Retro living

While I was working on the posts for telling our story (which I am *still* working on), it occurred to me that one aspect of our life that others could probably benefit from shared information on, is that we are a large family, living in a little home.

Although most homes built in the last decade and a half have more bedrooms and bathrooms than family members, there are still plenty of us, whether due to forced downsizing or by choice, who are living in homes that require a lot of creativity to organize (read: small).

I call it retro living. And I love it. It fits our desire to live purposefully.

Why retro living? Because, that is how most families, prior to 1970, lived.

But I will admit, that there are (many) times when my mind just can’t see a solution to the problem. Since google is my best research friend (ok – twitter is right up there with it), I’ve done many searches on this topic, and I have found tons of useful information.

However, there have been times when I just needed a solution that was specific to my home (for example, a room with an odd layout).

Can you relate?

Because of this, I’ve decided to also write some posts on how we make a small home work for our large family, and I’m also inviting/asking you to join in.

I hope you will find inspiration in how we’ve met some of the challenges and I look forward to hearing yours.

Watch for more details to come.

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  1. says

    The key for me since we live in a 50 year old house with zero closet space, is clothes, only what is necessary and also creative storage. Under the bed, under the sinks, in the drawers, tubs, lots and lots of tubs, all labeled so we know what is in them. And we also have a SMALL storage unit we pay for that hold stuff we just can’t have in the house. But creative storage is a must. Also I have a motto, if we haven’t used it in a year it either gets sold, donated or thrown out that prevents clutter. I absolutely can’t stand clutter, especially in a small house. Hope this helps.

    • di says

      Try pull-out storage baskets beneath a bed, couch, chair or on a shelf. Cleaning up and transporting is easy with a portable basket. There are many decorative styles and they quickly hide the clutter.

  2. says

    I am fascinated by this, not because I have a tee-tiny house, but because we just found out we’re expecting our fourth child. So basically, even though we have four bedrooms and 2,700 square feet, the house seems to be shrinking. Rapidly. I keep thinking about how our boys are all small now, but what will it be like when I have three more men as tall as my husband sharing the house with me? And now a fourth? I am intrigued by what you’ll write on the topic and how I can adjust!

  3. says

    I find it very inspiring to see how people make a small house work for their families. I don’t think I would be feeling that the walls are closing in in a 2700sf house, but I suppose it’s all relative. We have 1700sf and it feels small to us. While looking at homes, I realized it’s not so much the sf as much as the layout. It is also difficult to appreciate our smaller home because there are so many very large homes around us and almost all my children’s friends have large homes. I confess I suffer from “big house envy”. I think I must measure success by the size of my home. Crazy and unGodly, I know. I’m working on it. Meanwhile, blog posts that address the issue of living in a small home inspire me to appreciate my home and also they give me some great ideas!
    Thank you for taking the time to create your post.

    • di says

      Living in less square footage is about being creative and changing old habits.

      Rather than large kitchen appliances, try small under-counter combination appliances found online at Compact Appliance. Rather than a bedroom and living set, try a daybed or futon couch. Rather than a dining room set, eat with your plate on your lap while sitting on the couch. Rather than an office and supplies, go paperless with a handheld computer.

      Rather than a huge wardrobe, recombine fewer pieces of clothing to create more outfits.

  4. Elizabeth says

    With eight kids, my husband and myself living in a 1150 square foot home, I am very interested in any advice any of you have to offer.

  5. Jeanette says

    Instead of hating my small house I have now decided to embrace it and make it work. I am thrilled to find lots of sites and posts from people in the same position. I will make our home work…….


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