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What We Own Update – Our Minimalist Living

our dinning room - minimalist home, simple living, organizationMy previous post about ‘exactly’ what we own has (by far) been the most popular post on this blog.

I figured I would post an update because we have gotten settled and cleared out more. We love our little apartment!

If your new to the blog (welcome!), we are a family of 4 (kids are 9 and 5) who have downsized from 2000 square feet to a small 1 bedroom apartment.

Come on in!  Have a cup of tea and a cookie and let me show you around.  This is what we own:

…. I wanted to give witty funny commentary with this post… but I got nothing.  We live pretty simply (or boring) but it has made such a HUGE difference in our life to cut back.  We have what we need and what we love and lots of space for running or making blanket forts or Lego cities or puppet shows … or even driving the scooter through the house.

Above you see our dinning room.  My daughter got a rose for a talent show she was in last week so we have a special flower for the table.

Here is our kitchen:

kitchen - minimalist home, simple living, organization

I love how we have the open area in the kitchen. It gives us less cabinet space but we can pass plates through and I can see the kids at the table while I am cooking (or cleaning).

This is how I sort: (if your interested)

  • Small cabinet above stove – spices and oils
  • Big top cabinet beside stove – extra containers, small appliances, storage containers, vitamins, hot drinks, pie plates, baking tools.
  • Small cabinet above fridge – china, cloth napkins, fancy glasses (everything we need for parties)
  • Lower cabinet beside stove – pots and pans, dried food (cans, crackers, cereal etc)
  • Drawers beside stove – 1st has pens, bags and foil.  2nd has silverware

Right side:

  • Top cabinet (hid by the wall) – dishes, toaster, glasses,
  • Under sink cabinet – trash, lunch box, extra bags, soap etc
  • Right lower cabinet – ice cream maker, crock-pot, mixing bowls, baking dishes, salad bowl
  • Two drawers – 1st – Large mixing spoons, place-mats, 2nd is towels and recipes

Our kitchen was bit and beautiful in our house before we downsized.  I had to do lots of simplifying to get into this smaller space but we still cook almost all our meals and it works good.

Living roomliving room - minimalist home

I love this living room because of the gas fire place.  This is also the room that converts to a bedroom for my kids at night.  Just outside the picture to my right is our keyboard.

This is the room we do most of our living in.  I got the floor cleaned for the picture but usually it is covered with toys, books, and kids.

All the art in the house is by the kids (paintings) or by my husband (photography)

Bedroombedroom - minimalist home, simple living, organization

Except for the small dinning room we really just have 3 living spaces (kitchen, living room, and bedroom).

The bedroom is the reading room, school room for at least one child in the morning (I homeschool) and our office.

Under the bed my husband has built storage for our out of season cloths and our camping gear.

To the left of the bed there are 2 closets.

The first is for our clothes:minimalist closet, simple living, organization

Since all 4 of us dress pretty simply we have fit pretty well all into one closet . When it isn’t winter and we don’t have our big coats and sweaters in here there is even more room.

  • My husband and my clothes are on shelves on the left.  There is a basket of shoes for each of us on the floor.
  • The kids clothes are on a hanging organizer on the right and the small 3 drawer organizer has their pj’s and undergarments.  Laundry is in the middle.
  • The top of this closet is used for photography gear, cooler, homeschool books and sewing supplies.

The second closet doubles as an officeoffice - minimalist home, simple living, organization

Welcome to the office where we run our construction, photography, blogging, and property management businesses.

We keep as much of our records electronically as possible and move past years data out.  Sometimes the little desk space can get pretty cluttered, but we try and keep it cleaned off and it is plenty of space to get work done. (and we can close the door and forget about work when we need to)

The top shelf has more photography gear and our big travel bags.

Not pictured in the bedroom to the right is a small bookshelf, and two reading chairs.  (also the printer is hidden under the bedside table on the far side of the bed)

Also in the apartment:

The kids toy closet in the dinning room that has their toys, scooters, balls, more homeschool stuff, craft stuff, games, and our box of Christmas decorations.

There is a small shallow closet in the hall that holds our laundry supplies, towels, hair products, and more homeschool supplies.

We store old business files and our 2 memory tubs with Bryon’s parents.

There you have it!

