Friday, January 31, 2014

A 600 sq ft charming house in Hastings.

This 124 year old house looks a lot bigger than 600 sq ft. 
It contains three beds and two baths in Hastings, MN

small two story green house 600 square feet

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fiber optic farewell...hello.

After rejoicing when we fixed the fiber optic light back in a previous post, I noticed at Christmas that it wasn't turning and something smelled. 

The glue used to attach the spinning color wheel had melted. 
I had a family member write a goodbye poem for it as I packaged it up.

Rotating Light
Little tips of light, stretch to-and-fro
Your time has reached its end, it’s time for you to go.
Through birthday parties, and nights home alone
Your motor may have been broken, but your spirit still shone.
So now it’s time to go, and say goodbye to your shining ways,
That is until we replace your battery. . .  Someday.  

I questioned the last line and reminded her this was a farewell.  
Just then, "The Preserver" entered the room and asked about the light.  
"I will fix it".  
Just like that the farewell turned into a hello.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The perfect, perfect, really perfect small 700 sq ft home.

If I was to put into words and images my perfect, perfect, really perfect small house ...
it is this 704 sq ft beauty in the New York Times article.

First of all it is located in lovely Oregon.

One of the owners captivated me saying she wanted a space "... that was small enough to vacuum quickly, within cord's reach of a single outlet, so there wouldn't have to be any unplugging and replugging of the vacuum cleaner."


The article describes that the husband bought his black chair on ebay and the wife's wooden chair was salvaged and refurnished.


They don't have stairs for their two rescue dogs with bad backs.    Really perfect.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You can't take it with you

I'm in for a routine medical procedure today, but it is the first time I've ever gone under.

If I don't return, know that I am in a place where there is nothing to downsize, buy, sort or donate. 
Perhaps life is all about getting ready for the celestial gate inspection.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Multiple Series # 30- Pen kleptomaniac

purse full of multiple pens. kleptomaniac

I pride myself on maintaining a small purse.
How could I lose a pen in this 8" x 7" area? 

Googling the phrase,"Psychology behind pen kleptomaniacs," I came across characteristics of actual offenders.

"Nine times out of 10, you’ll find that kleptomaniacs lift trivial things".

That does describe my situation, but if I am lifting pens from my own house, then I should just get by with a warning.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Material World, A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel

This is one of my favorite books.
Peter Menzal photographs various families from around the world with their belongings.

Representing America:

Check out the method of transportation in Albania:

Each photo has a key to describe each person and names each item.
In this photo from Thailand, some entries are, "family dog (has no name) ,and chickens (under wicker cage)"

The dirt poor of Mali:

Here are the Yadavs in India who have no savings.
In difficult times, they have gone two weeks without food.

I try to assemble what my photo of possessions would be for our family in my mind.
Material World is my "go to" book when I need a reality check.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Multiple Monday Series #29: Cocoa Cupboard Patrol

Yesterday I was caught by the Cocoa Cupboard Patrol.

There was no harm done and no situations were issued.

The enforcer is just an engineer sorting and classifying food.

Men are from Mars, women are from Nutella.

cupboard packed with nutella

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dog Hair

One year later.

No more dog hair on our clothes.
No more dog hair in the van.
No more dog hair in the carpet.
No more dog hair in our food.

This may be the last dog hair.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Resource furniture

Many visitors to this site are looking for how to turn a sofa into a bed.  
Unfortunately, the popular couch bed that Resource furniture created has now been discontinued.

The good news is that they have a variety of other solutions.
With one finger, you can pull down one or two beds from a 12 inch storage space against the wall.
pull out beds from wall from resource furniture
two beds pull out of a 12 inch storage space from resource furniture.

The following video shows creative space solutions from Resource furniture  for small homes, apartments or any small space.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Michal Karcz

It is helpful for me to visualize each possession I own as having a string that is attached to me.
The less strings, the more I feel free.
This painting by Michal Karcz reminds me of that thought.

See more photos of Michal Karcz.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Multiple Monday Series #28: The 1-2 punch ... bowl

What is everyone else doing on a Saturday night, and why am I spending it with two punchbowls?

