Simple (and small) Living Vol. 1

simple living header

 

“I work smarter when I’m organized, but what motivates me the most is the peace I feel when I’m organized and when my space is uncluttered.”

I’m so excited to share this guest series, Simple (and small) Living with you. My friend, Sarah, is in the midst of the adventure of living small with her family of five, and she is going to share it with us. I get to drive to her beautiful, small house and visit over coffee; just imagine that you are sitting with us.

IMG_4325

 

Hello, my name is Sarah and I am one of the two Sarah’s that Lisa wrote about in her post Our Bathroom Makeover. Lisa and I have driveways about two miles apart and even though we’ve known each other nearly ten years, her bathroom project kindled a new friendship.

I loved sitting down with Lisa in the initial planning stages and figuring out how we could redo her small bathroom making it more functional and attractive for her children.

I currently live with my husband and three children in a home that is 900 square feet. Deconstructing the problems that one faces with limited living space and storage has been a topic I’ve wrestled with for the past three years. It’s a challenge that I have truly enjoyed.

IMG_4349

Decluttering and downsizing are topics people consider whether they live in a small home or a large one. We all love the feeling of a home that is in order and uncluttered, where every item has been chosen intentionally.

 When people see my home they often assume that being tidy and keeping my home uncluttered comes naturally. I assure you it doesn’t. While I certainly crave tidy spaces I am not very good at multi-tasking, I am easily distracted, and when left to my own devices I default to monster piles.  I can definitely get overwhelmed by a mess and not know where to begin.

However working as a public school teacher for 8 years, becoming a stay-at-home mom to my three children, and being married to my husband who is an efficient and organized worker all have helped me become more disciplined in organization and tidiness.

I’ve found that the less I have the easier it is to keep things in order. I work smarter when I’m organized, but what motivates me the most is the peace I feel when I’m organized and when my space is uncluttered.

IMG_4270

I love the simplicity of being surrounded by what I need and love.

Three years ago my husband and I decided to build a home less than half the size of the one we were living in at the time.  We hoped someday we could build a larger home but for now a small one would be perfect for our construction time frame and our budget.

The first stage of planning meant defining the type of space we wanted to create.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted our home to feel like. My inspiration for “feel” was our small family cabin that sits on a lake a few hours away from our home. The cabin was built in the 1930’s and is stocked with only the essentials. When we stay there we pack in our clothing, bedding, and food. There are basic furnishings, kitchen supplies, a small bookshelf and some games.

I have countless memories of contentment and joy from our cabin visits and this simple uncluttered haven was my inspiration for our future home. But I don’t have to tell you that vacation and every day life are very different. We have oodles of things that are important parts of our daily life that we wouldn’t dream of bringing on vacation.

IMG_4230

Where do we put the thousands of Legos and all of my girls’ craft supplies? I love to cook and I have specialized baking pans and of course my beloved Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Where would that fit? What about the mail that pours in daily and the papers that migrate home from school? Would we be able to have full sized appliances? There were many questions to answer and scenarios to consider.

In this Simple (and small) Living series I’ll give you a tour of my home, how I tackled de-cluttering, what I learned about myself through the process and hopefully some encouragement for anyone looking to create a fresh simplicity in their home.

IMG_2381
– Sarah

Simple (and small) Living Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5
——-

Friends, I hope you enjoy this series as much as I do. Sarah will be back next week with more to teach us about Simple (and small) Living, and a special free printable just for you!  

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

15 Comments

  1. Angelina Denver
    March 1, 2016

    Where is the LOVE button on this?!? Even if I won't be changing homes anytime soon the thought, "A place for everything and everything in its place" always makes my heart sing. No big messy piles! Sounds like a little piece of Heaven on Earth!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 1, 2016

      #metoo! Angelina. I yearn to simplify. I literally made myself get rid of 29 things yesterday in honor of Leap Day.

      Reply
    2. Sarah Mortimore
      March 1, 2016

      Thank you for reading Angelina! It really is so very nice to have an organized home.

      Reply
  2. Kimberly Taylor
    March 1, 2016

    I always find it's easiest for me to "purge" when I am either really stressed about the clutter (then I want to get rid of EVERYTHING) or when someone is in need and I know I have things that they could use. I love the idea of the cabin- it brings back memories of cabins on the lake in Minnesota in the 70s when I was a child. I can't wait to read next week!

    Reply
  3. Christina A
    March 1, 2016

    I'll definitely be tuning in to the rest of your posts, Sarah. Reading Marie Kondo recently made me want a trusted, Christian perspective on tidying up. Thanks for writing!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 1, 2016

      Nice to see you, Christina!

      Reply
  4. Kelsey
    March 1, 2016

    This is something that has been on my heart for months but I've been paralyzed with where to even start! I'm so excited to read these posts and to begin a process that I know will be life-giving to myself and my family!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 1, 2016

      Kelsey, I'm so glad you're looking forward to the series like I am!

      Reply
  5. Lisa Qualls
    March 1, 2016

    Kimberly, thanks for the encouraging words!

    Reply
  6. Joelle
    March 2, 2016

    I am going to love these posts!!! I never seem to stay uncluttered for very long but I sure love how I feel when life and my home is more organized.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 2, 2016

      You would love Sarah's home, Joelle. She'll inspire you.

      Reply
  7. Sharon
    March 5, 2016

    So inspiring! Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Ellen
    March 5, 2016

    I'm excited about this series! Thank you, Sarah and Lisa.

    Reply
  9. Rachel Davis
    March 6, 2016

    Don't tell me the article is done now! Can't wait to see the rest.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 6, 2016

      Volume 2 is coming on Tuesday!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy