Owning Less Is Trending

Owning less is definitely trending. The McMansions take up too much of a carbon footprint. And people are realizing that they don’t need all that room and expense.
There are TV shows now about people scaling down and moving their families into much smaller dwellings. 
So how much space do you really need? First, how many people live in your home? 

If you are a couple or a single individual, these things will apply to you. So as you read these tips, keep in mind that this is for 1-2 individuals per household. 


Most of you know that I had the stove in my one-bedroom patio apartment taken out by the management. I turned many heads both online and in this complex. 

But you know what? I simply don’t need it.

But I really needed a portable washer/dryer (in one unit) more than I felt I needed a stove, as I don’t cook as much as I once did. Plus, I have an ankle injury that makes it hard to take my laundry to a laundromat. 

This unit washes, then you turn it to dry. Since it isn’t plumbed, it runs on a 110. Which means it takes a long time to wash and dry. Mostly to dry.

But the complex where I live doesn’t have plumbing for washers, so, after much research, this was what I chose to do.

I take towels out after a short time and hang them over chairs to dry. Clothing I have never dried all the way. Did you know that it shortens the life of clothing to dry them all the way?

So the stove went, replaced in that exact spot by the refrigerator. And the washer/dryer replaced the spot that was taken up by the refrigerator. I found that this layout actually looked more pleasing. 

What I Needed:

I had a microwave, a toaster, and a panini maker. Later I purchased a Breville smart oven, that will cook and bake most anything.

I bought an electric skillet that I have yet to use. So it seems I didn’t need that as much as I thought. And I purchased a crock pot. 

The Breville and microwave are on what I call my cooking station. Which is a kitchen cart on wheels that no one wanted. I painted it and it accommodates what I need nicely. 

The Breville is my favorite appliance to use. I made a pumpkin pie this week, and I am very pleased with how well it cooks everything.

So if I had to choose what I really like/need, it would be the microwave, the Breville and the crockpot. And I probably don’t even need the microwave.

Dining Rooms Or Spaces:

Moving on to the dining area, which is quite small and an extension of the living area. I have a small table found at a garage sale ($10), and two indoor/outdoor chairs that are quite comfy.

If needed, they could go out to my large privacy fenced patio to provide seating. 

I used a potting bench I’ve had for years  as my coffee station. Underneath, where I use to put potting soil and tools, I now put paper towels, dog food, etc.

Not an inch is wasted. 

In the living room, I scaled down from a couch and recliners to a chaise couch and two wicker indoor/outdoor chairs.

Once again, these chairs could also be used outdoors, doubling their value for me. And they are light-weight.

Dual Purpose Items:

When you live in a small space or are simply looking to downsize, buy things that can serve dual purposes. 

At my old house, I had an office. But here I use a sewing machine table in my bedroom for my desktop computer. 


I am a book lover. Not a Nook or Kindle lover, but a true book lover.

Three or four times a year I go through my books in the bedroom book shelves and give many away. 

What To Keep/What To Purge? 

Well, that is a personal choice of course. But I personally purged many things in the kitchen, such as dishes and glasses and pots and pans.  

Well, do the math. You don’t need three sets or even two sets of anything. One will do fine. The rest is just overkill.

Open Cabinets:

I have few cabinets, and three have no doors, because I prefer that look and it visually opens up the small space. 

I find that open cabinets keep me organized.

People always worry about dust, but I’ve only dusted underneath everything once. (Sometimes I think people use that as a reason to keep the doors on and crammed full!)

I have my food staples in one cabinet, as there is no pantry. So I have to be cautious about how much I buy. 

I also purged much of what was in my bedroom walk-in closet, so now I have one shelf designated for when I buy extra (as I shop online a lot) because I can line coffee, cereal, etc. up on the closet shelf.

Look Vertical:

I bought two small shelves for $3 each, painted them, and placed them above my coffee station. They are just big enough to hold coffee mugs with dishes decoratively placed behind them. 

I hang quilts on the walls because I don’t want to keep them in a truck where I can’t enjoy looking at them. They can be used as art!


Each time I’ve moved, which is twice now in the past three years, I have purged a lot in terms of knick-knacks before each move. Each time I’ve let go of at least one more little collection I had previously told myself I couldn’t ever give up. 

But I did, and I found I don’t miss them. 

Gallery Walls:

Going vertical once again, I created a gallery wall. I absolutely love it.

I sit here on the couch and it is directly across from me. I can enjoy the things I truly love, and am not wasting precious horizontal space.

Bed Linens:

I only have one bed, so I don’t need a lot of bed linens. I have a double bed, and picked it up for $35.

I don’t like matchy-match linens on my bed. I like to make it fun and put various colors together. 


Storage is always a biggie. I have two vintage picnic baskets that I’ve been toting around for years. And I won’t get rid of them. Because you can store quite a bit in a picnic basket.

