Category Archives: home

a change of address

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Much has happened since my last post. We sold our 1,000 sq ft home in the city and are now residing in a 500 sq ft rental in the country while we search for our homestead. Everything transpired quickly, to say the least, and we moved on my 29th birthday. I’m just beginning to recover from the whirlwind. We are still catching up with so many things, and have a toddler who is starting preschool at home as well as working on potty training. It’s a busy season.

debt free!

In selling our home we are now debt free! We have been striving towards this for some time, and paid off my student loans earlier this year. We bought our first home, our fixer, with cash and fixed it up without any debt, which is really something we want to repeat with our next place.

early harvest

My garden had to be harvested early due to the move, although we had an amazing tomato crop for several weeks before we had to go. I did pick the remaining tomatoes (a mix of ripe and green) and have been freezing and dehydrating those, along with drying kale chips and other herbs and vegetables. My little dehydrator has been going 24/7 the past few days! Our pumpkins were ready sooner than expected this year, turning orange a week before we left.  We had a tomato and peppers and some blueberries in pots, so we moved those with us, along with some strawberries I potted.

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plans

We are getting back into a routine and working on our goals for the future. I’m so thankful for this cooler autumn weather (it’s my favorite season). We are adjusting to this smaller space and learning how to make it work for our family. I know that most people would not understand why we chose this path, but we are so grateful for this opportunity to escape the trap of debt (aka a mortgage) and chase our dreams!

I have so much I would like to blog about here (our path to debt freedom, preserving the harvest, recipes, living with children in a tiny home, our search for land, etc) and would love your input on what you would prefer to read about the most. Please share the topics you would be interested in the comments below!

*Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. I only recommend products I use myself. Thank you for helping support this blog and our goals for a self-sufficient homestead!

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life in 1,000 sq ft

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A year ago this week we moved from our fixer to our new home in the city. It was a bittersweet  journey that brought both relief and sadness. While this place hasn’t been quite the fixer-upper our last one was, it has taught us the freedom of living with less. With 1,000 sq ft of room, we had to downsize from our previous 1,300 sq ft with a garage. It has been a very liberating, albeit at times frustrating, process. In the end, I love this amount of space and we have realized we could reduce it further. They key to living in less is evaluating what you really need and enjoying people and moments rather than accumulating things. I wouldn’t want more square footage if it were offered to me!

I thought it would be a fun idea to give a tour of our home, just to show what we have done with our space and some of the things that have worked for us!

the living room

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Here is where we spend a lot of our time together. We currently maintain a small and sparse amount of furniture (we are waiting to update our chair and couch until the kids are a little older). We really don’t have many things collecting here, (childproofing may have some influence on that). We don’t own a television, but our computer is set up in this area for times when we do want to watch something, as well as for home-based work. I salvaged our desk from someones trash heap and we repainted it and bought new handles. My husband made our bench in college and you can see examples of an important component to living with less space – storage!

the kitchen

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This is the space that we would change if we decide to remodel at all. It is sufficient, but lacking in counter space, something that is important to me. Here, the crucial thing again is storage! Additional cabinets could be added, although what is here is plenty for me right now.

Our last kitchen remodel went fairly well, and inexpensively, so if we decided to we could do something similar here: update the flooring, replace and add counter space from the sink area extending to the stove, and replace and add cabinetry.

the dining space

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On the other side of the kitchen area is the eating nook. It is a modest space, but sufficient even for our family of four. We have the two chairs here, and during mealtimes with the whole family we transfer our desk chair in the living room to the table for our oldest. Once the youngest has outgrown the highchair we will put our bench here for both of them to sit at.

the bathrooms

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The restrooms are more than sufficient for our family. Before we moved we had only one bathroom, and it was downstairs while the bedrooms were upstairs, so this is a huge upgrade to us!

the guest room

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This room doesn’t get used all that much. We could survive without it just fine. Here is where we put our book collection (which we are working to reduce), some storage in the closet, and the guest bed and nightstand (which was my bedroom set growing up). If we continue to live here the girls would likely transition to this room.

the kid’s room

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This space is directly across from our bedroom and provides a great space for the girl’s things. I love having them nearby and one of my favorite things about small homes is that they force families to actually spend time together, rather than everyone being off in their own little corners of the house! The girls enjoy their space and the oldest currently sleeps here with room for the youngest to join shortly! The closet, changing chest, under-the-bed vintage storage suitcases, and small toy box provide ample storage areas.

the master room

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This is a spacious, comfortable room. The youngest’s crib is still here, although it will soon be moved into the girl’s room. Not tons of storage here, but a closet and dresser provides enough.