In the left corner ring, we have my mother's punchbowl that I recently acquired.

In the right corner ring, is my punchbowl that comes out each Christmas.
punchbowl with cups

Each cup has a family member's name laminated on the handle.
punch cup

I've thought about tossing the whole punch tradition.
With today's super-size drinks, it can be frustrating to "sip" out of this delicate cup and keep returning for a refill.  That thought was enough to confirm keeping the punchbowl ... but which one wins?

I sought the advice of others near and far, old and young teenage boyfriend.

Ideas ranged from having both with different flavors, to using one for a birdbath.
I googled "Punchbowl birdbath" ... they actually exist.

punchbowl birdbath

I needed to choose a winner...minimalists don't have two punchbowls.

There will be no family member without a punch cup at my Christmas party.
I kept my jumbo punchbowl and added my mom's cups as extras ... her punchbowl is leaving.  For anyone who was interested in the birdbath, check your local thrift store next week.


Friday, January 10, 2014

A fun way to clear clutter: Rummage Runway

Welcome to "Rummage Runway."
I invented this as an excuse to get together with friends and vote on things that may or may not belong in their house depending upon how the panel votes.

To start off with, each person brings around ten things.
The items can be clothes or items in their house they may have difficulty donating.

Each person takes a turn walking in front of the others with each item.
Spectators have two pieces of paper (see image below) taped together.
The paper can be folded red to indicate toss, or green that indicates keep.

Here is the crew judging my blouse that my daughter is modeling.


Two coach purses surfaced and these name brand cushions.  
All three items were given unanimous red flags. 
"They were so expensive, it was hard to get rid of."
This necklace is bendable, yet no shape was attractive.

In the end, I was the only one who was instructed to keep things.
The flowered blouse and three pyrex bowls for my daughters microwave in college.

Here is the JPG if anyone wants to try it.
Red and green construction paper would work fine too.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

200 sq ft small home in Oregon built by hand

Brian Schulz blends his talent of building kayaks with his architecture skills, to create this small 200 sq ft home. " My challenge is to make a  small space feel big," he says.

Brian milled trees he found on his land to create  this organic wood siding.

The central living space is low to the ground for a more open feel providing multiple uses for eating and additional sleeping.
The table is sawed from the bottom of a tree, lightly sanded and oiled.
Brian describes the little window as odd and not making any sense, yet it highlight the corner.

He used an entire log for the staircase support.

A kayak frame is hung from the ceiling.
"I love living with things that tell stories" says Brain.

Outside the house is a planter that has the pipe from the kitchen water drain.

Other than not having a bathroom it is a wonderful and original.

Brian's final thoughts in the video, "spending time in a small space infects you, and once you go back to the standard 2000 sq foot home,  it won't feel right."

See the entire video here:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Is there enough small houses in Portland for everyone?

Just when I start getting serious about moving to Portland, so does everyone else.
Portland was just named the most popular destination to move to.

If only I had watched Portlandia with all the other hipsters when it first came out ...


Here is the full CNN article.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bridging Blankets

This past weekend Subway paired with Bridging to collect blankets for those in need.

On Sunday morning, the temperatures began to drop.
The main news stories showed this photo of the homeless keeping warm in New York by a steam vent.

After making the comment that maybe we wouldn't venture out, my daughter replied, "we are warm inside and won't make an effort to bring a blanket to those who need warmth?"

"We'll have two sandwiches, thank you."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Multiple Monday Series #27: Vintage cross country ski wax

I am attracted to anyone who is cleaning/organizing things.

Walking past this room I found the eagle scout sorting through all his vintage waxes for cross country skiing.  I start applauding and sit down to see how much he will be tossing.

vintage cross country ski wax

"None," I DID toss 6 extra scrapers ... go see..they are in the trash."
I pulled out three and found no desire to confirm his count by digging any further.


Me being the minimalist, own no-wax skis.

In honor of my preserving parter, I will toss these hand me down ski shoes that snapped off their base last week in -15 weather up north.

soles of cross country ski boots snap off of skis