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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

i live in a small space, yes i do. I live in a small space, how 'bout you?

The title of this post should be read as if you were chanting like a high school cheerleader. Go ahead, try it again. I'll wait....Wasn't that much more fun?

I live in a small space. Let me clarify, for our family it is a small space. I have to clarify, because it seems one can no longer make statements like that without angering the internets. Without said clarification, angry emails can be hurled my way like blocks of cheese, saying I am a liar. I like to avoid angry emails unless I'm feeling particularly feisty. I'm not feeling so feisty right now. But I am craving cheese. It's a bit of a dilemma.

Anyway, I got to thinking about our home in Colorado. Probably because WE FINALLY HAVE A CONTRACT ON THAT HOUSE. After 10 long months. Thank you economy. As I was thinking about that home, I was reminded how different our current space is.

Here's a few of the differences:

Colorado: 6 bedrooms
NYC: 3 bedrooms (one of which was converted from a dining room)

Colorado: large family kitchen
NYC: tiny kitchen that gets me hostile if more than 2 people are in it

Colorado: living room, dining room, office, family room, media room...
NYC: den (and... there is no more. That's it.)

Colorado: 4 full bathrooms
NYC: 2 full bathrooms (3 boys share one and Lily shares with Rod and me. As a result our bathroom is usually covered in pink toothpaste.)

Colorado: Total square footage of 5000sq feet
NYC: Total square footage of 1200sq feet

Different, right? But to be honest, I think we have adjusted quite well. Yes, Lily still calls our apartment, "the hotel" but it feels more like home now. Here are some reasons I prefer our tiny space to our larger Colorado home.
  • I used to use my cell phone to talk to my kids. When we were all AT HOME. We were so spread out in that big house. Now we're usually in the same room.
  • It was possible to go the entire day without seeing one of my kid's faces. They hid in their tricked out media room for hours on end. Now we literally run in to each other approximately 1,387 times a day.
  • I used to find out what's going on with my older boys via their Facebook status. Now I just overhear then talking on their cell phones with their friends because their bedroom is next to mine. Side note: I've learned A LOT of valuable information.
  • Our whole family used to be home-bodies. Now we are explorers. Our life goes beyond our 4 walls. It has to.
I don't think I'm just looking a the bright side. These are things I genuinely love about moving to a small space. In fact, if we ever move again, I don't want a huge house. I like this better. We are a family, probably more now than ever.

Clearly, I've drunk the Kool-Aid.

30 comments:

Karenkool said...

Love this Michelle.

Marci DePersig said...

And apparently it is some great Kool-Aid.

Heidi Jo said...

in the words of a country musician somewhere.....love grows best in little houses, with few walls to seperate.

i think your hotel is divine!

snekcip said...

You are HILARIOUS!!! We as well had to down-size, not by choice, but circumstances (Hurricane Rita, destroyed our home.) We went from a 4bdrm/HUGE kitchen/2 1/2 baths/covered patio/2car garage to a 2 bdrm/ 1 1/2 baths townhome. It took a little getting use too, but time, patience and appreciation, for the SMALL THINGS has kicked in. Thank you for making me realize even more, it's being a family *no matter what curves LIFE throws you* is what matters most! Truly enjoying your blog!!!!

Spsmiles said...

So awesome! Enjoy it, they won't be in the next bedroom forever...every season of life is amazing!

Mrs. T said...

Yes currently living in the just shy of 4000 square foot "dream house" and realizing that the "dream" was not what we really wanted!! We don't use our space and when we do I find myself calling my children on the phone just like you. They can not always hear me if I yell. I thought I would get used to it but it has been three years now and it still does not fit!! The grass is always greener on the other side, believe me!!!

Anonymous said...

Loved the post! I'm from Brazil and when my husband and I got married we could only afford to buy a 1 bedroom apartment!! But his brothers always made fun of us... ('cause the house they grew up in was kind of like your house in Colorado). But we absolutely loved our little home, and we were always together in the same room!! I think a smaller home has this power, to bring people together!

Bethany Miller said...

I tend to like small living spaces too. Do you think, however, that you would have a different opinion if your children were babies/toddlers and you needed them to go down for naps and couldn't leave your home much?

Lizzie :) said...

We live in a fairly large home but, being homeschooled my brother, mom, dad and I are together ALL THE TIME. its horrible... some days.. other days not so much. but my mom knows a lot about us this way!

pinkbows said...

I agree. My daughter and I have been blessed with a 3/2 complete with a computer room and toy room. It seems we have more space with alot more clutter. There are days I think I really need to downsize back to our tiny little space.

laura p said...

I really enjoy reading your blog! We live in a small home (1500) but last year we were in a one bedroom apartment (about 500) the hard part for us is that we can't have people over when there is such limited space. I love seeing my family all the time though! Just glad I have a yard for my small kiddos to get out of the house

Elizabeth said...

I, too, live in a very small house with three children, and I actually love it! While an extra room would be helpful, it's great to live, like you said, in close proximity to one another. I'd never want a big house and all that distance --

Paloma, a mãe said...