That concludes the tour! We keep learning new ways to use our square footage efficiently. Most any space can adapt to various needs with a little imagination!

the hope + promise

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Spring seems to bring the greatest potential. Everything begins to thrive. Life returns where it once seemed dormant. I find hope and promise in my own life as warmth returns to the earth. I begin dreaming of the potential, and activating some of my intentions with purpose. There are expectations that haven’t been realized yet. I am choosing to let go of regrets and begin seeking these ideals with freedom and anticipation. Because it isn’t too late yet.

conversion : : renewal

I am prone to extremes. Sometimes I think we all are. It is easier that way. I am also often driven by perfectionism, which can complicate life. I regularly need renewal. A reflection on what and why I am pursuing. There are usually good reasons, but somehow they get lost in the process. A daily conversion is required to avoid just going through the motions. I have to be reminded of the foundation of my desires.

choice : : circumstance

Life is full of possibilities. Our choices determine many of those circumstances, although sometimes life brings the unexpected as well. Whatever the lot life currently holds, the one thing we do have control over is the response we choose to engage. This is something I am working on.

old : : new

Things are growing here on our little green patch of earth. We are working on some of our plans, as well as adjusting our goals for the future. Our first home, our fixer, is in the process of being handed to new owners. The closing of one chapter while hopefully beginning a new one!

What changes and hopes are you experiencing this season?

april update + sifted

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The increase in daylight came just in time for this busy season of life. We are in process of finishing up the sale of our first home, beginning a new business venture, working on getting a garden started, and attempting to keep up with everything else. Boredom is a luxury that just doesn’t exist. We take one day off a week, but other than that, it is full force ahead.

I will be sharing progress photos and information on our new garden/urban homestead, as well as more recipes, photos, and projects. In the meantime, I periodically share some of my favorite internet discoveries in my sifted series. My April collection is listed below. Enjoy!

: : I’m inspired by the results of this planting method. Fruit and nut trees take some time to begin producing, so once we start placing ours we will definitely try speeding up the results with the information given. Check out the video!

: : The strawberries are beginning to flower, and I have found this fun project for the girls and I to try out. Maybe we will get to savor more of our ruby-hued fruit than the birds!

: : I often have leftover brown rice to use up, so I found a Lentil and Brown Rice Soup recipe on Pinterest that has become great way to use the leftovers in a delicious and easy meal. I employ my vegetable broth seasoning recipe to replace the chicken broth, and left out the celery (for some reason I never have celery). Yum!

lessons on selling {and buying} with Craigslist

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We have been majorly downsizing around here. Living in 1,000 square feet has made me realize that we could do with less… less space, less STUFF. My husband draws and designs house plans under 900 or so square feet for fun. I told him to design us a house with 700-900 square feet. With a good layout and design, it should be just the right size for us. In the meantime, we have been going through all our accumulated things. I have been selling some on Craigslist and eBay, and we are having a yard sale for all the rest on Sunday. Hopefully this will mean a less cluttered life after the weekend! Below are some of the important lessons I have learned from selling our excess belongings on Craigslist:

: : People will almost always ask for $5 less, no matter how well you have priced your item. Adjust your listing accordingly.

: : While it may be safer to meet in a public area for pick-ups, with lots of items and two little ones, it can be too much of a hassle. If you feel unsafe, send the husband instead.

: : When contacted via email to learn if your listing is still available, don’t just respond with an affirmative. Ask when they would like to see the item or respond with the times you have available. This cuts out much back and forth conversation that often leads nowhere.

: : Decide your price point ahead of time. Some may try to lower your figure much beyond what is reasonable by picking on imperfections, etc. Don’t let them scam you out of what the item is worth.

: : Ignore the strange emails asking you to respond via a particular email address while never specifically mentioning the item in the posting.

: : Take a nicer picture of your piece. Better lighting and angles can make the difference between zero emails or ten.

Have you encountered any of these lessons? Or had different experiences?