House For Six

Coffee Break: The Case For Space

Deme Crinion1 Comment
We had a sick little girl earlier this week and awoke to our 3-year thowing up this morning.  Soooo...movies, laundry, and anything that doesn't require a whole lot of energy are on the agenda for today.  We've also had a ton of rain that's put painting on hold for the last of my office projects.  So, while my office waits patiently for me to come back around, I thought we would chat a little bit about home size. 

It seems there's been a shift from super sized McMansions to serious downsizing.  Smaller is the new big, and I can completely see why.  There is something liberating about letting go of a huge chunk of your possessions in order to embrace a different kind of lifestyle, where you spend less time maintaining all the stuff and more time enjoying life....less separation and more family time...less money towards a huge house and more financial freedom.

But what if you aren't there?  What if you aren't in the position to pick up and move, or simply don't have the desire for a smaller house?

I say, fine!  Because the bottom line is that it doesn't matter how many square feet comprise your home.  It's all about how you use them.

If you're frustrated by the size of your home (big or small) but don't have the option to move, there are ways to make the best out of an imperfect space.

Ideas for the overwhelmed in big homes looking to simplify...

- Purge! If you do have a big ole house that's a beast to keep up with, try purging down the items you have. Fight the urge to fill it up with more stuff.  It will be much easier to maintain with less in it.

-Get rid of the small chachki's and embrace larger pieces. Just a few can fill a space and have a much bigger impact than a bunch of little decor items.  And it's much easier to clean a few large items than dozens of little ones.

-Reconsider how you use each room. Are you using all that space in the way that works best for your family?  Do you have an office but constantly bring your computer down to the couch to work?  Do you end up spreading craft stuff all over the kitchen table?  Maybe creating a small workspace in the corner of the living room and turning that underused office into a craft room is a better use of space. Think about how you actually live in your home right now and whether or not the current set up supports how your family lives there. Go ahead and break the rules!  A bedroom doesn't have to stay a bedroom, and the other rooms in your home are whatever you need them to be.

For those in small homes praying for a little more space....

-Purge! Pardon the broken record, but by now you all know that purging has saved my sanity and brought my heart back to the right place on many occasion.  Clutter can accumulate and take over a space very quickly.  When living in small spaces, keeping only what you love, need, and actually use is key.

-Go for double duty function.  Any piece of furniture that gives you a big bang for your buck is essential in a small home.  Ottoman with hidden storage as a coffee table?  Yes!  Storage bins that slide under the bed?  Oh yeah.  Flexible seating?  Please!  The more function you can get out of a single piece, the more precious space you will free up.

-Bunk up the kids.  When bedroom space is tight, get creative.  Can two kids with their own rooms, now share?  Being able to free up an entire room is huge!  If the rooms are already at max capacity, think about the furniture....bunk beds and loft beds can free up valuable floor space giving much needed breathing room.  The murphy bed is another one of those amazing space saving solutions.  Get creative and don't be afraid to mix things up!

-Take advantage of any outdoor space.  Creating a great dining or seating area in the backyard can make it feel like you've gained a whole other room!  At least for a few months out of the year anyway.  Do you use all of your garage?  Turning part of it into a game or movie area is another way to "expand your house".

Ultimately, it's all about how we view and use our space.  There's no need to play the comparison game.  We can all celebrate our different homes with each other.  Have a friend that loves living small or is looking to downsize?  Enjoy the excitement of the adventure with her, even if it's not for you.  Have a home with a lot of space?  Open it up to friends and use it as a place to gather and enjoy community.  Don't be swayed either way by the trends of the times.  We each have to discern whether or not we're called to make a change in the way we live.  It's personal and different for each of us.  The good news is that we can all live simply and live well, regardless of the size of our homes.

Happy Weekend!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!