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Monday, October 02, 2006

Blissfully Happy

The stats:

From 1667 square feet TO 478 square feet
From 3 bedrooms TO 1 bedroom.
From a table that could seat 8 TO a table that seats 3.
From a 2-story house TO a 3rd floor walk-up.
From 5 closets TO 2 closets.
From $230 a month utility bill to $21 a month.
From a large, adorable, high mortgage house TO a little, adorable, cheap apartment.

We are blissfully happy in our new apartment. The smallness. The ease. The togetherness. We love it. We have gotten rid of so much WEIGHT this last year. Debt, belongings, household responsibilites. Every time I walk up 3 flights of stairs, I am reminded of our choices and how happy I am about it. Even with a 27 lb. toddler on my back. Now that's happy. Another great thing is that Matt is completely on the same page and loves it as much as I do.

Things I LOVE about living smaller:
*Everything has a place.
*It forces me to be creative with our use of space.
*I donate things regularly to clear more space.
*I don't have to wonder where Bella is.
*I don't have to yell downstairs to Matt.
*I only have things that I love around me.
*I feel light and free.
*I am not overwhelmed with housework.
*I have a smaller ecological footprint.

Things I LOVE about our apartment:
*The sound of the wind through the trees outside our windows.
*The feel of community. I have great neighbors.
*Old brick building = great sound barrier.
*Brand new laundry machines in a bright basement.
*Everything is bright.
*We are so close to everything.
*It's a beautiful historic neighborhood...great for going on walks.
*It's so fast to the freeway.
*It takes less time to get to my parent's house on the other side of town.

Ok, c'mon can't love EVERYTHING!'re right, there are a few things that I wish were different.
*I can't paint the walls.
*Sometimes if people are smoking outside, you can smell it upstairs.
*My shower needs more water pressure.
*There isn't an easy recycling option.

That's it. I pretty much love it. I even love the on street parking. Don't mind it a bit. It's fun...and I never have to park more than a 1/2 block away.

I've created a little photo tour for you. There are lots of notes on the photos. you just have to "mouse over" the image to get them to appear. You can also leave comments (hint hint...I love comments). SO...come on up to the third floor and have a cup of tea with me!


Blogger Heth said...

Oh Sara, your new place is just lovely. You have been so purposeful and have thought through everything. It is very simple and absolutely charming. I love it and I can't wait to visit.

10/02/2006 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, it's absolutely lovely and so charming. What inspiration!

10/02/2006 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't remember how I found your blog... anyway, this post and your recent thoughts have been very inspirational to make me want to live much more simply!

10/02/2006 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Becca said...

So inspiring, thank you for posting!

10/02/2006 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

Hi, I stumbled across your blog and love your flickr pictures of your apt. So cute, cheerful, and colorful. You have a great eye for design.

10/02/2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger angela said...

I love it. What a beautiful life and I love that you know and aren't taking it for granted.

10/02/2006 1:58 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Your apartment is wonderful! So beautiful and simple. I love the colors and how bright and cheerful it looks. Enjoy it! (Though it seems like you already are!)

10/02/2006 2:15 PM  
Blogger km said...

Oh my stinking goodness!!! Can it get any cuter and more inviting! I am so lusting and longing for tea with my friend in her new apartment! Oh, my goodness!

10/02/2006 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

I LOVE IT!!!!! Your apartment is SOOOOOO adorble. I love the style ya'll have's so cozy. Your stuff would look cute in my old house. Come and decorate for me?? Thanks!

10/02/2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Gosh, Sara, I think you could make a garage look incredible... wonderful talent for the beautiful... maybe you should start a decorating business (for all those who want to down-size but think it will cost them on the comfort & cute side!)...

enjoy your new space. :)

10/03/2006 4:26 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Hi Sara,
I just want to say that your blog is like a breath of fresh air!
Blessings to you and your family!
Kim in Indiana

10/03/2006 5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

What a warm and inviting place. It's beautiful! Can you come help me declutter and decorate?

10/03/2006 6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so awesome! We're living in a 900 sq ft 2br duplex. Some people think it's kinda crazy to be in such a small space but I love it. My kids, 13yodd and 7yods share a room and haven't really complained about it.
The only think I don't like is that we can't entertain with a lot of people.

10/03/2006 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your new apartment! Kyle and I have been trying to rid ourselves of things, but I think we could use your help a little:) I am so thankful that you three are doing so well and I hope that we can come and visit your new home at Christmas time. Love you.

Laura (Kyle and Jaya too)

10/03/2006 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stumbled onto your blog and flickr page after you got onto the Interestingness list. My wife and I moved from a 900sq ft apartment into a 300ish sq ft batchelor suite a few years ago. We got rid of a ton of stuff, and put half of what we kept in storage. There just was no room. Well, we lived there for 2 years while I attended college, all our friends that visited called the suite 'the closet'. we moved out of there 3 years ago into a nearly 1000 sq ft condo, and couldn't get over all the space we had! I am minimilist by nature, and can appreciate what you've done. I like your apartment alot. Keep going though, there's more 'stuff' to lose. Down with Consumerism! :)


10/03/2006 12:37 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

Hi Sara! I found you through Flickr and I think your apartment is SO cozy and your attitude is wonderful. My husband and I lived in a 500 square foot apartment for 10 years, and we loved it. In fact, when we moved into our first house (1500 square feet), I cried because it felt way too big. LOL! Now I like my big house, but I also think a tiny apartment is wonderful and fun and cozy. Wherever your hearts are, that's where home is!