Very good! I want to live in NY too...

sarah :: this is jackson riley said...

I was thinking about small spaces the other day... and how my thinking has slowly changed where I don't want a big house. I live in an apartment right now (about 600 sq feet) and my home office is a closet - but I know where everything is, I don't have junk/things I don't need, etc. I think I'd raise a family the same way; you're more connected, you explore more, and relationships really develop proportionally to the amount of face time (and you're well over 1,000 times a day!)

Elly said...

I SO would live in NYC in a heartbeat. Right now we are in our 1600 sq ft home that used to house 5 of us .. now just the two of us with the occasional spend the night from our granddaughter or a sleepover from one of our grown kids. I'm trying to talk my husband into our next place being 800 sq ft but he's holding out for at least 1000 sq ft. I like small and cozy. And oh yes but did I mention I would like some land for my horse to be around this tiny house?

Stacey said...

i must point out.... you save a ton of time or money in cleaning fees!!! that alone sounds wonderful to me!!!

great post Michelle!

Mom and Kiddo said...

I have 2 boys in a Brooklyn apt which would make your apartment seem palatial! But you point out the wonderful things about small space living that are easy to forget. Plus, I am now looking forward to some quality eavesdropping during their teenage years.

Leah@Storybook Ranch said...

Right on! I love hearing my boys giggle at night in the bedroom they share, after a day full of bickering; they wouldn't have THAT if they had their own rooms, would they?

I think close quarters certainly brings the brood together :)

notoriousmle.com said...

I think sometimes people forget that a small space can also = freedom from financial stress. My husband and I lived in a gross, tiny apartment for the first four years of our marriage. But we lived in the neighborhood we wanted without breaking the bank. Totally worth it!

Mamatini said...

You list the exact benefits we noticed when we downsized last year. We love it, and don't miss the space at all.

Gayla said...

I think that is wonderful! I know a family who used to live near me (midtown Tulsa- my home is 1,300 sqft) and then built their "dream home" in south Tulsa. The week after she moved in she was in tears and regretted it b/c of all the reasons you listed above. She said, "I've lost my family!!!"

There's something to be said for (literal) family closeness. :-)

Katherine said...

I really appreciate this post, though I'm generally a big fan of all your posts! I am a big proponent of city living, and I make it pretty known that I'm anti-suburbia. I don't mean to sound so judgmental about other people's choice of lifestyle, but I guess I sorta am. I am about to be married and enter that phase in my life when kids are probably (and hopefully) in the next 10-year future. People, including all my suburbanite co-worker friends and my small-town family, tell me that I'm young and naive and that I'll move to the suburbs when I have kids just like they did. I tell them that I and my fiance are both quite resolute in our willingness to live in a shoebox with our kids if we have to, just as long as it means staying in a walkable environment! Thank you for your wonderful thoughts/observations on the subject. I'm glad you truly feel "at home" in your home :)

stacia said...

I grew up in a family of five in a 900 sq ft apartment in Tokyo, and frequently had other family or guests living with us as well. In winter it was so cold that we all huddled in the one warm room (with a traditional blanket-topped, heated table on the floor) for homework and meals, and often all slept in there as well. I have super cozy, super happy memories of my childhood!

apsarawarrior said...

i think that's awesome, and i look forward to just being around my family too. we have a much smaller house in ann arbor than your colorado home, but i find i call my daughter on her cell and skype my husband when we're all at home.

The Vagabond Priest said...

We are also a small house couple. I have a good friend who achieved her dream of the big spacious house on a hill, and was miserable. She and her family sold their house for a smaller one tucked into a neighborhood and became happy. I love your stories!

amanda said...

We are a small(ish) house family too! Our current is a 1700 sq ft 3 bedroom -- we came from 1100 sq ft. Our kids are 4 and 1 and I LOVE that I can hear them anywhere in the house. I've told my husband that I absolutely do NOT need or want more space. The freedom of a small space, in town, where we walk everywhere is truly wonderful. I m vigilant about not hanging on to things and we have all we could ever need. I love it!!

Love your adorable blog!

Shana said...

Send me your Kool Aid recipe, because I am in full-on panic mode. My move is in 16 days. We're moving not even two miles, but still -- from a 3000 sf house to an 1100 sf townhouse. It's gonna be cozy...

Dayna said...

Sweet perspective. Very convicting (although the house I miss in Alabama was a bit smaller than yours in Colorado. Still, I miss it; but I appreciate bonding more closely).

Emily said...

"But I am craving cheese. It's a bit of a dilemma."

Lady, I want to move to NYC so we can be friends. I'd bring a macaroni bake to win you over.

Kelly Tirman said...

I grew up in the suburbs where parents often used intercom systems to call the kids to dinner. Frequently I get questions from my family about when we are going to buy a "real house" with a yard in a "good neighborhood" (a.k.a the burbs). Bottom line my husband I feel that we can be better parents with a 10 minute commute then with a 90 minute commute.

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