Small house living...

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Joined: 2009-08-07

Has anyone heard or been reading about the small house movement taking place across the country? It's pretty cool. Alot of people are downsizing to really small cabins, cottages or houses. After all small house = smaller utilities, smaller tax bill, smaller insurance, less to maintain. But it gives you more time, more money and more freedom to do the things you want. Man, I'm on abroad with that concept!

Anyone familiar with this up and coming trend?

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Joined: 2010-06-27
small house living

I would like to know more....I lost my job this past year & in process of
bankruptcy. I have learned much about the concept of Impermanence.......

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Joined: 2009-08-11
personally

I am glad to see it.
Who needs 5000 square feet house for 5 people?
Really.
Glads to see the McMansions leave the tread of things.
Really wasteful.

Thanks,
Elsie ./.

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Joined: 2009-09-04
Megatron - I have been out of

Megatron - I have been out of work 15 months now, & my son who is 34 and has a masters degree MBA has just moved in with us after losing his house recently. He has been laid off since September 2008 & has only had 1 job inerview in all that time. It just boggles my mind how somebody with a masters degree can't even get a job or even an interview. I am thankful that our house is paid off, but the taxes are over $5000 a year.

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Joined: 2009-09-04
We upsized

When we built our current house we should have downsized. Both the kids were gone, one married, one in college. But we wanted to have room if they both came home at the same time, plus room for any grandkids (none yet), plus we both wanted our own offices. We wound up about 25% bigger.

YB
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Joined: 2009-08-07
I've been lucky....

...after 20+ years I still have a job, next year we will be more integrated to our new parent company and changes will come so who knows...

We have a small place, thought we needed a bigger place but as it turns out we just have "to much stuff" once we get rid of the "stuff" we will have plenty of room.
Its just the wife and I and a dog and 2 cats.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
We bought a small repo house

We bought a small repo house down here 4 years ago, and now are thinking of selling in a couple of years and living the RV life! Can't get more downsized than that!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Downsizing to ...

A TearDrop camper would be great for you Mouse!We are in a 4 brm 1/2 bath. that was for 9 people. Now it's just the boys, Gary and I. Oh and Snoopy and Harley (Kitty)
The puzzling thing it's NOT any quieter!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I tell you..the more I

I tell you..the more I research and read about it, I think it would be a good fit for a lot of folks, me included. I have plenty of support from the husband, but kids are another thing. They want to know when they come home that they'll have plenty of space to hang out it and beds to sleep in. Funny thing is, we all know this as many of us who grew up and moved away, you tend to go home less and less. I just don't see my children who live out of town now, being able to come home more than a couple of times a year. It just doesn't warrant a large house for those "what if" times.

Give me small, less to clean, more time. And hey everyone knows "time is everything" as you get up in years!

Anybody want to buy a nice house in the country?

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Joined: 2009-08-11
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

We have 5 bedrooms and 2 baths but at one time 9 people lived here. It is down to 3 of us. Kinda nice, the house is quiet and I can actually roam around. I can actually do laundry without having to do someone else's first.........

Thanks,
Elsie ./.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
A liver of wee houses

I have never lived in a big house but the house I left behind when I retired to Sussex was only a 2 bedroomed house. Mind you the 'master' bedroom was 24ft square. Some folk made 2 rooms out of theirs but I never bothered. The home I have now is a bungalow 2 beds one lounge, bathroom , kitchen and loo. Plus my study. Also we have a great conservatory on the back. It is big enough for us. You are right, the more room you have the more you accumalate. We have lost a lot of wall space for our pictures and space for my wif's silk flower arrangements. So we do the seasons. In summer all the summer pictures come out and summer silk flowers, then Autumn (Fall) all the summer ones go away and all the autrumn flowers and pictures come out and so on. This way we see all our things at sometime in the year.
One of the advantages with a small home is that less time is spent indoors and more time is spent outdoors in the garden.
I would reccommend downsizing to anyone as long as you have your own space.
Sussexman

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Sussex, your Seasonal's

When my folks retired, mom didn't know what to do with all of her wall stuff either and I had suggested the "changing of the guard" too.

When I was working in a cabinetry and design store, the small house movement was in the industry's magazines only about 2 years ago.

We were challenged with changing the standard design and coming up with dual purpose stuff and more innovative designs.

How about drawers under your cabinets where the toe kick is? I swear it was one of the ideas!! Also drawers in the steps of the staircase!!!

One of my favorites was pull-out boards 2'by 3' as extra counter space as needed.

Some of them were pretty good ideas.
I always wanted 5 acres (for farm credit) and a small cabin ... as you said, spending more time outdoors.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I stayed in a small park

I stayed in a small park model cabin in May when our son graduated from UNC in Asheville. It was so nice, laid out extremely well and didn't feel small at all. I measured it at 12x34. I would change a few things such as make it 18x34, but keep the layout the same. It had a covered porch the entire length of it, which of course expanded the amount of outdoor space. Had rocking chairs, grill etc. This particular model sells for ~30,000. I know we could build it for under 15,000. Possibly even less, if I went ahead and starting stock piling things. If anybody really wants to know more, I can send you some links on some of the small houses people are building across the country. Just email me at Lantanalane2@ec.rr.com. Put in the subject line Alamanac and your name that you use on the site here. I'd be glad to share!