Thanks so much for coming by for the tour… not sure it was that exciting, but I share what we are doing as an example.  Lots of people live as minimalists with way less and way more than us.  This is what works for us :)


  1. Your example makes me look like a hoarder, but everyone’s definition and style is different. It’s also different when everyone in the family is on board : )

    When I married my man 16 years ago he was a minimalist and I was a hoarder (I prefer to call it collector / decorator ). But now the tables have turned and I have the minimalist tendencies.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. How nice and decluttered–I’m inspired! I think kids have more fun, with space and materials to be creative, than with shelves full of unimaginative electronic toys.

  3. Dunja Dunja

    Truly inspiring. Thank you! I’m not quite there yet, but working on it. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  4. Thanks for this “inside look.” I was curious how a 1-bedroom worked with kids. Looks great!

  5. I read your previous post about your space and was so impressed. Even if we don’t go that small, it’s really helpful to envision what’s possible and think creatively about how much space we really need.

    I noticed you listed china and I’d love to hear your thoughts about why that stayed (or if your posted about it already). I’m debating whether we will keep anything “nice” for company

    • I love our set of china and we have been using it for special meals with our family. We only got 6 place settings for our wedding so we can’t use it when we have lots of people over… but that would also mean lots of dishes… and that isn’t fun. It works great for our family of 4. The kids get a kick out of fancy dishes and candles, and it is fun to spend the time together.

      I think lots of people hold onto lots more fancy items and very rarely use them. I haven’t kept lots of my fancy serving dishes. I think it is a personal family thing for what you actually use and what you enjoy. Thanks for your comment and question :)

      • Thanks! That’s great it can be part of a special memory for your kids. My particular set was my grandmother’s spares and is not practical (or pretty, at least to me), so I think I will try to find another family member with fancier taste :)

  6. Wow! Nice job Lorilee! I feel the need to go declutter some more now… 😉

  7. Hattie Hattie

    I have recently started downsizing or more accurately, decluttering. I like the freedom I feel when I let go of “stuff”. This is my first time to visit your blog. Very encouraging. Thank you. I look forward to reading future posts.

  8. Your blog has given me a renewed sense of inspiration for minimalism. We are already a very minimalist family living in a small 700 sqft, 2 bedroom home. I have always wanted to move into a small one bedroom apartment, so we have more time and money to do other things, and although I shouldn’t care, I thought the people who know me would think I was nuts – if you can do it, so can we :) We home school as well and already live a lot different than most of the people we know, but I love your blog because it shows minimalism in action.

    Thank you for all you do!


    • yeah… people will probably think your nuts, but it is still worth it :) Thanks for your comment!

  9. Kathy Kathy

    Love the update! How inspiring your space is! I also love the splashes of color in the new futon cover & bedding. I know we will never be in a one bedroom place but I hope to make us fit much nicer in our current 1200 sq ft place. I’m working on getting us a lot more breathing room, space to move, and closet/cabinet space. I’ve been making progress and things will get even better when the weather warms up enough for a yard sale & all the stuff we stored after our move can go away.

  10. Thanks for the inspiration. I always love to see how real people live. If you google minimalist rooms you get huge crazy ultramodern white rooms. That isn’t real life for most of us. I’m working on how to live a minimalist life with 4 kids a hubby and a dog… In a 100 year old farm house…

    Love the challenges too. They help keep me motivated. Thanks.

  11. Linda Beth Linda Beth

    I am entering a very new part of my life, ie: growing older with multiple health issues, complete empty nesting, while still persuing my sewing and arts. You are a true inspiration! Minimalism is my “Ideal fantasy!” We will see how close to that i can get while still maintaining the loves of my life. I have a looong ways to go! You make this is exciting! It is wonderful to meet you, Lorilee! :)

  12. Cora Cora

    Hello, very nice apt. I was wondering what will you do when the kids reach teenage ages and want their own space. I have 2 kiddos that will be nearing the teeanage years soon, and was wondering if we took the minimalist route, what to do with them during the “I want privacey” stage each of us sometimes goes through. Thanks

    • Cora, this would totally depend on your kids. Since they are older I would ask their opinion. I think it is important for kids to have their own space and be able to set boundaries but that doesn’t necessarily need to mean bedrooms. My kids have their own spaces to keep things and they have the ability to be alone when they want. Every age and every family will be different but learning and experimenting as a family will be worth it :)

  13. Less stuff and working with what you have, not adding more clutter, layers to your life makes the real value shine through. Relationships, outdoor living and sunrises, sunsets mean feeling better all the way around in your life. Great blog!

