Small is the New Big contest winner!

Last month I asked you to share your stories and tips for living and thriving in small spaces for a chance to win 1 of 3 Godiva Chocolate Bliss mini-cupcake packs!

Three winners have been selected and will be receiving some of the world’s most decadent cupcakes (few can do chocolate like Godiva) delivered RIGHT TO THEIR DOOR! These sublime little cakes conceal an irresistible surprise inside — a luscious center of Godiva chocolate ganache.

The winners are:

Karen Spector

Share Your Bliss Godiva cupcakes

Linda Landreth

Sharon Owen

Congratulations! Please send your mailing address to amy@litfusegroup.com and we’ll get those yummy treats right out to you!

Thanks to all of you who shared your tips and entered the contest. Appreciate you.

Stay tuned … I’ll be announcing a new contest later this month!

Here are a few of those downsizing tips:

Most of us receive lots of junk mail with return envelopes. I use the blank backs for grocery lists, menus, etc.

I use soda bottles to make bird feeders. I also use milk containers for watering my plants when i’m away.

I have found closet space to be totally lacking in the many places I have lived over the years. The wire closet organizer shelves make my world a better place! They can transform a closet from a cluttered mess to an organized space with little effort. My children have found them very helpful for baby rooms, also.

Prepare yourself for less by clearing out a room and leave only a few items in it. Place those extra items in a box or room just in case. After a week, you will discover that you can move on from those packed away items. Then you can share these items with a charity or someone you know that could use them.

My husband and I downsized 11 years ago and moved from a 2,100 sq ft home to a 1,000 sq ft home. We found that we haven’t missed all the “stuff” we had accumulated over the years and we were able to bless a lot of friends and relatives and charity organizations with all that stuff we didn’t really need. We love our “easy to keep” snug little home God has given us!

Bring things into the space with dual functionality – a shelf that holds books, but also has hooks to hang up jackets/purses. It makes the most of the space you have.

Mom was raised Plain in Lancaster County. Dad was from the rural South. Living simply has always been something I’ve done; first by need, second by habit, and third by choice. It’s a lifestyle choice. The original reduce, reuse and recycle people.

As a family of 4 we live in a very small home so to save room i use plastic containers to store toys,clothes,books and shoes under the bed.

Make my own soaps, cleaners and cleaning rags. Do not use paper towels for messes. If horrid I pick it up with newspaper or sales circulars. If wet I use a cloth and wash it. Fresh fruit and veggie scraps go in the compost tote. Even dryer lint and dog hair is set out to help birds build nest.

When I decided to retire, I was living in a two story house with a basement. I was overwhelmed with “stuff.” I made the decision to move to a retirement apartment which was smaller than one floor in my house. I contacted an auctioneer who I knew and he came to the house for a small fee. I cleaned out cupboards in the kitchen, sorted pictures on the wall, laid out all knick knacks on the basement floor, and even reduced sheets and bedspreads. Then I sorted things in the garage and trellis, etc in my yard. All things had to go! Was it hard, of course. But once it was picked up and gone, I felt a freedom from material things. And, I received a nice check for what I sold. Some things that were important to me I gave to my sisters. So can you thrive in small spaces like a retirement one floor apartment with no storage to speak of? I’m here to say YES you can. And, you can really enjoy the freedom from too much stuff!

Living in small spaces you learn that over the door organizers are your best friend! You can use them in the pantry, bathroom, bedroom – the possibilities are endless! They create extra space for storing items. I also love the under the bed organizers – you can store seasonal clothing and even shoes under the bed, and they are so easy to get out when you need them!

I’ve been having garage sales to downsize . It benefits others and give me extra spending money.

I utilize a ceiling pot rack over my bar. Frees up cabinet space.

The key is to make areas multi-purpose. A desk can be converted to an extra table for dinner guests, or shelves can be added to provide more storage. I always used the walls to mount things and have them handy without using up square footage.

When we relocated to Kentucky, our family of five lived in a hotel room for two months before we found a home. Talk about a small space and tight squeeze! We learned to only keep the essentials around, to maximize space, and to be resourceful with what we had. Toy buckets doubled as laundry carriers, when needed, cups and silverware were washed in the bathroom sink. Out of necessity, we all got on the same schedule, which meant lights out for the grownups when it was sleep time for the kids. We had a lot of family game nights, visits to the nearby parks, and time spent exploring the local town. The experience brought us closer as a family and certainly gave us tons more appreciation for the blessings of wide-open-spaces when we moved into our new house. This is going to sound really funny, but it is Spring, and we have a small yard with active boys. I love to garden with them, but as yard space is at a premium, I have to get creative. We have a 4×4 garden plot just to the left of our patio, and to double the space, this year, my hubby and I built an ornamental (and very sturdy) pergola to surround the garden so I could hang Topsy Turvey’s around it (I’ve got 1 pepper that grows 7 pepper plants, 1 strawberry that grows 15 plants, and 2 tomato). To add additional growing space, this last weekend we built a Hanging Gutter Garden on one side of the Pergola to “pretty” it up and to give me more space for growing! It has 3 levels and contains 3 strawberry plants, 7 types of basil, a chocolate mint plant, peppermint, oregano, parsley, cilantro. In my one 4×4 garden plot with the pergola and hanging gutter garden, I’ve been able to fit about 45-50 square feet of garden (instead of the 16 our plot gives us). One other tip for gardening is after talking with our neighbor, we planted our peas along the chain link fence between our houses. That way, we don’t use any yard space and the kids on both sides can enjoy picking peas throughout the summer!

