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Category Archives: storage

Juan says….”Our house is too big”

Yup! That is what he said…Our 900 square foot home is too big! We have too much space…too much room…too much stuff! Are you kidding me??!!! I said surprisingly (There is no wink wink smiley face here).
Okay… I must admit that this was after spending some time in the redesigned area of IKEA. They have created these cool spaces within the walls of the store. If you haven’t been there lately, they have produced small space living spaces within the store. A true dose of reality of living in a 375sqft…405sqft and the one that Juan fell in love with…a 212 square foot home. They built a 212 sqft home complete with kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living space. The space provided all the elements you needed, just add your own clothing, linens and toiletries…and you are home!

So you think to yourself, is it possible to live love in such a small space? Juan does! Heck he’s at the beach in this 212 square foot casita of fun! (Wink wink smiley face) Again I ask the question…how much space do you really need? AND…for each person out there it will be different.


Kitchen of 212 sqft home



View through living space to kitchen

My goal is not to try and convert everyone to teeny tiny house living. Just take some time and really think about how much space you and your family truly need in a home? For me and Juan, we could go smaller than 900 square feet. However, I would want some extra outdoor living space to add to our square footage.
On the walls throughout the small space living, they had great words of wisdom I wanted to share with you.

“Limited space creates unlimited creativity”
“Don’t give up your dreams.Just shrink them”
“Sharing a small space means to show love and respect, to compromise and transform.”
“When you have half the space you need, make sure you double the function.”

They had several sayings like these throughout the store and I really loved the ones that I listed above. I truly believe that if you live in a small space, organization is very important…it makes small space living manageable. Purchasing or creating storage solutions as well as dividers and other organizational tools will make small space living easy and fun!  (Yes I said it….fun)

IKEA is the “one stop shop in a big blue and yellow box with all the right-size furniture, décor and tools to make your small space living F-U-N! Fun!

I love IKEA and remember… sign up for their membership. You might receive a free frozen yogurt!
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Creative solutions

When you live in a small space, one of the first rules you learn is that every square inch counts. For many, the realization hits them when they begin unpacking. You may recall from one of our initial posts, that we were about two boxes into unpacking our kitchen when we realized that the NEW cabinets seemed to sucking up stuff at an incredible rate! All those cabintes and closets appeared much larger when they’re empty.
Don’t be dis-heartened! The longer you live in a small space, the more creative you become with storage solutions. You’ll make your life so much easier if you throw out conventional wisdom, and embrace the challenge from the get go. You’ll be amazed at your own creativity. Your solutions may not work for everyone, but as long as they work for you, that’s all that matters.
Below is an award-winning example of multi-purposing a space as well as “outside the box thinking”!
Happy Friday! Although this might NOT be the best design….you might have some great ways to store and create a beautiful space in your small home. Please send an email and share…I would love to post some of your designs.
 

October’s Outstanding Moments!



Living room with coffee table AND nesting tables underneath

Happy November! Wow another month has rolled by and we are on the fast approaching countdown for the holidays.
Something we are planning to do at the beginning of each new month is provide you the “Greatest Clicks” (literally) of the previous month…in case you missed any.
Juan and I so appreciate “y’all” (yes, originally from Texas) checking out our blog and we hope to continue to provide great information and insight on small space living as well as fun, clever and “space-saving” ways to decorate your small space! 



 

A Quick Update

In October, I posted a blog called “Cleaning up the Details”…about organization and how great it can be to purchase dividers or some type of organizational tools to utilize in helping small spaces be more manageable. ALSO…I talked about utilizing things in your house that can be used for storage that may be a part of your family history that you hate to give up and are just sitting in storage or somewhere collecting dust.

I decided to use a very old cash register drawer from Juan’s Grandparents who used to own a furniture store as an organizer for some of the art projects I am working (Shameless plug It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas).
Turned out pretty good! The teak oil soaked in and brought out the beautiful dark wood and now looks like a cool piece of “Organizational Art” for my workspace.
Are you utilizing heirlooms or found some cool way to organize your things with yard sale or antique store finds??? Please email me (info@the9hundred.com) your pictures and tell me about it! I would love to post your pictures and ideas and what you created!
 
 

We’re Just Urban Hobos



Juan’s bike

 Several years ago, Juan and I got into bicycling. I found that when I’m on a bike it doesn’t feel like exercise. I can get on and go for hours.