  14. Diane Marie Diane Marie

    Very interesting post, but I can’t help wondering where your children sleep?

    • In American and in China the living room converts into a bedroom for them at night. We just work quietly in our room on blogging and teaching after they go to sleep so it is quiet and private for them there.

  15. Shannon Shannon

    May I ask what brand ice cream maker you own? I am thinking of purchasing one for my husband’s birthday and am looking for recommendations. Thanks!

    • Shannon, we have a this Cuisinart on Amazon We got it at Cosco over 6 years ago and have loved it.

      • Shannon Shannon

        Thank you so much!

  16. […] wonder? I had the same question when reading about an American family of four’s intentional life in a one bedroom apartment. Where do they keep their seven years of tax records? Their photo albums? Sports equipment? […]

  17. MelD MelD

    I am somewhat curious why you have the bedroom and your kids sleep in the communal living room?
    What do you do if you have guests over? Had this been my family, I think we would have switched. The kids wouldn’t have been interested in our adult guests once the meal was over and would need to be in bed by a reasonable hour, so we would have wanted to use the communal space to entertain, make additional drinks etc. Even on an everyday basis, we stay up later than our kids and need access to the kitchen.

    • yeah, it could really go either way as long as the two areas can be private and quite when necessary. We had our office and computers in our bedroom and worked after the kids went to bed. Guests we usually had over also had kids so the kids wouldn’t go to bed until after they left. I do think, depending on the family, it could go either way :)

  18. Melissa McIntyre Melissa McIntyre

    Ok, first off I want to say I am NOT being a jerk here. Second, do the persons to bedrooms ratio laws change by state or is it nationwide? I live in Georgia (USA) and there are laws stating that you can only have 2 people per bedroom. And it has to be a bedroom. Something I’ve always thought was LAME! Who is the law to tell me that my four girls can’t share a room?? We also have our 2 boys sharing their own room. My husband and I have always rented, but our choices are limited because of this dumb law. Have you ever had to deal with this?

    • Melissa, yes it is nationwide to some respect. I had that issue when I talked to complexes in the city. When we moved to this place it was right outside city limits and I specifically asked if it was okay and they were fine with it. … so maybe okay out of city limits or maybe they were not informed but it was a big complex owned by a company with several large complexes. Once you start paying for a 3 bedroom, at least in our city, it got to where you weren’t saving much by an apartment or by renting. Good luck :)

  19. Andria Andria

    Why bother with that green hand towel hanging off of your oven when in fact, you could use your shirt for any spills! Lol
    I’m just kidding. I’m currently enjoying one of your books and starting the simplifying process. I’m so excited!

  20. Marie Marie

    Hi, I’m a wife and mother of 3 children (ages 4 years, 2 years and 4 months) I’ve been working on becoming minimalist, purging a minimum of 10 things a day to try to gain control over our stuff and have so far taken several van fulls of stuff for donation, am feeling addicted to shedding our stuff. I love how simple your life sounds, my husband and even my kids are on-board for minimizing our stuff but I’m having so much trouble with my mom and mom-in-law who both love to buy for us/ give us stuff they think is “good stuff”….I’ve been trying to politely guide them to not give us stuff but they seem almost unable to stop giving us more and more…and my MIL is a bit of a hoarder and can’t understand why on earth I would want to get rid of anything as she saves EVERYTHING! Christmas this year is becoming such a stressful event both because there is the expectation for us to buy for everyone when I don’t want to be wasting my time and money in stores and also the fact that I don’t want to fill our house with more junk that for some reason I’m supposed to keep as especially my MIL will ask and remember everything that she gave…wondering if you have any advice, how did you deal with Christmas when becoming minimalist? how do you deal with the extended family aspect? thanks so much!

    • Time and commitment to creating a simpler lifestyle for your family will make the difference. Back when we were simplifying it seemed like everything left us with more stuff and it was stressful to think more would be coming into the house. This is good.. for the results it gives you in the coming months/years :) The truth is that your habits of a simple living lifestyle will make more of a difference than the holidays may ‘set you back’ temporarily.

      Time will also help with extended family as they get to know your new habits. Patience and consistence :) Christmas is also more about the love then the things (getting or not getting them). Showing people love in a way they understand is most important. Having them understand that you might enjoy, but not keep forever, the things they get you, is just a patience and time thing. No one outside your family has the final say on what your family keeps. I’m excited for your family! Good luck and have a great Christmas!

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