10/03/2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger Christian said...

I love it! The architecure of the old building and the wood floors and they contrast of the white and red is so bright and nice and the red doesn't dominate at all. I love your red accesories and furnishings. Especially that quilt. Nice style.

10/03/2006 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm impressed :) I live in a 300 sq ft apartment now, with no dining table (we use small wooden tray tables, and our futon, our PC does double duty as DVD movie player, DD is in a loft bed. . . ., etc.) Wish my electric was as low :)

10/03/2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

I have been so inspired by your blog! I keep on telling myself that I'll appreciate our space and do more to make it homey after we move next. But you have really encouraged me to just dig in right where I am and do what I can.
I have been really challenged by your previous posts about re-usable bags etc. I've been thinking about stewardship a lot lately and I love the idea of the 30 days of nothin' fast mentioned in a comment on a previous post.
Anywho... I love your photography on flickr - I will be sure to be back!

10/04/2006 6:10 AM  
Anonymous tinybutterfly said...

I am so glad to have found your blog! Thank you for posting it, and I have bookmarked it. Sent the link to my brother, too! Wonderful! tinybutterfly

10/04/2006 3:08 PM  
Blogger Chelee said...

What a great use of space! Loved the photo slide show.

10/04/2006 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog and you are inspiring

10/04/2006 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Him said...

Thanks for sharing. Your story and determination are very inspiring.

10/05/2006 8:15 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I stumbled across your blog through a friend. your apartment is absolutely beautiful--I love the way you decorate. your perspectives on all this stuff are so interesting...I'll definitely be back.

10/06/2006 5:45 AM  
Blogger carolyn said...

I actually replied to the post, too- thanks for linking your blog! Its awesome!

10/09/2006 11:07 AM  
Anonymous laura o said...

alright, alright... here's your comment.. you are pretty much the coolest person I know : ) how do ya like that one?? I'm so glad that you three are happy in your new place. I need to get down there and visit! hmm..maybe this weekend?? that'd be sweet.. we'll talk later. much love

10/09/2006 5:57 PM  
Anonymous chasmyn said...

I looked at the photos first. I knew you were a designer! Everything pulls together so nicely. You inspire me.

10/10/2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger Jen-Jen said...

How wonderful that you have it together to do this, to let go of so much and create a small, livable, beautiful space in which you can live. I do envy that.

I was also thinking, it might be nice for awhile, but you have a parents house to visit for something else. What if you didn't? I don't. My parents are deceased, as are all my grandparents. I have some things that belonged to them that I really couldn't see myself giving away to live in a small space, which I would have to do, like a dining room table made by my grandmother with help from my greatgrandfather. It's huge, and overwhelms a small apartment (we lived in a 500 sf place until a couple of years ago).
I wonder what it would be like to have a yard to play in. It seems so restricting sometimes. I have lived in apartments for pretty much my entire adult life, and my son, who is three, has never lived in anything else. And I wonder how he would be different if we had a home with a yard to play in whenever he wanted. What about your daughter? Will she miss the feeling of dirt under her toes in the morning?

10/10/2006 4:10 PM  
Blogger Jen-Jen said...

Just took a look at the photos. Wow, it's gogeous! What an eye for beauty you have! Can I live there? You are very good at deciding what to keep and what not to keep. The minimal amount of kids' books impressed me, along with the absence of mountains of toys. So cool.

10/10/2006 4:19 PM  
Blogger Here we go... said...

I miss the feel of your place. It is always the same place to me, even though you move every other month. I love the Janssen's home, no matter how many stairs I have to climb.

10/10/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger earthchick said...

Just found your site yesterday, after you left a comment on Consumer Disobedience (which I found when Ali left a comment on my Seven Things Project blog). I just wanted to tell you that I am SO INSPIRED by your move to a smaller space and your commitment to simplicity. I took the little photo tour of your new digs and am now seeing my own home through new eyes, and reevaluating certain aspects of how I'm living. Thank you for sharing your space with us!

10/11/2006 11:45 AM  
Blogger Myna said...

Just ran into your blog and this post of yours, and it was like fresh air in the life of a hopelessly cluttered person.

Your new apartment is lovely, as lovely as your ideas.

Thank you so much for sharing :)

10/17/2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger itchingtowrite said...

lovely place. thanks for sharing. i liked ur clever enamel lid idea. and the kitchen is so neat. one wud love to work there. loved the spice rack

10/17/2006 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're photos really inspire me! Is that really all the dishes you use? And even less than what's pictured?

Another question, where is your computer? I just realized that there was no photo of it in the apartment.

I have some things to think about now...


10/18/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger La Libertad said...

Love the pictures and the blog! It is definitely my starting point for inspiration when I want to declutter but feel overwhelmed with starting. Thanks for sharing!

10/26/2006 4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Wow! this was already mentioned but I agree you have a wonderful sence of color and style!! You are inspiring! Wish the pics were larger to be able to make out more in them! I was Very impressed!! We have always bought used and like you have mostly used things in our home..wouldn't life be boring if the only place we had to shop at was new retail stores? Uck! With used there is no end to the possibilities of creative decorating/clothing etc. It is stagering the amount of things in the used stores and garage sales! Where would they all go if no one bought used!!!!!!! You are saving $ and the earth...and just plain having fun {!} shopping for used things and using them!!!!! But even buying used can be overdone so shop wisely there too..!

11/12/2006 11:01 PM  
Blogger artnavy said...

really inviting and warm look your home has and so does your blog

12/13/2006 11:36 PM  

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