Sued51's Blog

{September 23, 2013}   Is Living Small More Work or Less?

I’m not going to surprise you with my answer: more immediate chores that take less time. Does it equate to the same thing? I don’t know; I’m still in the discovery phase. I’m discovering that the chores are different, but are still there none-the-less. In a small place the chores are more immediate and cannot be ignored. This is what I’ve learned so far:

1. There’s a reason for that old saying: “A place for everything and everything in its place.”  Right now, I feel like I live in a thrift shop. It feels like my place looks messy, even when it is clean (still too much stuff), but if there is anything left carelessly on any surface, it seems to scream, “Put me away!”

And the corollary to #1:

1a.  You have to clean up immediately. I have always kept up with scooping the cat litter, even in a big place. But in a small space, the chore is immediate, or it smells BAD! Not only do I have to scoop immediately, but I have to get it outside to the dumpster right away. Also, although the number of dishes involved in the preparation and consumption of a meal for one person (and two cats) is a quick clean-up, I don’t have the space or the number of dishes to allow them to sit around dirty. I’m phobic about bugs so I want everything clean, clean, clean!

2. You have to go out of your way to recycle. Though my carbon footprint is smaller, it is less convenient to recycle when you are in a small place with no place to store up the recyclable bottles and cans. At my house, I could store them in the garage or under the porch until I could take them to redemption. As an apartment dweller, if I decide to go for a “can walk,” my route has to include a walk to the redemption machines at the local grocery store. When I first moved, I had noticed all the recyclable cans in my apartment dumpster and was amazed at people throwing out money! When I first saw them, I wished I could climb in to collect them, but now I understand why they are there. Too bad.

3. You can’t fit every gadget into a small space so you have to be creative and simple. I have a basic sink; there’s no vanity top for putting things down on (like putting on make-up, mixing up dye for my hair, etc.). Instead of putting the stuff on the toilet, I discovered the tray system. I take it out when I need it and put it away. Similarly, I don’t have a clothes drying rack, I have a small expandable curtain rod for my tiny shower. No big vacuum…a corn broom has to do.

small sink

Sink without vanity

small sink with tray

Sink with Tray

And under the bed, behind every piece of furniture and door, lurk the things you need, but don’t use often…but at least you don’t have to see them.

You can deal with anything with ingenuity, creativity and good cheer!

Pat says:

We (2 people) just returned from living in a 17 ft. trailer for 5 weeks and I can totally relate. When in a small environment there is no space for unnecessary anything. And one of the things that bothered me also was not recycling, for the same reasons. Washing out bottles and cans for recycling was very difficult because we didn’t have enough space along with the dishes that needed to be washed for the next meal.


sued51 says:

Thanks for your comment, Pat. I was afraid people might think I’m a spoiled brat for writing about this (because many people know no other way), but it is an adjustment for someone who is used to more space. 🙂


Pat says:

Yah, I feel a lot of guilt when I talk about what to do with all the stuff I have when so many have so little. You wrote with sensitivity and I don’t think it would be offensive.


gigglinggranny says:

I take inspiration from this post. I have too much junk and need to par down. My home is small, but not tiny. It is filled with too much that I don’t need. I need to get creative and use my space more efficiently. I like your bathroom sink tray!


sued51 says:

Thanks, GG. Where there’s a will there’s a way! And the tray is easy to store! You will find if you can manage to get rid of some of the “junk” you won’t miss it!


bebs1 says:

I was going to say, I love that tray – and it is even a fish tray. Cute!


Sonel says:

You’ve said it so well Sue and I must agree, a smaller place does tend to ask to be cleaned more frequently and it seems to me that you are doing just fine. I agree with your last statement as there are indeed a lot to be grateful for. I am still struggling with all the computer parts that hubby doesn’t seem to want to get rid of. He says the minute he gets rid of it, he will need it, so for years we’ve been dragging it with…but one day is one day. 😆


sued51 says:

That’s right, Sonel…one day is one day. Each day that passes I try to decide that there might be one more thing I am ready to part with…:-)


frizztext says:

I like your: “…And under the bed, behind every piece of furniture and door, lurk the things you need, but don’t use often…but at least you don’t have to see them…”


sued51 says:

Thanks, Frizz! That’s where I keep the hand-vacuum, extra pillows, etc. 🙂


Good for you downsizing! an excellent resource is Karen Kingston’s clear your clutter with feng shui. she also has a website, we’ve been a sort-of disciple of hers for years and yes, you can do more with less and there is less to put away and clean, though there will always be work to do. that’s what keeps us going.

love the sink tray. xo LMA


Thank you so much for joining us at wePoets, it’s much appreciated. We’d be happy to showcase your talent should you want to share. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: