Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tiny Houses, Clutter, and Getting Organized...

In 2013, I tried, if somewhat half-heartedly, to convince Matt that we should move into a "tiny house." I love them. Their simplicity and the prospect of extreme downsizing appeals to me. He rolled his eyes, of course, but, actually, I wasn't completely kidding. I really do like the idea of downsizing, if only to rid ourselves of the clutter on which we've wasted more money than I could bring myself to count. I like the idea of cozy little spaces and, according to The Tiny Life, these little houses are 100-400 sq. ft. That appeals to me.

But then I realized that we just about already do. Do we live in a tiny house? No. But we do manage to squeeze ourselves, our furbabies, and our clutter into about 900 sq. ft., which isn't much. And yes, I realize that that's a pretty good amount of space for two people (twice the biggest "tiny house"), but we have so much crap that our space has been taken over by things. I counted the other day and we have 9 pieces of heavy furniture in our teensy tiny little living room. We're talking about 14' x 15'. Tiny.

An issue of space compounded by the fact that every single surface in our house, every single one, is literally covered in stuff. The clutter is driving me nuts. For a while we had a 9-cubby bookcase and that helped, but Matt broke it (long, miserable story). So, in lieu of downsizing and throwing everything away, ditching our current space for a tiny house (of which Matt pretty loudly objects), I've decided that we're getting better organized in 2014. Which means shelving, because we don't have nearly enough. So, tonight, I ordered four shelving units. Two bookcases for the living room and two wire shelving units for the laundry room.

Hopefully that will be a good enough start that I'm not staring at crap everywhere. Because the books that've swallowed up my kitchen table are driving me crazy--we have an open concept floor plan, so our kitchen and living room are open to one another. The shelving units are set to arrive sometimes between Jan 17th and 20th, so next weekend. Luckily, Matt's off and can help me put them all together--if he will. He's gotten to be quite handy since he started at his current job nearly two years ago. I'm not sure what will happen after I get all this shelving installed, but it'll be easier to assess what we need when we've started to get things better organized. I'm thinking it might be time to start throwing things away, not an easy feat for two pack-rats. When I want to toss something, he doesn't, and vice versa. Wish us luck... we're going to need it!


  1. Honestly I think your attraction to the tiny houses is more about your desire for a fresh start than it is about downsizing to a smaller home. What I mean is, if you and Matt were able to move into a cute new 1000 sq ft home, that would probably be just as appealing, because you'd get to push the reset button on your current living situation and start off in a brand new clutter-free home. But since you're not going to be moving anytime soon, you can always push that reset button simply by "moving out" of each room, and then moving back in. It's what I do for the kids' rooms when they're getting out of hand. I take everything out, leaving only the most necessary furniture (bed, dresser, etc.). Once the room is at its absolute bare bones, I decide what I want to see back in the room. You'd be surprised by how much you can live without, and how much better the room looks with only a few key pieces. The rest gets trashed or given to the thrift store. Not sure if that method will work for two pack rats though. :-)

  2. I think you're probably right, of course. I do want the fresh start in a nicer (cleaner? less cluttered?) place. But, since we won't be going anywhere for a while, I'm doing my best to make the most of what we do have.

    I wish I could take your suggestion about moving out and then back in. There's no room and SO many pieces of furniture, I couldn't possibly do it. I'd just be putting everything back into the room. I did manage to rearrange dressers and chests of drawers to better fit our things, which is helping. I also started to clean up my bedroom, which I worked on all evening last night and still didn't get done--I've probably done 20 loads of laundry and have another 10 (or so) to go.

    When I read your comment all I could think was that maybe you missed your calling and should have taken up with Shannon in therapy! lol

  3. I wonder if you ever got some of these units I talked about around 4 years ago for your DVDs (if you have any still)

    The reason I asked is you actually posted on it at the time too lol.

  4. I never did get any of those, MC. LOL. I have a built in book case in my living room that I've been storing my DVDs (and video games) on and a dresser in the spare bedroom where I store a whole lot of paperbacks. Lots of books stashed everywhere!

  5. I too have a dresser full of books, so I can totally relate to that hehe.

  6. So glad I'm not the only one to see the potential in dressers! ;)

  7. I LOVE the tiny house sites & blogs. My husband doesn't get it AT ALL :) Obviously with 3 kids, it wouldn't work. However, for 5 people, I think we do live in a small house. We have about 1100 sq ft and while it's on the small side, it's in a great area with great school so who am I to complain? :)

    And hi! I am Tara from A Spectacled Owl and part of your SITS Tribe for the week :)

  8. Hi, Tara! Your husband sounds like mine in this regard. He doesn't get it either! My hopes of going tiny house are dashed. I'm so glad you stopped by to say hello. I'm looking forward to the SITS event this week.