Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tiny Thoughts

How cute are these little homes!?
Recently I've been fascinated with the concept of Tiny House Living.

For those of you not familiar with the idea, it's all about living in a very small amount of space (like less than 500 square feet).  I sit on my very large, overstuffed couch watching my large, flat screen TV, with my feet up on my large coffee table covered with candles and coffee table books and other assorted junk and wonder what life would be like with only one comfy chair, no sofa, no coffee table with said assorted junk, no dining room table or buffet filled with assorted wine glasses, sets of placemats and other misc. non-useful things.

Of course, people live in small spaces all the time...trailers, studio apartments, dorm rooms, etc, but most of us more mature folks have collected too much living to be confined to a small space.

Presently I live in a pretty big old house with 9 rooms and every single one of them is filled with large amounts of stuff.  Oh, and yes, there is a basement, an attic, and a two car garage that I can barely squeeze my one car into.  Eeeks!

Watching Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Hunting and the various versions of Hoarders, has really got me reconsidering my stuff.  Stuff is coming out of my ears it seems.  There's no way I could part with enough of it to let me live in a space the size of my combined living and dining room!  But then again...

So now I'm all about downsizing.  I have begun to look at everything in my house with a very critical eye.  Do I need that?  Do I use that?  Where did that come from?  What in the world was I thinking when I brought that home?  Oh my gawd, I have six of those!?

I've discovered no less than 18 pair of jeans hidden in various closets around the house!  Most of them never worn.  What's up with that?

I have 5 complete sets of dishes, ranging from the everyday to fancy china ones.  Most days I eat off of one old plate and one old bowl and Dad has his own "special" plate he uses.  Good heavens.

Fabric stashed everywhere!
And let's not really talk too much about the fabric stash I own.  I used to sew.  A lot.  At one point I didn't even own anything purchased from a store except a winter coat and a pair or two of jeans.  Then I just stopped sewing, but couldn't seem to stop buying fabric. Oh, and let's see, there are two sewing machines and a bunch of boxes filled with sewing stuff - some that even belonged to my Grandmother who was a sewer and quilter.  And she's been dead for some 25 years now!  E-Gawd!

I had two drawers of socks.  I almost never wear socks.  How on earth did I get 40 pair of socks!  And why?

Ooops, I almost forgot to mention the storage unit that has the remaining bits and pieces of my parents home.  Let's see, in there is a lawn mower, a big tool chest full of tools, a rocking chair, a chain saw, probably another set of china and a bunch of other stuff that I felt the need to save when I emptied their home. 

So now I'm into downsizing.

I'm starting small.  I now only have 15 pair of socks.  Woop woop!  I gave away an entire set of dishes this summer to someone who'd lost all their belongings in a fire.  For Pete's sake, I could have probably furnished an entire apartment for them if the need had been there.

Yard sale!  Wheee!
I had a yard sale this summer and boxes and boxes of stuff went away.  That helped a little but I'm still amazed at how many things are still weighing down my life.  

I'm wondering if anyone else has this same situation?  If so, is there any good advice on how to get rid of said stuff?

I try very hard to imagine if there were a fire in my house, what would I miss most and I find the answer to be "very little". 

Two of Grandma's quilts at a show.
I'd be sorry to loose old photos, so I've been working very hard to digitize them all and copy them to a storage device in my fire box. 

I'd be sorry to loose the quilts that my Grandmother hand stitched, so I'm now on a path to giving them away to the younger family members that would appreciate them.  Frankly, they are only tucked away in a cedar chest anyway.

Closets, closets and more closets!
I've been sorting through my clothes.  All three closets full plus two long racks in the attic (no joking!).  Almost every month I take at least two bags of items to Goodwill for recycle.

It's a start, right?  I swear that someday I'm going to squeeze myself and my two cats into a 500 square foot home and still have room to swing said cats if the urge strikes me. 

Anyone taking bets?

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