Sunday, January 27, 2013

Small Family Living- An Inspiring Guest Post

Today I'm sharing a guest post written by a friend. I first met Lindsay about five years ago when she married a friend of mine from college. We've only actually seen each other a few times- once floating the Boise River together pre-children, once here in Virginia during newborn-phase, and then last summer in Boise in hardcore toddler/preschooler mode. Lindsay and I have several important things in common: she and her husband also have two boys, they also live in a small condo, and they are also from Idaho. 

As you know, we are forever trying to use our condo space more efficiently, and Lindsay and David's space is even smaller than ours. They are an inspiration! They make it look easy. 

Lindsay recently started her own blog, My Wild Idaho, chronicling her family's tales. I'm a fan. And I love the name. Read her post below, then read her blog, and then like her Facebook page!

She's also publishing one of my posts to her blog today so check it out here. Enjoy!


My husband and I are raising two young boys in 714 sqft. of space (plus a 12x8 storage unit). We love it and it’s challenging!

The background to this: When we got married we fell in love with a certain area in Boise, so we found a 450 sqft. basement apartment to rent. Neither of us owned much when we met, but moving into our tiny apartment required further downsizing. We loved our place but finally grew tired of living underground and “throwing our money away” on rent. We found a beautiful condo to buy in the area.  

            In the meantime, the economy tanked and we stumbled across a Dave Ramsey book. While we were already frugal, we started incorporating more of his financial advice into our lives. Living in our condo started out as a short-term plan but has become a longer-term plan. We changed our 30-year mortgage to a 15-year and have been making it work ever since.  Side note: condo living is not typical for most Idahoans. Idaho isn’t exactly short on space. Don’t tell anyone though. =)

How we make it work:
·         We are realistic about what we actually use and value.
·         We don’t frequent yard sales, thrift stores, store sales, or even Craigslist without a list.
·         Instead of storing unneeded items we sell them, donate them, or find a family that needs them more than we do.
·         We stay organized, using our space wisely.
·         We don’t own seasonal decorations other than Christmas ones, and we don’t own China dishes (or other lesser used items).
·         We get our light beige carpets professionally cleaned every year (very important to our sanity).
·         I do laundry often instead of buying lots of clothes.
·         We recently sold our TV (for many reasons) and made room for a play kitchen for the boys (the boys are playing with it/using it as a jungle gym right now.)
·         We have a queen blow-up mattress and complete bedding set stored under our bed. We can still accommodate those brave guests. =)
·         We even shop at Costco (an ever-increasing list)! (We just stagger the bigger purchases.)
·         We purge toys before Christmas/birthdays and keep only the boy’s favorites.
·         We purchase less and purchase smarter (quality over quantity).
·         We have a “give away” bag ready. When we don’t want an item it goes in the bag. Every couples of months we distribute the items where needed: thrift store, consignment, another family . . .
·         I use books to decorate. I already own them, I love them, and they have to go somewhere.
·         We practically live on our porch in the summer (Literally this summer. We plan to camp on it once in a while.)

Don’t get me wrong. We sometimes dream of an extra room, decorated in earth tones, where guests can stay, rest, drink the world’s best cup of coffee, and have great conversation (ha). We dream of a backyard where we can throw the boys the boys can play; where we can raise a puppy, build a tree house, grow a garden . . . (We do plan to grow some killer tomatoes on our porch again this summer). We dream of a big dining room where we can fill our family and friend’s bellies. A pantry. An extra freezer to participate in an organic beef share (Hello Scott Family). Maybe even a garage to park our car in (seems so extravagant!) and a desk to put our laptops (kitchen counter) and printer on (storage ottoman, not the most convenient to print something).

The benefits to small space living: It forces us to keep life simple; more family and friend time, fewer projects (all painting I did before having babies). No lawn to mow or yard to take care of. We have less space to heat, cool, clean, and decorate. It helps us value relationships and experiences more than what we do or don’t own. It also keeps us closely bonded, as we have no choice but to be in each other’s space. Our home is our haven.

~Related Posts: “Before” and “After” Photos.

Main living space
Different angle
Our bedroom
David and I share a standard size closet.
Boys' room
Boys' room 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome post with your readers.
    Limos in Tampa


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