For me….. one of the few things in life that can bring such wonderful memories of being a kid is getting on my bike. The world moves at a slower pace. It’s about you motoring the pedals and zipping through the neighborhoods listening to the surroundings, smelling the fresh air, feeling the breeze on your face….being free.

My bike

As Juan and I embark on almost a year of downsizing right-sizing our lives, we are learning to enjoy the simpler things in life. Since I recently posted mine and Juan’s perspective on becoming a one car family… what greater joy for us to embrace our bicycling and making it a part of our daily lives NOT just for exercise but a way of life.

We thought it would be fun to incorporate our bicycling into our blog to show you that living in a small space….right-sizing our lives and living a simpler lifestyle might get you thinking about what’s more important for you and your family. Not asking you to give up on the finer things in life (I have not given up on style, designer anything and my love of clothing) but to eliminate any excess you may have. Remember what I always go back to…. keep the things that are beautiful and you hold dear to you and use them. Use the nice dishes…use the silverware….use the fine furniture….enjoy your things.

I will add updates on our rides and how we incorporate bicycling into our daily lives. Today, we headed out for a ride to get some breakfast. The weather was perfect and we had an opportunity to see some frightening things along the way….

Boo

Beware all who enter!!!
Mwahh Haa Haaaaa (Must repeat in a scary voice)
I hope you will enjoy my quest for living in a small space, enjoying a simpler lifestyle and incorporating bicycling into our daily lives! In the meantime….I will enjoy my cup of coffee.


 

Cleaning Up The Details

With this whole “right-sizing” our lives, I have tried….really tried…in getting more and more organized. I’ve realized that the more organized I’ve become… with every space, room, closet and drawer, the easier my life becomes and the quicker I can get out and enjoy life.

I’ve taken the time to take each section of our space and find the best organization tools and products out there to help me be more organized. I am convinced…you should take the time to find (or create your own) storage solutions. Take that extra step! Although you’ve cleaned out and rid yourself of the extra stuff…take the time to add/create storage within storage solutions.

Okay so get to the point…with many of the drawers I have, I’ve added dividers to keep everything in it’s place. Admit it, those sock and underwear drawers can become unruly the minute you are running late and flying (yes flying) through your drawers. All that time you took to neatly fold all those “unmentionables” is nothing but a flurry of multi-color and lacy carnage. (Wow that’s a picture for ya). First time in years, I added the dividers for me and Juan and it makes it so much easier because everything has a spot, nook or place.

My latest find is something Juan has kept for years. However it is a great piece to add to my office/workspace in organizing many of my art supplies for example.

This beautiful piece is actually a cash register drawer that belonged to his grandparents who owned a furniture store.

So with a little clean up and teak oil…I will have a cool vintage organizer with great history.

See… you don’t have to rid yourself of family heirlooms or vintage pieces; you just need to think outside the box and repurpose them.

So the next time you are cleaning out your garage or tinkering around a junk store, be creative and find other ways to store, divide and conquer organization.

 

Juan’s Perspective On The One Car Household

I got my driver’s license when I was 15 ½. I bought my first car when I was 16. Since then I’ve owned a couple more (okay, 38 at last count). As much as I love cars, I’ve been advocating that we become a one car family for several years now. Shawn was less than enthusiastic at first!

Shawn and I began working together in February of 2005. At that point, one of our cars always remained in the garage as we carpooled. In 2008, we began to occasionally ride a bike to work (one or both of us). Bicycle commuting has since become a passion (when the temperature is bearable). So over time, we decreased our need for two cars even further.

Last year when we moved to Central Phoenix, we lost our garage, so one of the cars was relegated to the carport and the other to the extra (uncovered) space. At this point, the idea of selling one of our cars began to build momentum. I had a full-size truck and Shawn had a Mini Cooper. With gas prices nearing $4.00 per gallon, you can guess which vehicle remained in the parking lot most often. This past summer we officially became a one car family. I have to say, I haven’t missed the second car one bit! Less maintenance, insurance, etc. One less headache.

Living in Central Phoenix gives us greater access to the places we’ve always frequented. We tend to drive even less now, because we can ride our bikes more often. Monday through Thursday we drive to the office. Friday’s we work from home. Saturday and Sunday we try to keep the car parked and ride our bikes as much as possible. Before you start commending our efforts to save the planet or start labeling us as tree-huggers, I must confess. Our primary desire to ride our bikes is born out of a passion for riding. The environmental aspect is an added bonus.

The bottom line is this, selling my car did not send my world spinning out of control. If anything, my quality of life has improved. As I stated, one less headache.


 
 
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