Adapting To Small Space Living


I had a question in my comments the other day about how I acclimated to small space living. So I'm going to address that.


In Texas, I lived in a home that had around 2300 square feet. I had a lovely outdoor space that I created while I lived there. The entire house was renovated as well.


The apartment I live in now is the smallest home I've ever lived in. But it is also my favorite place I've lived in. 

The very word "cozy" is near and dear to my heart. So dear that I used it in my blog name 8 years ago. 

And small spaces are just plain cozy! 

Especially since my ankle accident, the perils of having a large yard that has to be mowed and gardens planted in the ground has become something I definitely need to steer away from.


So having a one-bedroom patio apartment is really perfect for me. 

It isn't fancy, to say the least. If there are updates to this sixties home, I'm certainly the one making them. 

I have what I love. I have what I need. 

I don't miss having a kitchen stove at all. I was always the type of person that worried needlessly but without fail that I had left the oven on my way or after I arrived at another destination. 

Silly, I know. But I think a good number of people have this fear.

When I was a teenager and pregnant with my first child, I inadvertently blew up a gas stove that threw me across the room. Aside from scaring the devil out of me and singing off my eye brows, I was basically unharmed. 

But the fear stayed with me. In my last home, the little blue house, the kitchen stove was gas. Which I fear the most. It was the first time since my teens that I'd had a gas stove. 

I didn't cook all that much there. I kind of circled the darned thing like it was a wild animal that might, at any moment, reach out and attach me!

So I do not miss having a kitchen stove, because I've found ways to cook everything I want to eat.


The stove here was electric. But when faced with the problem of not having a home plumbed for a washer, it was a pretty easy decision to let that stove go and bring in a European washer instead.

You all know by now what all I use to cook with: the Breville Smart oven, crock pots, electric skillets, etc. So feeding myself has not been a problem. 

I always say, create a space you both need and want. Don't pay attention to what a room is supposed to be. Make it what you need or want it to be.

 

I know I could live in even less space than the 725 square feet I currently reside in. I don't think I'd want much more room than that. Because it's all I can do to clean this much space!

Having the big privacy fenced patio of course extends my living space, for I am a gardener at heart and I spend a good amount of time out there in complete bliss.

(last year)

I garden in containers primarily, but also have a raised garden space I added last year. Weeds are rarely a problem. I don't have to spend much time doing that, so I have lots of time to simply plant and enjoy my gardens.

You can control the soil much better in container gardens. There are many reasons why container gardens fit my lifestyle better.

Last year I also added the fabric-roofed gazebo. And I love it as well. I enjoy decorating outdoors just about as much as indoors. To me it is all the same really. Living space indoors or out is still living space.

 (last year)

So my answer to how I adapted to a small space is that it was really quite simple. I had to get rid of many things and purge. But I see it as less to take care of.


And I continue to purge and find new ways to store things and organize them.

That is really the name of the game: Organize and organize some more. Edit and keep editing.

Give everything in your home a place. So there is less chance of having or accumulating clutter. 
 


I'm sure there would be people who would feel that a small space is just not enough. But that is not at all how I feel. 

I say embrace your space wherever it is. No matter how large or small it is.

Downsize and find out if you miss all those "things" you've spent a lifetime acquiring. 

I did this. And I don't miss those things. I can barely remember them now.

People tend to buy and just keep buying. Adding and adding without much thought as to whether they really want it. Because much of buying is emotional. 

It is trying to fill a need that you can't possibly fill with acquisitions. But still we try. I've been there as well.

So for those of you who wish to downsize, but are somewhat reluctant, I say go for it. As we age, we really need to get our "stuff" under control so that we don't leave the job, ultimately, to someone else down the road. 

I love living in a small space. Because I have what I want and what I need and anything else would simply be surplus.




30 comments

  1. Brenda, I love that gazebo thing over your patio and wondered where you got it - would love to get one for my sunny deck with no cover. Thanks Here's my email hjfisher@comporium.net

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  2. Your 725sf apartment is a very generous size. I lived in a 3 bedroom house once that only had 1025sf. That is definitely cozy. I think my smallest place I ever lived was a studio that was only 300sf and it had a kitchen, dining area, bedroom/living and bathroom all in that 300sf.

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  3. Love how your home has so many interesting collections but it does not look cluttered at all.

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  4. I love your small space, I also feel the most comfortable in smaller, cozy spaces.

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  5. Being solo is a huge difference. If I were alone, I could easily get by with less space, (but I still wouldn't want to give up a dedicated craft/work space). Living with another person(s) puts a whole nother spin on it.

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  6. Brenda - you have made a lovely home, inside and outside. Very functional for you, but also really pretty and charming. Your outdoor space in amazing - I would be sitting under that canopy every minute I could. I enjoy your blog very much - down to earth and real, with lots of useful info to boot !! Thanks so much.

