supplies, including holding our printer inside! When needed, lift the lid, plug it in, and viola. Otherwise, it is tidily out of the way.

We are now living in the land of recycling. Fortunately, it's not one of those majorly complicated recycling systems, but it still requires the use of two garbage cans. Now I don't have room for two cans in our house. At all. So just outside our kitchen door--which is an outside door--is a second garbage can, perfect for the temporary holding of recyclable items.

This is the view of our living room and kitchen from the inside doorway to the apartments. The two light wood carts are rolling islands we brought with us from Arkansas. They have been my saving grace with this kitchen as the entirely of our kitchen counter-space is a fridge, one foot wide counter, double-sink, and oven. One of the islands I will actually roll in front of the oven and back out as needed. Huge space saver.

 I've gotten inventive, as well, with storage, For example, the green cabinet in the living room contains our games but also has a shelf devoted to snacks, etc.

Our new table is a high-top, and we've utilized the space under the chairs for a few items like the kitchen stool! 

My spices are now kept entirely on the wall. Two spice shelves and then we bought two magnetic storage strips upon which I have placed the rest of the spices. I've used old baby food jars for many of my spices, and the metallic lids of the jars are perfect for holding them up! Still need to put labels on the bottom of the jars.

My favorite space saver came, mostly, from Ikea. We've put into storage the majority of our dinner plates,etc and pulled out a smaller basic set. On our wall, then, is the space to hold all our plates, mugs, utensils, napkins, salt/pepper shakers, etc. 

So, just a glimpse of our new little home in all it's coziness.

I have not mentioned here my favorite design of it all--the large windows that are in almost every room. Pretty views, beautiful light. It keeps me very happy!

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