02-17-2013, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: rural central TX
Re: mom of many--5 kids-- family downsizing
We lived in 1600sq ft on an acre plus had storage, when we got pregnant in 2009. The twins (numbers 4 and 5!) were born in June of 2010 and we had moved by then and discovered our need to downsize. When we moved out of that house and back "home" near our parents, we sent 35 boxes, 10 bags of clothes, 4 pieces of furniture, 6 large toys (kitchen sets, etc), and.... there's something I'm leaving off the list that I can't remember - we sent it all to the children's home that came around twice a year and picked stuff up off the curb. (The benefits of our short stay in a large city!) That was after having already sent them stuff in the spring, too.
We are now living in just under 1000sq ft and, though we are feeling cramped, are making the most of it!
Some of the biggest things for us include
--the kitchen table. We are big on NOT eating in the living room, but with our limited space have had to "give" some on that.
--the bedrooms. We are going to give in and put all three of our bigger boys together so we can move the twins out of our bedroom. The three boys have a bunk bed that has a trundle, so it's 3 twin sized beds. We purchased it used for $400 and that included 2 almost new mattresses and bunkie boards - a blessing from the Lord for sure! We'll have to revisit this eventually because only one of our 5 kids is a girl, so when she's old enough to need to separate from her twin brother, we'll have to rethink.
--storage. We've massively reduced the things we think we need to store. We gave away a lot of it and are still going through and repurposing, giving away, or even trashing some of it. Storage is too much of an issue when it just sits there in totes year after year after year. Taking pictures and scrapbooking it, and getting rid of it. DONE!
--clothes. Closet space is an issue and we are working on what we really need. This is a process we are just starting, and some things I'm just starting to wrap my mind and purposes around, including making sure everything in the closet coordinates and mix-matches with everything else, so you actually have more options than what the numbers seem to say.
--books. Big for me personally. I could be collecting shoes or purses or something like that, but no, I like books! Who can blame me? Well... my hubby can, when he has to move box after box of books, and 9 shelves. He can, and he does! So I'm working (in my mind... LOL) on deciding what is worth keeping and what can be given away, swapped away, or sold. I'm stocking up on eBooks because I can keep an almost unlimited amount of books on my Kindle and not take up any more room. I still love the feel of the pages, but storage is a big deal and some of my collection can go that route for the benefit of my family.
What else? We've moved 12 times in 12 years. I'm sure I can come up with more if you have specific questions or concerns.
BTW, I'm new here to DS - came for the FSOT but didn't realize there was a whole community here! Nice to meet you!