Hello there, all you lovely small-living enthusiasts! So happy to have you over at Smallish. 🙂
My heart is budding with much to share with you about Shoebox living, but there is just not enough time! My “off” minutes are far and in between, and now that you know I’m growing another baby, you can be assured that my energy and ability to, well, stay awake are limited. 🙂 But I’m trying! Today I’m thinking back over the past four and a half years and remembering what helped us make this home work for us in each season.
We finally know for sure that the Shoebox is too small for our family. That realization arrived a couple months ago with both a sigh of relief and a pang of disappointment. Relief, because there is some comfort in the finality of knowing that our stage in this apartment is at an end. Disappointment, because we truly love it here. These chipped and splattered walls have watched our family grow from two people to nearly six. I tear up when I imagine the furniture and noises gone and the carpet spotless. (Well, ok. Let’s not go that far; spotless carpet brings happy tears to my eyes.) 🙂
It is time for a new home because some fragments of life just aren’t really working well anymore. Family dining is one. There is simply not enough space for our whole family to gather around the table for meals, which is a very important part(s) of our day. Since before Christmas either Caveman or I have had to share a seat with one of the boys during meals. While we like to be close to our children, we also prefer to have enough room to keep our elbows out of their soup.
We looked into alternative options and ways that we could arrange the furniture to create more dining space, but we didn’t find a workable budget-friendly solution that would be worth it. This ongoing process of evaluating a living “system” is a big part of why the Shoebox has been so livable the past few years.
This ongoing process of evaluating a living “system” is a big part of why the Shoebox has been so livable the past few years.
You see, with every year we resigned the lease, we overhauled an area to work better for us, to accommodate our tweaked style or rhythm of living.
One year it was the patio. We spruced up the outside, added some mulch and updated this cute patio set to render the entry more inviting and enjoyable for us to use.
Another year we upped storage area by putting shelving units up in the kids’ room. These shelves house diapers, socks, and other odds and ends.
Another year we changed our “office” station to better suit our needs. This is what it looks like now, by the way. Usually underneath the desk is where the diaper bag and the “to sell/donate” pile sits.
Throughout the year when we identified a system that was making life difficult or an area that needed desperate reorganization, we’d evaluate the current need and then fix the area. Actually the words “identify” and “evaluate” sound a little too scientific. The “process” is as simple as getting rid of a lot of stuff and/or figuring out how to better organize the stuff that you do need to keep.
Perhaps you’re thinking of a spot in your own home that needs a fix to make it work better. If so, plan a time this week to purge and organize. 🙂
Nothing coming to mind right away? That’s good. But just in case, think through these important home “stations” that often get overlooked in the throes of daily schedules:
- Landing/ entry
- Bathroom storage
- Kitchen counters
- Dining area/ eating nook
- Sleeping arrangements
- Closets/ clothing storage
- Diaper storage/ changing area
- Outside/ usable patio or deck space
Be intentional about how you use your space!
Chances are if you just reevaluate and update one area, your whole home will feel more like a haven and less like a cave of “have-to-do’s”. And just like that, your home will be begin to work for you, one area at a time. 🙂