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Simple Living – Take 2

Our major move toward simple living was about 14 months ago.  We moved out of our house into a two bedroom apartment.

We were adopting simple living and minimalism

We went from about 2000 sq feet to about 900.  Here is a picture of our move last spring:

Here is our moving truck and my dancing children.  Such cuties πŸ™‚

What we moved with us filled our 2 bedroom apartment and  a 1 stall garage.

I really thought we had become minimalist.

However over the past year we have kept cutting back.  In November we dropped the garage and had cut lots out of our apartment.  Several times this spring we have donated or sold more stuff.

So when it came time to renew our lease and they wanted to increase our rent (again) we decided to look for another place.

This time we knew we needed even less space because we weren’t filling our 2-bedroom apartment.  We settled on a small 1 bedroom closer to friends and a good walking trail.  Now we have less than 700 square feet.  Here is a picture of our move this time:

Moving as a minimalist is a new and different experience.  Because we really don’t have that much stuff I decided to see what I could pack, move, and unpack in a day.  (probably crazy, but I wanted to really get an understanding for what we still had) I spent some time each day the week before the move deep cleaning so we could get our deposit back but nothing was put into a box or basket until the morning of the move.

As luck would have it both kids got sick and were running fevers.  Poor things πŸ™

The Friday morning of the move I got up and packed up the house.  I took two trips, 1 in the morning to get our keys and one in the afternoon with our Prius to start bringing things over.  I brought bedding and most of the kitchen over in these trips and got the kitchen unpacked.

Bryon got off work around 3 and had the moving truck at the apartment at 4 where his parents met us to load up the bigger stuff.  We got the rest of the apartment loaded up, moved, unloaded and the truck back by 7 so we could all go out for pizza.  We got home, put the kids to bed, and moved a few more things around.

Over the weekend I unpacked the last few boxes, Bryon put up some shelves, and we hung a few pictures.

By far the easiest move I have ever done!

To be fair, no matter who you are, moving is a pain.  No matter how much stuff you have it always seems like more (too much) when you have to move it.

In the time we would have been unpacking (if we had the stuff we used to have) we got to do lots of fun activities as a family.  Sunday we had a ‘vacation day’.  Here is some of the stuff we did:

We went to Fort Atkinson’s living history program.  This was the coolest part.  Lily is learning to write her name with a feather pen.

Then we headed down to one of our favorite parks.

This was one of our favorite places to walk but when the Missouri flooded last year it got torn up really bad.  Not sure when we will be able to walk the 7 mile trail again but we had fun climbing on the log piles and putting our feet in the water.  It used to be a forest.  Lots of the trees are still there but now it is covered with lots of sand.  The trail is completely gone.

Then we grabbed a picnic and headed to see a Shakespeare play.  It was a production of Shakespeare on the Green by UNO here in Omaha.  They did ‘Comedy of Errors’.  It was so good we went back last Thursday night to see it again.    I have never been great at understanding all the lines but I love his comedies.  Here my kids are dressing up while waiting for the show.

My little dolls πŸ™‚

So there is our moving weekend πŸ™‚

We are adopting minimalism more than I ever thought we would.  I will post more about how it is all working for us and the kids in the next few weeks.

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  1. Kelly Kelly

    So excited for you guys! I’m in the process of whittling our stuff down and attempting to convince my husband that we *can* downsize from our 4br + full basement house into a 2br. W a 6yo boy and a 2yo daughter, it took major discussions to even decide that we don’t meed a 3br. So my big question is: what are your sleeping arrangements w 2kids in a 1br?

  2. I, too, am trying to reduce my stuff and go more minimalist. I understood the first apartment with it’s two bedrooms. It was a big reduction but it seemed doable. With this new move you guys went to a one bedroom and I guess I am wondering how you fit a a family of four– two of which are small children- in a one bedroom apartment. Where do you sleep? Where do the kids? Do you all sleep in one bedroom? I am not judging- just trying to understand the dynamics a bit more as I look around my home.

  3. Liz Liz

    Just reading this made me smile. Sounds so freeing to move to a place with less stuff, less to clean, etc. Good for you making memories with your kids instead of spending the time cleaning or managing stuff.

    • Thanks Liz πŸ™‚

  4. Good for you guys! My only question is- where does everyone sleep? I’ve considered going down to a 2 bedroom, but never a one bedroom. The Hubs and I adore having our own space…with a locking door πŸ˜‰ We’ve stayed in 1 bdrm apartment-type hotels with all 4 of us, and we all went pretty crazy pretty quickly. I don’t think it’s bad to have unused space in a house. We definitely have quite a bit of floor space in our 1200 sq. ft., but we’ve found it extremely useful (and even small!) when we host parties, do crafts, have dance time, pet-sit, etc. Maybe it’s just me, but I love seeing the empty space. I’d hate to feel crammed just because I could, you know? I hope it all works out just the way you planned!

    • Yeah, I figured I would post about that next Monday. We don’t all sleep together πŸ™‚

  5. Wow! I currently hate the process of moving…this sounds much better πŸ™‚ It’s neat, when everyone seems to equate ever bigger homes with moving up in the world, to hear about a family that is happier downsizing. Very cool, thank you for sharing your experience!

    • Yep, we probably aren’t moving up in the world.. but we are okay with it πŸ™‚

  6. I’m really impressed – this is inspiring and timely for me as I just decided to “get serious” about decluttering and pursuing minimalism again.

    • πŸ™‚

  7. That sounds wonderful! We have a family of five (plus two dogs) and live in a house that is a little less than 1000sq feet. People think we’re crazy and just too poor to live somewhere bigger. I actually dream of a smaller space! We have more than enough room where we are now and, since embracing minimalism, I know that this space will work for our family for a long time to come. Granted, my kids are small right now and I may be rethinking this when they hit the middle/high school years (especially since we only have one bathroom). Good luck with everything!!

    • that is small too πŸ™‚ It is a way to make sure things stay simple because there isn’t the room to spread out. I love it. … but yeah, as the kids get older they may need more space.

  8. Fantastic, you are inspirational! I really enjoy living in an apartment after giving up our house and garden. Inspired to see how you manage with 1 bedroom, definitely food for thought! Will look back to see how you manage the kid sleeping and eveing activities.

    • Alisa, I am loving the apartment more than I thought too. I never liked the yard but I did garden a bunch. However, I haven’t missed it either.

  9. Definitely inspiring! My wife and I just made a move in the opposite direction, buying a 112 year old 2,000 square foot house. We do a lot from our home however, hosting large families regularly, running a small home business, and hoping to rent out rooms as well in keeping with our simple living ideals.

    • Josh, great to meet you. Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚ I think it would be cool to rent out rooms of a larger house. It would be a neat experience to learn to share some living spaces.

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