That’s the size home my husband and I have lived in for over five years. It’s small by almost everyones standard. But, when we downsized from a home three times the size and then added a baby to the mix 18 months ago, we had to relearn what it means to utilize every inch of our living space. We’ve picked up on a few tricks over the years so, based on Maria’s suggestion on a recent post, I’ll be sharing a few tips in next few weeks on how to survive, and eventually love, living in a small space.
If You Can Rent It, Trade It, or Borrow It, Don’t Buy It.
One sure fire way to ensure your small living space doesn’t get crowded is to stop buying things. I know, I know…that is easier said than done! However, when you get creative there are multiple ways get and use things you need without giving them a permanent place in your home.
What items can you rent, trade or borrow?
When every inch in our home became prime property, we began to look at possessions in a different light. Everything we own has to have a purpose – other than to look good or collect dust. We are now very careful when shopping. Instead of making spur of the moment purchases, we actually consider if buying that “thing” that’s on sale can really fit permanently in our home.
We only rent or borrow movies and books. If I need an extra slow cooker for a OAMC day, I borrow one. If tools or equipment are needed for a one time project, we just ask around to find someone who already owns it. When I was pregnant, a close friend let me borrow a maternity swim suit for a trip and another friend even let me borrow a jogging stroller for a few months!
I’ve always wanted to host a clothing swap or toy swap but just haven’t pulled it together. But, think how fun it would be to get a completely “new” wardrobe by swapping a few key pieces with a friend. On the same note, swapping toys with another parent would give children in both families an entirely new play experience!
Recommended resources for renting, trading, or borrowing.
Utilize friends, family, and neighbors – Post a message on facebook to see if you can borrow a particular item and you may be surprise how many generous friends you have. That’s how I was able to use the jogging stroller! If you don’t know your neighbors, this may just be the perfect excuse to finally meet them.
Books – The library, paperback swap, and friends are my favorite ways to borrow books.
Tools – If you google tool companies in your city, you’ll be surprised how many of those businesses will let you rent equipment rather than buying it.
Online Resources– One blog hosted a curriculum swap at the beginning of the school year. I thought hat was such a creative way to help families clear out old curriculum while helping other families purchase expensive curriculum for only the cost of shipping. If you have a blog and a need, perhaps you could consider hosting a swap of your own!
Toys and Clothes – I mentioned earlier that I’d love to host a toy or clothing swap. This could be a great, inexpensive get together with friends or even a neighborhood.
These are just a few ideas but I know you all are much more creative than I am! So, I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments on what you rent, trade, or borrow plus the places where you look for those items.