Also my son that graduated is of course looking for gainful employment, and the job market sucks. I would love to find a lot and build a small one for him. He helped build our house and could frame his own with his Dad's help. I would love for him to be mortgage free.

You guys have a great Sat! Overcast here, going to work on the cleaning out the garage.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
That aint as mad as you think Red

In my old house I put drawers in place of the kick board on our kitchen units. My wife used to put her baking tins in them. And lads it was a great place for your tools. I used light magnet catches to keep the drawers from opening on their own. When we sold up and moved on I realised I had forgotten to tell the new folk about them. So I called them up and told them. I think they thought I was kidding and slightly off my rocker but after about 3 months I had a lovely Thank You card from them apparently when it came to use them they wre amzed at how much space was usable that normally was just wasted. You can actually buy a fitted kitchen unit with those draws an integral part. But that came in years after my adaptation.
Sussex
Never let go to waste what you can put to good use

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Joined: 2009-08-07
That toe kick idea is such a

That toe kick idea is such a cool concept. Tools, pizza pans, baking sheets, large platters....oh my...I can think of a lot of things, Now you've really inspired me!!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Glad To Hear It

Don't forget pet toys and canned food ...

As Sussexman shows, don't have to wait for something to come out in the stores, just go ahead and whip it up!

Life is dull without creativity, even if a plan doesn't work the first time.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
What do they say...necessity

What do they say...necessity is the mother of invention ?...is that correct? I'm always trying to come up with ways to reuse items, rather than just tossing them in the trash. My best one to date (that works for me) is taking an empty diaper wipe container and turning it into a thread spool container. I have them labeled by similar color and they stack nicely on top of each other and they hold a lot of spools. Now I haven't wiped a babies butt in 16 yrs and my containers are holding up great! How's that for indestructible? Just think of all the ones in the landfill. How wasteful!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
RE: Recycle

Good for you Lantana, and why not. It wasn't all that long ago in the scheme of things that store-bought was looked down on!!!

I save jars, de-peel them -- especially lidded candle jars!! -- and save stuff that way too.

Sometimes I use acrylic spray-on paint for lids ... also for containers that can't fit in the cupboards or closets.

The candle jars get the dried herbs and looks nice on a kitchen shelf with a few knic-knacs.

:)

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I save jars also! Too funny.

I save jars also! Too funny. My favorite one right now is a "Homestyle" brand parmesan jar with a screw on lid. It's going to be perfect for putting a peanut/mm trail mix in for holiday gifting. Never to early to start planning!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
That's How ...

...I started with jars, as gift containers for homemade recipes!! Large jars for flour, oatmeal, pasta & beans and small ones for the spices and stuff. All tied together with ribbons and stuff.

And darned if I didn't find a booklet (at the grocery checkout of course) on more ideas.

People like food as gifts! But I'm careful around homemakers as such things may only imply more work unless it's a recipe they've been meaning to try ... can't have that at a holiday. :)

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I've seen people bake small

I've seen people bake small cookies and put them in jars, pretty ribbon tied around it with a nice little tag. Viola! Gift giving made easy!

I have 2 paper punches, 1.75 circle and a 2" scallop one. Last year I made my own tags using my Christmas cards from the prior year. From some of the cards I was able to punch 3-4 tags. Tied a satin ribbon thru a hole at the top and added it to my jars. Double done!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Very Nice Touch!

The personal touch :)

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Story on Yahoo

This is an extreme case! It may actually turn people off!!

But try to listen to the commentary, he has good concepts.

I would at least have to have a shed or 2 for hobbies!!!!!

http://vitality.yahoo.com/video-second-act-jay-shafer-20910192

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Joined: 2009-08-07
You know I found his site

You know I found his site after I started looking into building a cabin. It is extreme to live in such a small space for sure. If it came down to having to downsize to live(such as loss of income or extreme hardship) I'd sure as heck try it.

But I'm really looking at something in the 500-700 range. I've found a couple of really cute ones that I'm sure I could get used too. But I would have to realllly pare it down. Those spaces do not allow for clutter or packrat habits. I'm in the process of clearing out my kids toys. I kept so much of their things. As much as I hate to see it go, I just cannot rationalize having to have a place to store it. I'm getting their things down to a couple of rubbermaids a piece. Hopefully in the next year, my oldest 2 will be better settled and will be able to take them to their homes.

Having to work another 10 yrs to retire, is just not something I really want to do. I feel I'll be on borrowed time after that. Now's the time to be doing those things I've always wanted to do.

Wish I had a crystal ball to tell me what the "right choice" is supposed to be.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Crystal Ball

You have one, it is called "instinct", right?

Especially when you give your thoughts some time and to "sleep on it".

