Some days I feel overwhelmed with s.t.u.f.f. – literal, physical, because-I-went-out-and-bought-it "stuff."
Just this morning, I did an inventory of the electrical appliances in my kitchen.
I found the following:
- water distiller
- air popcorn popper
- roaster oven
- food processor
- personal blender
- hot water dispenser
- bread machine
And these are only the things that are out on a shelf, table or on top of the refrigerator. In my cabinets you will find the following:
- can opener
- waffle maker
- stick blender
- small food processor
When you consider that my kitchen is 10'x9', has one door opening and one door to the outside, that list is really amazing, isn't it???
We do use almost everything in that first list on a weekly basis, so it really is more efficient to have the appliances out where they are easily accessible.
I think that whoever the person was who created those "appliance garages" in newer home construction was absolutely *brilliant*!
The rest of our home is, likewise, very small (less than 800 square feet of living space); and is also, likewise, jam packed with "stuff".
Due to that, we have obviously had to come up with some "coping mechanisms" – some ways to make this small space work for us and for all of our big stuff.
I know that, these days, many people are trying to simplify. I thought I'd share a few of my ideas with you.
Plan #1 – The Desk
Hmm…right…we don't have a desk. If we did have a desk, we would have no room for it. So what do I do with all of my bills, financial budget, receipts, coupons, and the like?
I use this:
A lap tray. It can move around the house with me, no matter where I am for the day. Everything stays tidy and neat. When Doug has receipts, he put them in the little box (the box in which the bank mailed our checks to us).
The large box (a card sorting box from Hallmark – free with a purchase of so many cards) holds all of 2010 receipts, check stubs, January-July budget pages, and bank statements.
To be honest, that box is very full. I am hoping to be able to finish out the year with it, but if not, I will store it somewhere and find another box to travel with the lap tray.
I also keep my coupons here, along with bills to be pain, calculator, pen, pencil, checkbook and tithe envelopes. Everything is right at my finger tips, no matter where I choose to settle to work on the budget.
Where does my budget lap tray roost when it is not in use? Here:
It isn't lovely, but it is up out of our way and it doesn't block our view of the tv. It works for us.
Plan #2 – The Work Bench
I have a business: a jewelry-making business. So I need a work bench, right? Well, yes, a work bench would be absolutely "loverly", as Eliza Doolittle would say!!!
However, if I had one, there is no place to put it in the house. I live in Florida, so working outside on the porch is not an option for about 9 months of the year.
Here is my solution:
A rolling microwave cart
Everything I use to make jewelry, my shipping materials, my books, my photo props, my finished pieces and all my tools and supplies fit on this.
When I work, I can easily move the 2 containers from the top, and use the surface there to work. I also have another lap tray on which I work most of the time.
This cart can also move around the house with me. It usually stays parked in my bedroom, in front of the dresser. I do have plans to clear a corner for it soon, so that we don't have to roll it out of the way to get into the dresser drawers.
So, those are two solutions that we use to help us live small in our big world.
I would love to hear if you have any "small living" solutions! I can certainly use more ideas on fitting us into the house. Isaac's equipment will only keep getting bigger, as it has to grow with him; so we will need to make even more space as the years go by.
Please leave me a link here in the comments if you blog on this subject! I look forward to reading your ideas!