/ 2.9.11 / 17 Comments / ,

How to Make a Small Home Feel Truly Spacious



This has been my personal challenge for most of the last 25 years. Only once did we have what most people would call a 'large' home.  Lots of kitchen cabinets, two spacious living areas...it was a dream.  That dream lasted almost a year.

And then it was back to life as usual. But that's fine with me. I know you can fit into ANY size house if you really want to.  Th e hard part is just letting stuff go--especially furniture. For some reason, I really LOVE my stuff and this is a recipe for disaster.


 Ahh...sheer bliss!!

This last two weeks, I have de-cluttered like a machine, working patiently through every cabinet, every piece of furniture...day by day...room by room. I can't tell you how many boxes we've filled.  We've donated five pieces of furniture in just the last week!


I've thought long and hard on this topic...trying to find that elusive thing we call space.  It was there, all the time..just buried under a lot of stuff that I thought I really needed to have 'just in case'..or didn't think I could part with.


But Dear Hubby joined me in the 'campaign' and what a difference!  He is so much more objective and helped me to part with things I'd dearly loved for many years. Once I got used to the idea and began to experience the sheer luxury of excess space in each room, I was hooked!


(That teenager prancing across the floor is mine. It seems like he was 'supposed' to be doing school..hmmm..  Finally, matching book cases. We got three bookshelves down to two! Yippee! One from the bedroom is now picture here on the right--with the books.)


 

Now, nothing is sacred--not even my precious books!

After two weeks, I can hardly walk because my feet are so sore..and I fall in to bed with aching legs from bending or sitting cross-legged on the floor sifting through cabinets, but oh the joy of SPACE.

Our home is 1800 square feet or so and we do have an office (though I don't put anything in it) and a workshop (belongs to hubby.)  My only storage space is a small potting shed. And that is next on the list! We have five people living in this space and it gets a little cramped.  So this transformation was overdue.

After decluttering so thoroughly, I found that I could start 'consolidating' bookshelves and emptying dressers. We got rid of two desks, one very large storage hutch, a 2-drawer file cabinet, two lamps (one with a magazine rack), a dresser, a huge printer and my beloved wooden 'ribbon' shelf. We also donated several small things like a shredder, floor lamp, and beautiful magazine rack. Sniff..


I discovered that the key change needed in the kitchen was to get rid of absolutely ANYTHING that wasn't really necessary. Then I was able to put 90% of our appliances under the cabinet. Our whole kitchen has about 17 square feet of counter top and we needed every bit of it.  (This is how kitchen counters look in all those dream home pictures I showed you last week--clean and bare..almost :))

 

Now, only a few pretty things are on the counter and we can work easily. It's worth a little trouble to take appliances out and put them back again. This was the perfect solution to our lack of counter space!

Hubby has been BEAMING! He's so so happy. In fact, he's so happy that we are going to start painting this weekend! This project has been in the works so long that I thought it would never really happen.




I do hope this testimony to the effects of serious daily decluttering will inspire you to move into your 'new' home too.
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17 comments:

Ky said...

Hello dear Donna! Your home looks fantastic!!! So much more space. You must feel like a weight has been taken from you. Stuff really does weigh a lot. Good for letting go of all the things that you love.
xx

Deb said...

Absolutely love it. Everything is so neat and tidy. I'm tellin' you, Ms. Donna....you need to "hire out"!!! ;-) HOPE you get lots of work done this weekend!!! Happy Labor Day!

Needled Mom said...

You have been busy, my friend!!! It looks fabulous and I am sure you are much happier with it so clean looking.

claudia b said...

Everything looks great, Donna, you are such an inspiration - it seems that around here Spring cleaning is Year-Round cleaning. Just when we get things cleaned out and tidy, more stuff comes in, ack!!!

Maria Killam said...

Wow that is amazing! Your house looks awesome Donna! My junk drawer never looked that good :)
Can't wait to see the colour!
x
Maria

Serenata said...

Your home looks lovely Donna, well done on the decluttering, I bet you feel so much better for it.

It always makes me laugh though when people from other than UK think their homes are small - nothing compared to ours! ;-) I used to think I lived in a small house in New Zealand, now I realise it was actually big! (Although small by NZ standards of the time)

Donna said...

Thanks friends! It's so fun! Of course, now I have to STOP decluttering. Lol! It's time to work on painting and paperwork, school of course and SEWING!! I have a great art project to do for a friend and two quilts to finish. I'd love to get them done by the end of the year. Sigh.. (crossing my fingers!).

But now we can do school, sew, cook, and even blog in a spacious and orderly home. That was the whole goal.

I was rushing off to go grocery shopping last night. It was so fun to grab exactly the right pieces of jewelry I needed to match my clothes because it was all decluttered and neatly arranged. Being able to find things so easily speeds up every thing!

Have a fun week friends!

xo
Donna

Donna said...

Serenata, I know just what you mean! Frankly, our home is pretty spacious compared to homes in the US 50 years ago. Here in Houston, people's homes are GIANT. I mean..3500 sq.ft. is pretty average in my 'circle', so our home is half the size of our 'peers'.

But we have lots of land..I think we got the better end of the bargain in that sense. Still..stuff accumulates.

We spent three weeks in a German relative's 'flat' and I can tell you--it was TINY. I've never seen such a itty bitty little kitchen! IKEA is the favorite furniture provider there because they make EVERYTHING smaller..plates, spoons, ovens, lights, beds, towels (gosh their a 1/3 of the size of ours!).

Yes, the rest of the world downsized centuries ago. My daughter-in-law from Germany is the one who inspired my recent transformation. Even her high chairs are the size of a dining room chair.

Europeans are inspiring! They are the experts on this topic.

Bobbi Jo said...

Looks great! That is a wonderful feeling. I have been slowly doing the same thing and it is amazing how much better it feels to just be there and look at all the SPACE!! Thank you for sharing. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Jeannine said...

Lovely! Though I can't see how you parted with the ribbon shelf! I guess you can always look at it on your blog's masthead though : )

Very inspiring. Thanks!

Kim said...

What a great post! I too live in a small home, 1200 sq.ft. with seven people. We all have to limit what we bring into our home; but we still have too much.
I like you like to have things, for what reason I really don't know.:)
I think I should begin my de-cluttering soon before I lose my courage.
Your home looks beautiful, well done.

Kim

Gloria said...

Nice going Donna. Would that I could, could that I would. Tee hee. I was plannng on emptying out my closet and just dumping stained tshirts etc. I don't have anything that can be salvaged. All my tshirts have paint on them. Way to go, you 've done a great job. Take care.

Razer said...

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Caroline said...

Good for you! It is so restful to have space .... though I think if you have alot of outdoor space it can somewhat make up for a small house. My friend has three small children and the five of them live in 750 square feet - but 10 acres of land. We live in a big house now but have lived in much smaller, and there are benefits to both...

Penny said...

Your home is so pretty and you inspire the rest of us to clean up our spaces, too. I enjoy your blog! So many creative ideas.

Beth at southernfriedliving.blogspot.com said...

Howdy! I found your blog from your friend at Colour Me Happy. I too am a Texas blogger and fairly new at this blogging thing! I'm also in the midst of decluttering our home to make space and it has really been a challenge. Your home looks great, thanks for the inspiration!
~Beth

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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