My Full House

Today’s post is a ramble about my small home here in the country…two bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, kitchen, laundry room and back porch. We are fortunate to have spacious rooms, and the promise of someday being able to spread upstairs…

In our older home, the upstairs is closed off and only accessible via a door in the kitchen and a narrow, steep stairway leading to two large rooms and an attic storage area. Hubby hasn’t wanted to branch UP with our family yet, not until he figures out the most economical way to heat and cool the space up there. We’re talking major insulation issues, not to mention no ductwork, etc.

Bedrooms

Each Friday’s goal includes a major cleaning of my girls’ bedroom! If you can imagine, three girls sharing a bedroom 24/7…they have so much stuff in there we can barely see the baseboards. A fact that causes me no end of frustration!

A playroom would be nice…but it’s not only toy items, those are actually pretty easily maintained, it’s all their craft projects/supplies. Perhaps I’ve become lazy, but I’ve found it’s just easier on everyone to let the girls work perpetually on their different projects w/o daily pestering them to “finish it up”, “clean it up”, and “put it away”–when it’s not even done to their satisfaction yet! So on Fridays…they know it’s got to be dealt with!

Kitchens

counters1.jpgFunctional countertops won out in my recent poll concerning kitchen counters. That’s great by me, I like having stuff on my counters…it’s homey…as long as it’s not dirty dishes or crumbs or…broken kiddie crafts needing glued, etc. I have no appliance caddy, or pantry, or islands. You can see my main workspace above left. It’s gloriously cluttered functional! The opposite counter top, not pictured, is the one upon which our home schooling materials seem to accumulate in between mealtimes. I have no dining room, so the kitchen is probably our highest traffic area.kitchenview.jpg

Living Rooms

I have a curious question to ask of you ladies. I’ve always assumed that those of us who live in small houses say goodbye to the baseboards at some point or another, but Juli recently sent me some Valentine party pictures taken in her home, and I was in awe of the sheer space I saw there. We’re talking a living room that would be a delight to vacuum! I’m just guessing, but I’d say Juli’s square footage is limited, and taking into consideration that she’s raising four children and homeschooling three of them…well, somehow, she keeps clutter-free. I asked her to share her thoughts and this is what she said,

“I do like to live semi clutter free. I have found that in our society we tend to accumulate many things. (like toys, clothes, shoes) What I try to do, is keep the things that mean something to me deeply, or that we use often. I would say once every six months, we go through our things, and give away what we are not using, or clothes that the children have out grown. I really think too many things have a way of zapping our energy, and make us unhappy. I try to buy only what we need, and not more. (our closet space is limited) There is a book I love called Shelter for the Spirit, it is such an inspiration to me. I guess I think in many ways less is more.”

I for one, am inspired to do better–thanks, Juli, for the encouragement and for the nudge on the book.

lr1.jpgOur living room is around 16’x23′. In this space we have five medium-large windows and three doorways–one to the hall, one to the kitchen, and one to the small entry foyer by the front door. We also have a massive limestone fireplace (pictured here, sorry for the dim quality), sandwiched between windows and three resinors (old fashioned hot water heating vents that we still use for heat). Okay, that’s all the non-movable stuff.

We have two bookcases, a piano, a computer desk, a humidifier, two recliners, two end tables, a coffee table, a couch, a wooden bench in front of the fireplace, a stereo system with two large speakers and an antique dresser which holds blankets in one drawer, DVDs/movies in another, and toddler toys in another. Oh yes, and a quilt rack. And a basket full of library books. (Anyone else feel like humming the Twelve Days of Christmas after that long line-up?)

So a question to satisfy my burning curiousity:

Are you crowded? If you’re not, I’d like to hear from you too!

While we’re at it, feel free to scold me for accumulating so much stuff. My goal for 2008 is to get rid of some of it. Sometime.