Living tiny: how we squeezed into a 700 square foot house

Selling our 5,000+ square foot home in Colorado was easy.  The hard part was downsizing to a furnished 700 square foot park model in Arizona.

Our 700 square foot home

What do we do with our family keepsakes?  We had so many photos, baby blankets, childhood “works of art”, trophies, etc.  And, we still have most of it.  We just couldn’t get rid of quilts passed down through generations, high school yearbooks, and a weird clay figure that was supposed to be a bear, but looked more like a squashed snake!  All of those keepsakes are stowed away in a 5’X10’ storage unit along with furniture and other inherited pieces we just can’t part with quite yet.  Storage costs less than $50 per month.  So, we’re willing to keep paying that versus regretting getting rid of something we can never get back.

Our outdoor living area!

Can we repurpose any of our big furniture?  We tried to get our big sofas, king bed, dining table, and outdoor furniture into our tiny home.  In the end, very little made the cut.  It was all just too big and wouldn’t even fit through the front door.  We also quickly realized that every piece of furniture needs to have multiple purposes. The sofa needs to be a bed, the dining table needs to be a desk, the foot stool needs to provide hidden storage.  And, the list goes on and on.  We were excited to be able to use some of our outdoor furniture.  After all, being outside is why we spend our winters in Arizona.  Pretty much everything else got donated, sold, or ended up in our 5’X10’ storage unit.

As much of our Fiestaware as we
could fit into one kitchen cabinet

How did we get this many kitchen gadgets?  As we were packing up our big house, it became very evident that at least half of our boxes were labeled “KITCHEN”.  Well, when you have less than 100 square feet of kitchen space, that much stuff just isn’t going to fit!  I’ll admit, we kept all of our Fiestaware. But, the multitudes of spatulas, towels, baking pans, measuring spoons, etc. had to go.  We ended up donating dozens of boxes of kitchen stuff.  Even after giving so much away, our kitchen is still pretty stuffed.  We definitely have to follow the “one in one out” rule.  We can’t buy anything for the kitchen unless something breaks or wears out. 

How many tools do you really need?  Well, we can tell you not very many!  We kept things like a socket set, wrench/screwdriver set, and a drill.  But, other specialized tools or multiples/variations of the same tool had to go.  We ended up selling or donating most of our tools.  What we kept fits into a little 5’X5’ shed attached to our park model.  The great part about living in a park model/55+ community is that we all share tools.  If we don’t have a nail gun or chop saw, we know one of our neighbors will let us borrow theirs. 

We’ve been asked for details on how we downsized.  We’ll share more in future posts, so stay tuned.

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