Its an amazing feeling the freedom that arrives after de-cluttering!

I know it's hard when dreams call, knowing those dreams just might not be practical anymore, but doors open, new opportunities present themselves (yeh, sometimes the wait seems kinda long).

I came across a new saying for F-E-A-R:

.F.alse
.E.xpectations
.A.bout
.R.eality

It's a balancing act, but hang in there.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Storage Issues

This just arrived in my email, what a coincidence.

There's lots of advice out there on managing our collective natures, but this is short & sweet AND addresses where all the trouble starts!!

--------------------------------
Declutter your home -- With these 10 tips from Natural Home (sister pub to Mother Earth News).

Too much stuff? You're not alone. Clutter counselors offer the following advice.

Don't try to unclutter your entire house at once. Start small, with a drawer or a shelf, then build up to problem areas (like the garage or the basement) once you've had some smaller successes.

Take everything out of a drawer or closet and spread it out in front of you. You'll eliminate more and organize more efficiently if you can see it all at once. (This also gives you a chance to clear out dust and run a damp rag over surfaces.)

As you clear out, have four boxes or bags marked Keep, Give Away, Recycle and Hold for One Year. (The last one's for items you don't need or use but just can't bear to part with yet. If you haven't touched them in a year, their time has come.)

Storage is key to containing clutter. Storage areas should make up at least 10 percent of your home's total square footage and be strategically placed where needed.

Keep clutter contained. Use baskets and bowls to collect mail, pens and pencils, loose change, and all the other odds and ends that collect on counters and tabletops.

Spend 15 minutes a day cleaning up the detritus of daily life, before it becomes overwhelming.

Get rid of two items every time you buy a new one.

Allow only three items on each surface.

Just say no to refrigerator magnets. They encourage clutter.

Keep windowsills clear of knickknacks and potted plants.

;) :)

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Joined: 2009-08-07
De Clutter ?

You'll be sorry.
Me, well my wife reckon's that in my first life I was squirrel, my next a magpie, and I am what is in the 3rd time. I don't throw anything that might come in handy away.
No I don't live in a tip, it is all there ready for use. You may laugh but you'd be surprised at the things I have had good use for that some might think of as rubbish. I think it stems from a childhood where we never had much let alone anything to throw away. We had to make and mend to survive.
When my daughter was little I used to make her toys, dolls house and furniture, rocking horse, dolls cots, you name it I amde it. And all out of what richer folk threw away.
So take care never forget one man's rubbish is another man's riches.
Sussexman

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I agree, I didn't have a lot

I agree, I didn't have a lot growing up and I tend not to want to throw away things that can/ will be useful. I am getting better at just giving it away. And man have I decluttered over the last 2 years. It is very rewarding and somewhat stress relieving to get rid of it. If I am to live on what I have saved and afford my retirement I going to have to face it--downsizing will save me!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Perfect Book For This

At MotherEarthNews .com,

https://www.motherearthnews.com/order/order.aspx?promocode=MMEEMA81&utm_content=MMEEMA81_8_5_10_bookshelf&utm_campaign=Merchandise&utm_source=iPost&utm_medium=email#Item3958

COMPACT CABINS
Item#: 4436
Format: Paperback

Dream big, build small! Whether it's a first or second home, at the lake, in the woods, on a mountaintop or at the ocean's edge, a small-footprint house may be just what you want.

In Compact Cabins, author Gerald Rowan presents 62 designs for cabins ranging from 100 to 1,000 square feet, all of them appealing, affordable, comfortable and energy-efficient. For every design, you'll find inspirational floor plans and detailed, innovative suggestions on how to take advantage of every square inch. The plans are flexible, featuring modular elements that can be mixed and matched to suit your specific needs. And chapters on low-maintenance building materials, utilities and appliances give you the background information you need to build and live efficiently in a small space.

About the Author:
Gerald Rowan has taught art, ceramics, architecture and graphic design for more than 30 years, and he has a strong personal interest in "building small."

$ 13.97

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Thanks Red! Wow they have

Thanks Red! Wow they have some nice books, I forget how nice that site is. Definitely need to go to the book store. I wish I knew more about solar, I hate paying progress energy! As luck would have it, in today's paper was an article on a small house development over in a county next to us. They acted like it was something new in the paper, like they had just discovered and were on to something...lol. I guess some people are just starting to hear about how folks are really downsizing.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Yer Welcome

Those newspaper folks gotta generate monies with all kinds a' strange whoopie doo's. I do like those strange Leno Headlines his people dig up.

It takes awhile to get word around. A friend of mine helps build straw bale houses, another alternative to trees.

Back to basics is good stuff. Good luck with your studies on solar, there's some good stuff out there.

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Joined: 2010-08-22
down sizing

My husband and I live in a 5th wheel and are caretakers of 13 acres for our county right on the river, it is the best thing I have ever done in my life. It was hard at first getting rid of things I thought I needed. For us simple is better and so very freeing.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I agree with you 100%, glad

I agree with you 100%, glad to see you living the dream!

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