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  7. Is that the tree that is causing so much trouble in the photo of your garden - in the back left? If it is, I can see why. . . .

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    1. Yes, it sure is! That thing is massive.

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  8. Your space might be small, but it sure has a lot of character! I'm at the stage if I buy something new, something has to go. Having said that, I'm just not buying much these days. I have all I need. I know the day will come to downsize, so I will remember this post which makes so much sense to me. An outside space is something I really don't want to do without.
    Thanks for sharing Brenda
    Jeannette

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  9. Wow, that gas stove incident is very scary! I don't blame you at all for being leery of them. Unless one is a big baker or entertains alot, a single person doesn't really need a whole stove anyway and you've figured out the alternatives beautifully.

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  10. Your new photo is very nice, sure makes you look younger!!

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  12. We live in a 2500 square foot home but we just purchased a home that is 925 square feet, we will move when my husband retires and I can't wait to downsize. I have already started giving, donating, trashing or selling items and it gets easier and easier to get rid of things when you are motivated.

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  13. I enjoyed reading this! I too am enjoying small space living--at 1300 sq feet it's larger than you're writing about but it's the smallest house we've lived in since newlyweds. As Doreen said, I could go much smaller if alone but going from 3 1/2 bathrooms to 1 bathroom has been an adjustment. Other than that I love having this small house to care for and I'm thrilled to no longer have a big gas stove. Sure would miss my electric stove though.

    Your small house feels large to me because of the tidy way you arrange it. It very much always looks like just enough, not too much and not too little. And always cozy. I think mine is cozy too but I have a long way to go in purging more stuff. I know it will be a process, especially living with someone who is not old enough to have lived in The Depression, but lives like it!

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  14. I have come to love my small space. I am lucky to have two bedrooms so I can have a craft area and somewhere for guests to stay. I could live in less but my 900 sq ft us very comfortable. I do wish I had a fenced patio like you do. Right now the deer eat most anything we plant. Oh well.

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  15. Brenda, no matter where you live, it would be warm and cozy! You could lived in a shed and it would be unique and cozy. Your just a talented lady and you have two neat puppies. Keep those pictures and ideas coming, we all enjoy them.

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  16. Oh, I hate gas stoves too! Had a very bad experience with one many years ago. Here I have an electric cooktop and a small oven in the wall. I like it a lot. We downsized from a much larger home to about 600 square feet last year. It is two bedroom, one bathroom, and the bedrooms are quite small. However, we are really glad we have the second bedroom as we use it as an office/library and occasional guest room. We have a daybed in there, a desk, and a wall of bookcases full of old books that I don't want to part with. And adding to the 600 square feet of living space there is also a basement here which has been great for storage. I don't know what we would do without it, even though we purged more than half of our stuff when we moved here. We also have a garage too that I keep all of my gardening supplies in.
    Like you, I just garden in containers on my little patio out back. Being disabled that's all I'm up for these days and hubby helps me out a lot with them too. Gardening has always been an enjoyable and relaxing pursuit for me.
    Brenda, I think you use your small space very well. It is both functional and beautiful. You've certainly given me good ideas to use for my small space as well.

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  17. My new favorite appliance is an electric steamer. You can steam all kinds of food and it is very healthy eating. I see them all the time in thrift shops for a few dollars. I think you would like using one. Just a thought!

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  18. I really like the gazebo you added. It is such a nice feature to your patio garden. I love all the color flecks between the pads of the concrete. Did you put something there to make that confetti color? I have learned the past couple of years that it is not easy to keep everything under control in a small home. xoxo Su

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    1. Those are flat marbles I've bought over the years at Hobby Lobby. I just hollowed the space out a bit and pressed them into the dirt.

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  19. I have been trying to find your post(s) about your floors. I'd love to read about them. Sorry I missed it.

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    1. The floors were put down before I moved in. I believe they had just had a fire here with the previous resident. So I told them I'd much prefer vinyl flooring than carpet. So that is what is throughout my apartment, except for the tile in the bathroom.

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    2. Thank you. Vinyl planks, tile or sheet vinyl?

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    3. I'm really not sure, since I wasn't here when they installed it. I think it was very thin vinyl, as debris they didn't sweep up bumps up through it where you can see it.

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  20. Love this! Make a space fit your needs not what you think it should look like! Wisdom!!

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  21. I love seeing all these photos of your cozy home, Brenda. What more could you possibly need, you have all your heart desires right there!

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  22. You have a great eye for creating cozy spaces.

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  23. When I buy something for the house now, I ask, "would I use this in my future downsized home" ... I must answer yes!...Been doing lots of "letting go" ... Our downsized home still has to large enough for family and friends...we do lots of entertaining and often have out of town guests...Love those gorgeous quilts in the bedroom...you have made living "cozy" a masterful art!

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