So it serves more than one need. I like the aesthetic value, plus the added bonus of storage.

When the weather is nice, I spend a lot of time with the pupsters out here on the patio. Seating space on your patio extends your living space. Plus there are all the pretty plants and birds to enjoy.

I am sitting here in the living room in front of one of my two stoves enjoying the heat. It is snowing outside. What more can one ask for?

Here is a great blog about living a minimalist life. A family decided this was the way to go and are very happy with their decision. 

So are you ready to box up things for charity yet? Or are you satisfied with the status quo?


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  1. Your home is adorable. I really like all the creative ways you use things that are different from their original purpose. Your patio is so lovely and your place is oh so sweet. A very inviting and cheerful home.

    I have a tiny house 8'18' and it is way to small to live in full time. But after owing a 3 bd 3ba home I recently downsized to a 570 sq ft farmhouse and I love it. I still have my tiny home also – to create options for myself.

  2. Brenda,
    I can only say, I love your cozy little house. I remember when you had just moved and were downsizing. Well young lady you have created a beautiful home.
    Happy Creating,
    Karen Marie

  3. Happy Holidays, Brenda. I recently downsized and there was a LOT to purge, I was shocked by just how much, since I've been donating 2 or 3 times a year for years to Purple Heart, Goodwill, etc. and regularly cleaned out my drawers, closet, books, miscellaneous things. I'm not a hoarder nor a serial purchaser of things I don't need, but somehow, I still had a lot of STUFF. I ran out of time in the end and had to move a lot of it to this smaller house, and donated 10 boxloads of things, not including books, to Easter Seals! Then there was a book drive at the office to raise money for breast cancer research and I donated 7 boxloads of books! Still have too many, but it's getting down to crunch time now because the ones I have left are mostly favorites or books I want to reread! And me bad, I've still got 3 sets of dishware. I can't bring myself to part with any of the sets yet, not even the set that I bought in 1986 when Gimbels was going out of business and I never even unpacked the second four-place setting box! So, downsizing and getting rid of unnecessary items is a work in progress. I am making progress, slowly but surely! It doesn't help, though, that this house, although a good 500 square feet less than what I used to live in, has a lot of storage in the basement. Cleaning out kitchen items and knicknacks/decorative items will be a spring project, once I retire in a few months. The thought of deciding what to give away is a little daunting, though!

  4. I am working on getting rid of my excess..there is just too much stuff and this is a small place..I donate mine to a church thrift shop..the people there are so nice and they don't charge a lot when they resell the items..

  5. Like you, we moved twice in less than three years and got rid of nearly half our possessions, but we still have more than we truly need. Our kitchen is a good size so there's no urgent need to purge right now, but if there comes a time when I need to, I won't have any problem doing so. Things are just things and have no intrinsic value really.

  6. My thoughts are really on downsizing and I am very anxious to get started in the new year. Wish I could get to my things in storage sooner, but I know that will have to wait. In the meantime I will be planning what I can sell and give away. xo Laura

  7. We have slowly downsized as well. Our new home is being built and living in a 2 bedroom home is fine. I really haven't missed anything. Like you said each time we have purged. I hope as I unpack to do what you did get rid of things I don't need! Thanks for a thoughtful and planned post. [email protected]

  8. We have moved a lot of things on to Helping Hands etc. very glad we could pass onto others. I do miss some things very much. Got rid of a shirt that I would wear often if I had it. Loved it! After passing so much on I'm into the hardest part for me. I must look at something several times and ponder over it a couple months before I give it away. I have almost no family and what is left means a lot to me. I don't know what kind of person that makes me. Maybe I'm just odd. Wish giving away could be easier at this point. My two pets and the things I have make me happy and keep me from being lonely. I need storage but do not know where to buy it or what to buy. I have one empty bedroom wall I could use. Any suggestions?

    1. Rita, the memories that are attached to certain family items are priceless, regardless of whether the item itself has any monetary or practical value. I have a little ceramic pink elephant that belonged to my paternal grandmother and it is priceless to me — so much so that I started my own collection of pink elephants over the years, LOL! I have a little china-boy ceramic planter that broke years ago and is inexpertely glued back together, but that too was my grandma's and is equally priceless. I make sure that my nieces and nephews (I have no children) know what these items represent, although they never knew Grandma Ida.

  9. You've done an amazing job organizing and decorating your smaller-size home! I just caught a few minutes on HGTV of a family of 6 who were moving into a ~650 sq ft home! Wow – They will either be super close or… hopefully super close! 😉

  10. I'm with you on smaller spaces, and there's nothing like the feel of a book. I must have a book in hand to read, turn the page (love the feel of paper) and mark where I left off by a book marker I knitted! I have a hard time giving up collections but need to work on that. The Charmer is full to the brim, and Mr. C is complaining? Got to go knitting my self a set of slippers while learning to knit continental style.

