Simple (and small) Living vol.10

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One realization I had when we moved into our small home was that I had put a lot of energy into managing our generously sized home.

Our previous home was spacious and keeping it tidy took quite a lot of effort. Having everything close together in our small home and having less to care for means that cleaning and tidying takes less time. This truth is most evident is in our bathroom.

Our old home had two full baths and two half baths. That’s four toilets to scrub and keep looking presentable. It was doable because those four baths didn’t get the constant use that our one bathroom gets now.

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Cleaning one bathroom in our small house has been a welcomed blessing because it is simple and it’s right in front of me.

Like many of the blessings of living in a small home, there are always downsides as well. There are those moments when we all are desperate to be in the bathroom. We bump into each other and sometimes we get frustrated and have to apologize for our behavior. I strive to keep my heart thankful for the frequent opportunities I have to practice patience and selflessness in the context of our one bathroom.

I regularly have to remind myself and my kids that having a hot shower and indoor plumbing on any level is an extravagant blessing.

We are in no way experiencing a hardship.

Someday we will have more bathrooms and I hope we never ever take them for granted. If there’s one thing I try to drill into all of us it’s thankfulness for the fact that the toilet flushes without fail and the water in the shower is always clean and hot. May we never forget what a blessing it is!

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My husband designed the layout of our bathroom and it really is nicely planned. We have ample storage. I love the deep built-in atop the pull-out ironing board and the three generously sized laundry bins. With the absence of a traditional laundry room having these laundry bins helps me manage dirty laundry and keep it off of the floor. I can never escape the reality of our laundry situation so I maintain laundry better than I did when I had a big basement laundry room where loads of laundry could easily pile up without anyone noticing.

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We don’t have towel bars in our bathroom. There are no good places for hooks or a towel bar so I prefer to wash towels frequently. I would rather have clean towels folded in the drawer than hooks with damp towels taking up limited wall space. Another option I considered is to use woven turkish towels which dry quickly, take up less space, and come in many pretty colors.

One last function of our bathroom is that I store my kids’ socks and underwear in the bottom three drawers of the vanity. Because of the lack of privacy in their bedroom this keeps their undergarments close when they need them most, after a shower.

As always downsizing has its disadvantages and advantages, but making it work is always a matter of my attitude and choosing to be thankful for the inescapable reality that I’m surrounded every which way with luxurious gifts.

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I look forward next week to sharing some of my favorite tips for keeping my high-traffic bathroom fresh and clean despite the constant use and some tips and tricks for keeping the storage accessible and organized.

If you’re just joining this series you can start reading here at vol.1.

-Sarah

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

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