Keeping Your Sanity When Living Small ---

Cover photo via .

Hello to all!

How are you guys liking the fall weather? I'm loving it. We carved pumpkins the other day and they looked so cute... for about two days. Then, they collapsed into themselves. Ugh. I also bought these cute little acorn squashes and put them outside next to our carved pumpkins and they looked so festive. I stepped outside yesterday and this massive squirrel had picked up and MOVED one of the squashes and was looking at me straight in the eyes, chowing down on it with no end in sight. First of all, I didn't buy that for you to go to town on, beast. Second of all, how in the world are you strong enough to pick that thing up??? More power to the squirrels I guess. It's a tough world we live in.

I got an inquiry the other day about counter space, and how to deal with it when there's plain just not enough. Whether you are in a period of transition and living in a smaller space than you generally would, or your home just really doesn't have a lot of storage... I FEEL YOU. We have been in transition mode for the last few months since we moved and will probably continue on that train for a little while longer, so we have had to make some cuts and changes. I know my family will not believe it when they read this (hellllooooo), but this post is about organization and living with what you only truly need on a monthly (or even biweekly) basis. I'm going to focus on the kitchen, but if the kitchen isn't your problem area, think about the spaces where you just have "too much".

So we all know that organization is key for "sanity" (or what we can claim of it, right?). In the kitchen it is the same way. Functioning in a kitchen where you have zero space to prep your meals, make snacks, or even wash/dry dishes can make you crazy! Not to mention, kitchens with more "junk" in them just seem to feel dirty. Think about all of the dust, oils, grease and goo that float around in the air when you cook... it's got to land somewhere folks. Unfortunately I can't fix the goo problem for you, BUT I am here to help with the space and junk issue.

I have always been a "sentimental keeper of the things" (aka HOARDER, let's be honest). I'm not talking about animals like the people on TV. I'm talking about "oh my gosh I can't throw away that participation certificate from the third grade chapel program... I may want to show my kids one day!!" kind of stuff. It's embarrassing, I know. Let's stop there. BUT I am proud to say that over the past 6 months I have completely purged of (most) all the things that really just "sat" and had no purpose or value anymore. In the past 10 years I have moved 9 or 10 times. You'd think that I would have gotten rid of things each time I moved, but no. I let it all sit at my dad and sister's houses (sorry for that) and brought with me so much more than necessary to each new home because I have this fear of losing memories. I know I'm not the only one!! All of this to tell you, I have only what I need now (maybe a thing or two more, but unimaginably better than I used to be).

Anthony and I had/have to work this way in our kitchen once we got into our new place, too. We had to think, "okay... what do we use in here on a weekly/ biweekly basis and what at this point is just taking up space?". For some people that's the waffle maker that you got for your wedding 5 years ago and use once a year. Or maybe those really cute mason jars you bought to use as drinking glasses... to go along with your OTHER glasses. Mmmkay. So how many glasses are you using in a week? How often are you running the dishwasher? How often have you used those jars since you shoved them in your cabinets? You don't need those mason jar "glasses". Or maybe you don't need your other drinking glasses, which is it? Which do you actually use? Same with extra dishes, small appliances, that zoodler you bought (awesome, but huge), etc. Now if you have a great big kitchen and have space for all of this and more, then this is where you should be thinking about your office, or your bedroom, or maybe your bookshelves. None of this "haha, doesn't apply to me". I'm not saying you have to throw away, or get rid of anything at all. I'm saying store it in a tub or box, and go get it when you need it. Let me make it easy for you: click and buy this, so you can be this.

All of this organization takes time and energy. You don't have to do it all in one day, but as you are able to clear out what you don't need, you can make more room for what you do need. If space is what you need, then space is what you will get. It is so much better having room in our kitchen to actually cook. If we decide we need that dehydrator, we can go to grab it from it's box. Not a big deal. When in the middle of clearing out all of these things, we have found that a lot of it we really probably won't ever use, so sometimes we do give things to Goodwill or even just toss them (like those fast food cups you for some reason wash and reuse).

I hope this helps you guys. I know it'll at least help clear your mind if nothing else! I wish I would have realized how little I actually "needed" when I moved into my first apartment in Carrollton. I would have had so much more space and would have gotten to spend way less time packing and unpacking moving from house to house. Oh well. You live and you learn as they say!

Happy Thursday!