So, tiny living with littles.
It's honestly pretty great, but I get the reservations. I think most people assume people who live in tiny homes with kiddos are the Fishers from Away We Go. While I cannot deny Maggie Gyllenhaal's sweet style in this hilarious film (we cannot move forward in our friendship until you have seen it), I don't know many people like that. Which is totally okay with me. Seriously. I love and accept all forms of weirdness, but sometimes it's still weird.
But other than "hippie reasons" to have a small home, there are some awfully great parenting ones.
1. The smaller your space : The smaller the chase. Our house is a rectangle with the bathroom in the middle, making the rest of the space a "C" shape. This means that no, I cannot see Rory 100% of the time, but I can find him in 10 seconds or less. No baby gates or "play areas" in this house (not that those aren't totally fine, it just makes my life significantly easier, maybe it would make yours harder! No judgement here, man.), he can play wherever and whenever without being too far for me to check in on.
This. It's simple and adorable. I would probably lean away from the white toward the natural board look, but that's because too much white makes me feel like I'm in a hospital... or cell.
2. The smaller your space : The less you clean. Now, there is definitely some worry about clutter in small spaces and the fact that it can go from clean to disaster area is less than 5 minutes with the assistance of a determined 20 month old and project-oriented husband - BUT - I can vacuum my whole house in that same amount of time. Cleaning the bathroom (singular) takes all of 10 minutes unless we are doing deep cleaning. Sweeping? 3 minutes. Mopping? 5. So you have more time to play with baby! Or toddler... yikes.
My blog is called "Where In The World Is Malialani," if it's news to you that I like to travel... you are broken. I will post a picture of our maps some time, but this one is pretty neat. It is printed on a sheet and not the wall, so it can easily go up, have things tagged to it, and come down without much fuss or damage to your wall. Brilliant! It is also much more to scale than most maps... bravo. We spend wake-ups asking Rory where in the world he wants to go and he gets to pick a spot and we tell him a fact about that spot or make up an adventure. Maps + Kids = Wonder.
3. The smaller the space | The less crap accumulated. Let's face it? Most kids toys are unecessary. They play with them for maybe 10 seconds and then it's into the bathroom to destroy a roll of toilet paper. Parents in the US drop ridiculous amounts of money on toys that are thrown out or donated to Goodwill within 6 months. When you have less space to throw crappy toys into, you start to get very picky about which toys stay and which get to live at grandma and grandpa's house. How excited would you be if you could say no to toys you hate because "Oh! There's just not enough space for this gem, let's leave it with Nana?"
Also this! We've discussed my desire for 12 children right? And my desire for tiny living? Perfect... We often chat with our good friends about how many rooms you need for children and always end up with one for boys and one for girls. Less trouble that way... or maybe more trouble, who am I to know the future of my babies? ... Probably more trouble if they are my kids, regardless of how many rooms we have.
4. The smaller the space | The more creative the time. Maybe "more creative" is a little bit presumptuous, there is definitely a need for creativity with kids no matter the amount of space you have. With small space though? There is no "new room" to visit. Rory and I read a lot of books, play with a lot of toys, go on a lot of walks, watch a lot of movies, do a lot of yoga, play with a lot of magnets, color a lot of pictures - and it's still only 9:30am? WTF. Seriously though, you have to get really creative time management in a small space. It's good to do one thing in one area, like the living room, then move to the kitchen for a snack while you tidy the living room again to do a different thing there. The more often you tidy a tiny space? The less likely your child will be to get bored. And it has created the very strange but awesome desire in Rory to tidy with me, which is a fun game in itself. It might seem exhausting, but it's actually pretty simple because, again, there is less space and less stuff to tidy.
Built-in for an entryway. This is something I wish we had on the regular. We have a smattering of shoeboxes and coat hangers and shelves piled precariously next to our door, but it's so temporary feeling and just not exactly what I want.
5. The smaller your space | The more the outdoors call. Again "more" might be a bit of an exaggeration. But we are very lucky to live on quite a bit of land and Rory revels in exploring every bit of it. Climbing on old stumps, feeding the donkeys, walking through long grass, jumping in puddles - there is just so much for him to do. We also love to go to the park and run around, we usually bring his soccer ball and he just kicks it around for literally hours. Long walks are the best, Rory just marches forever. And then naps. The best naps.
And you obviously need this to describe living with littles in general... actually, I have needed this shirt for most of my life.