  11. My dream is a little house !! I'm so clumsy and have fallen down stairs twice last year. Our house isn't big, but more than we need with grown kiddos. OMG – Brenda, I am still catching up and we LOVED your Christmas parody!! I'm still giggling on how awesome it was… HUGS to you and the pups oxoxx

  12. My place is small so I can only accumulate so much. I love YOURS and hope that you don't go TOO Boho with it…for instance please don't stencil a big peace sign with Boho Brenda underneath or anything ha ha 🙂

    When I was in 7th grade I was allowed to paint my room any color I wanted and do whatever I wanted with it. ( I don't think that I actually painted…just chose it ) So I had a lime green with bubblegum pink accents and peace and love signs everywhere 🙂 At the time my parents probably thought that was awful…but then it again, that came before the era of piercings and tattoos! 🙂 I can't even imagine what's next, lol…

  13. I tired to clean out a lot of "stuff" before Christmas.. Now I'm getting the urge to purge again.. Will start that when every one has gone back to work.

  14. I could live in a two room house if it had a bath. Don't do much in the kitchen so no biggie there. The problem would be when the kids come home. I want lots of room for them! Even thought of going bigger for them, then decided that 2 times a year is crazy and I hope to retire close them one day.

  15. You are a wealth of knowledge on many subjects and I appreciate you sharing with us…

    I purged a buildings worth of stuff before I moved her and yet I still find more that needs to go.
    I get it together so the salvation army can pick it all up a one time…if its just a small box or a couple items I drop it off at one of their drop boxes.
    I'm certain when the holiday decor is put away I will be sending more items to charity and that makes me happy on several levels.

  16. Brenda, I love the little houses. I know we all could do with less. I have always thought those cathedral ceilings in home were a total waste of space and heating /cooling. I wish I could trim back in this house more. I think the older we get the more of a minimalist we need to be. xoxo,Susie

    1. I agree with Susie – I'm in the minority but I have never liked cathedral ceiling. We're Italian and short….we don't need so much space and high ceilings! LOL

  17. Hi Brenda! I sure hope you had a nice Christmas and I am sending you best wishes for a very good New Year, too.

    I have been hearing about small space living, too. There are some really nice places to buy, even Yurts. I am remodeling two rooms upstairs and will be getting rid of all kinds of things here soon. Hospice we be blessed once again by my over collecting. ha.

    Love to you and the pupsters!!!!!


  18. When my old stove died, I bought a toaster oven and I was amazed at what I could produce from that little oven! Eventually we did get a new stove and I gave the toaster oven to my daughter, since her apartment stove does not work well, and she cooks in small quantities, so saves on her electric bill. Years ago, we had a 17 ft travel trailer, and I loved it, it was like playing house! We had everything we needed, and had so much fun. One year, in December, we camped at the beach, and I baked all my Christmas cookies in that little gas oven and wrote all my cards, with no interruptions (before cell phones). We have a two story house, and I would love to downsize eventually into a one story. My parents are almost 90, so if one passed away, I would dump all my (useless!) formal living room furniture and turn that into a room for them, if they wanted to move in with us. I find my home is ever evolving and never static, as our needs are always changing through the stages of life. I try to let things go periodically through donation and having a yard sale, can't imagine what this place would look like if I didn't! Watching an episode or two of Hoarders always motivates me, because some of my family have those tendencies for sure. I used to love to watch Clean Sweep with Peter Walsh (his book is excellent), and Clean House with Niecy Nash. Those shows even motivated the kids and the husband to clean out, lol. Last year, I really made an effort to not buy things, I stayed out of all the stores unless I needed clothes or food/medicine.. The time and money I saved were amazing, and I plan to do the same again this year. When I had 2 kids in college at the same time, I didn't buy anything for myself for 3 years, not even necessities, so I know it can be done, and it actually is very rewarding. Sometimes, if something is really needed, it seems as if the Lord provides it through some avenue or other! Sorry for the ramble, but your posts always get me thinking!

  19. I love what you have accomplished including the colors, and I love the cart you reclaimed. I'm happy that you enjoy your Breville, and I found that I didn't need the microwave much either, because it cooks so well. My home is small, but it frees us for other experiences. xoox

  20. I wish my house didn't have dust like you say yours doesn't. I find I need to dust very often to keep it out – different locations is what does it. My husband and I take long trips in our motorhome which is very small – it is not a big bus like vehicle that you see on the road but smaller – 25 feet by about 6 1/2 feet wide with no pullouts – so we only carry what is necessary with us then and I'm always amazed at what I get by without out. I love to look at the tiny houses on line and I love them – could I do it? all the time? If I lived by myself yes – but with hubby -no – I need my space.

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