Our favorite things are to decide what we really need and stick with those things. When the kids outgrow something, if it doesn’t hold extreme sentimental value, then we consign it at a local twice-yearly consignment sale and use the money we earn for new shoes and seasonal family activities. That way we cut down on clutter and build up on quality family memories.

I swap out my winter and summer clothes in my closet every year. This keeps only the clothes I use available.

I have raised three children one who is now an adult and two that are still teens , in a one thousand square foot home. We also have homeschooled them all. The main tip I have for living small is that everything we bring in must be a true need and everything should have dual purpose. If i buy something for the kitchen for example it needs to have more then one function. When my daughter went away to College last year, we had a lot of unpacking to do in her dorm room. And dorm rooms are smaller than we think! We used our old shoe boxes to put her shoes in, they stack easier than shoes themselves. We also added another rod to the small closet, so that more clothes could be hung. We used stacking containers for clothes, to make the room look bigger. There’s so much we can do with small spaces!

We just installed 8 solar panels and my hydro consumption is down by 50%(approx)

When I shop, I ask myself the following questions: How I am going to use it? Do I want to get it out the car when I get home? Do I have something that will do the same thing? Where will I store it? Will I have to remind myself to use it again? Will I still need it in a year?

For small spaces it helps to reduce the furniture size. Creative arrangement of furniture helps too.

My family all enjoys crafting. I have taken my daughter’s old baby clothes and other such mementoes and created a quilt for her and her daughter to use. Life is about the memories, not the space!

I use hanging shoe holders on the back of all the doors. Bedroom – small purses and hose. Bathroom – toiletries. Sewing room – rulers and small cutting mats. Pantry – taco seasoning, mixes, etc. Kitchen – flat grater, plastic bags, etc. Hall closet – umbrella, gloves, scarves. Utility room – dryer sheets, scissors, small mending kit, Tide spot pen.

We are a family of five living and homeschooling in 624 square feet so I know about small living! I make use of every spare space – we store extra seating and tray tables under the couches. I use the space on top of my bookshelves to hold school supplies like globes, art stuff, etc. With only one bathroom and a barely big enough kitchen to eat in we find ways to make our space efficient and try not to be to cluttered. I’d much rather live in my small house than a bigger one as it doesn’t take long to clean and we are all more close than spread out where no one can be found.

Comments

  1. Robin Rapley says:

    wehred my comment go just now?

  2. wehred my comment go just now?

  3. Loving these tips! Practical ones, philosophical ones. Thank you all for sharing your lifestyle choices with me!

  4. Gayle Ogilvie says:

    I would love to be entered in the contest to win your book. I love Amish novels and love to hear there is a new author to follow. Hope I win your book.

  5. Pat Moore says:

    just getting my name in the basket for any drawings. I’m already on your mail list, I’ve liked your site & I’ve shared your lasting book info on my timeline. Hope that puts me in contention for any drawings. God bless & have blessed week.

  6. Pat Moore says:

    after reading all the comments, can I change my vte t YES? My husband’s job moved us around for years, my Dad retired with over 30 yrs in the army. I was always moving so we didn’t accumulate as much. We’ve been in the same home for over 2o yrs. We downsized our home then. I’m ready to sell this houe (about 1800 sq ft) and moved in to a condo or the motor home. I packed boxes up (some antique figuerines and glassware). I think I’m ready (no I know I’m ready) to take them to an ebay store & let them sell them, donate them or something. My boys don’t want any of that stuff. Thanks to all your suggesions. My biggest problem are all of my books. It breaks my heart to give up books but I have started weeding them out and only keeping my favorite authors. I have books that were published in the 1950’s (belonged to my mom & I’ve read them more than a dozen times), some books from the 70’s and now I don’t want to get rid of my Amish & Christian suspense books. Any suggestions that will help getting rid of hundreds of books. I’ll donate most of them to a nursing home, church library and let my friends pick out what they want. Suzanne, your’s are all keepers. Sry, but can’t get rid of any of them.

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