Lately a lot of people have asked how exactly we got to where we are with regards to simple living and minimalism. I don’t really have a perfect answer. It wasn’t a quick and easy process, but rather something that evolved over time. With a family of 9, I talked about how doing laundry was the biggest hurdle for me here in my laundry post. Though the laundry wasn’t the start of our journey, it was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. So in an effort to help as many people as I can, I will do my best to lay out how we managed to be more minimal even with a large number of small children. In this first post, I’ll share some photos of our home to show where we are now, and then do a series of posts on how exactly we got to this point (which we are still striving to get better at!)
We have seven young children in a 2+1 bedroom, 1400 square foot home. We currently live in a small town, and moved here 9 years ago when we had a toddler, a newborn and I was freshly pregnant with our third child. We never dreamed we would be blessed with so many beautiful children, and so never really planned out how we would use this house effectively! With more children, came more strategic planning and use of our home. It has suited our needs so perfectly, yet we are ready to move on and head out to a plot of land to start a homestead, so our home is up for sale.
We decided that we would start moving to a more minimal life one year ago when we knew we would be wanting to move. Our house was full. I will show some photos in the next post series. To the brim full. SO MUCH STUFF. There was no way that I would have been confident trying to sell the home that daily I shed tears over trying to keep clean. Now, one year later our home looks like this:
Our kitchen is bright and open and clean. Every cupboard is minimal and purged, every decoration item has special meaning and is purposely placed where it is.
We repurposed our living room into a homeschool room.
We have a couch in there that we use when snuggling up to read aloud or relax. Both computers are in the open in the school room, and all drawing and art projects are done at the school table to keep the kitchen free from clutter. The little stickers on the table bring my heart joy so I haven’t taken them off.
We have a nice big wall map as functional artwork. The kids like to play games trying to find different places. Each child has a bin for their school work (our kids are in grades 6, 3, 2, 1, pre-k, preschool and the baby. Its a very functional space that is easy to relax and focus in.
Our two little girls share a bedroom. They don’t have many toys out, and I explain more about toys in this post here.
The master bedroom is the only other real room on the main floor. I find it a very relaxing space that has so much tranquil beauty. I made most of the decor myself, with the exception of the little statue on the floating shelf which was our wedding cake topper. Like all of our other spaces, all the decor in our space is minimal yet purposefully chosen because it is special or brings us joy.
The master has an ensuite
And the main floor has one more bathroom.
On the other side of the house, just off the kitchen is our laundry space. I created a messenger board wall going into this space so I could have a calendar, a place to put my keys and mail, a white board and a space to put our four world vision sponsor children’s photos.
Which then takes you into our laundry room and family closet.
The final living space on our main floor is an attached single car garage that we converted into a bedroom for our five sons.
This is our main living space. We do have a basement that I will show you in the next post. Now, these photos show a very clean house! It is not always like this! Homeschooling 7 kids can be very messy business, especially when you have five boys between the ages of 4 and 11. However, we only have to do one main tidy each morning (we do 5 minute mini clean ups throughout the day), for a period of 15 minutes or less, and the house looks exactly like the photos. So despite our day to day mess, within 15 minutes (30 minutes if I have to mop!) the house is ready for last minute company or to show it in hopes of a sale. I would have NEVER been able to accomplish this a year ago. In fact, I still can’t believe we live in this house and how much happier we are living minimally. But that will be the next post here! Thanks for spending all this time with me!