How to Downsize and Organize Like Never Before
This spring we will have lived in our little farmhouse for a year. Although we bought it in November, we didn’t move in until spring when the house was renovated enough for us to have a clean place to live. Of course, prior to that we lived in a camper and over our last few years of “small house living” we’ve learned so much about what we really need and what we don’t. And with 4 people living in about 800 sq feet (which we still feel is huge compared to the camper!), we have to make the most of the space we have.
I’ve done a few things to downsize that might seem a little crazy at first glance, but since doing them I’ve never looked back and haven’t regretted any of it. Today I’m going to share with you a few of those things that we’ve done.
Moving into a house with no closest takes a lot of thought. Where do you store things? Well, for the most part you don’t really, you keep what you use and if it’s something you really need you find the space for it. Here are 3 areas of the house that we’ve worked on and downsized considerably.
The Kids’ Toys
This was one of the most recent areas of the house I worked on. We still seemed to have quite a few toys in the camper and every so often I would put a few away in a box and came to realize that our little guy didn’t miss them. So slowly, but surely, we cleaned out the toys.
We now have one toy box for both of the kids’ toys. All of their toys can fit in here with the exception of the train set and the building blocks.
We also made a promise that any more toys brought into our house would only be allowed to come in if they were something worthy. For us, that means something that will last a long time and something they can play with for a long time. Very few plastic toys fit this description for us and we prefer wooden toys. We’ve talked to our friends and family about gift giving and prefer that the kids get an “experience” gift or something for crafts instead.
By doing these things we’ve noticed the kids have less anxiety over toys and actually play better than when they had more toys to choose from. And, of course, we play outside any nice day and for them, that’s better than toys any day!
We do love to watch a good family movie, especially in the winter to pass some of the long, cold days. I actually moved all of our movies in the camper and realized about half way through our time there just how much space the boxes were taking up. So I bought a few of these dvd cases, took all of the dvds out of the plastic cases, and put them in those. I cleaned out at least two large black garbage bags full of dvd cases just because they take up so much space! Now all of our movies can be easily found and we don’t miss the cases at all. (And yes, we are really into the When Calls the Heart series right now, great movies!)
It also makes you think much harder about your movie purchases. Now we make sure to only buy things we really want to watch and keep because after you get rid of the case you might have a hard time selling them if you decided to get rid of them.
This was the single most space-taker-upper that we still had. We love board games and have a pretty good collection (we got many as wedding gifts!). Those boxes are huge and take up so much space though! Now bear with me here…this is the one that my hubby thought I was crazy. (Although now he’s glad I did it.)
I took each game out of it’s box and placed the playing pieces in a large gallon size freezer bag and labeled it with the game name. Then I took all the game boards and made a stack. We cleaned out all of the boxes and un-needed plastic parts and put all of the game boards and pieces in a large trunk that we have in the living room. I kid you not, I took away at least 10 large black garbage bags of game boxes and plastic fillers. So much unnecessary space being taken up! Just like the DVD cases, we don’t miss the boxes for the games at all and I’m so glad I did this one!
So, this is how to downsize and organize like never before! In our bigger house I would have never considered doing these things, but out of necessity we’ve done them now and I’m so happy that we did.
Are these some areas of your house that you could work on as well to create more space? What are some other “extreme downsizing” ideas that you have for making more space?