Monday, July 21, 2014


442 sq. feet.

This is what we live in.

For the longest time I was telling people 550-600 when people asked.  I didn't really know so I guessed.  Then a few days ago I decided to whip out the tape measure...just to see.


And you know.  It's really not that bad.  Ok...well...when it's clean.  When it's messy I kinda want to poke my eyes out.  Also we sorta chose it.  I mean, it's not as if we had the choice between a mansion and this place.  All of our options were small.  The things that sold us though were A) a full size 'frige.  B) a full size STOVE with an oven. C) washer and dryer on site...and not coin operated D) a backyard  E) it was a legal residence...there are a ton in SF that are definitely not legal...or safe haha.  Finally it had 2 bedrooms.  We felt this made up for the fact that the rest of it was so tiny.  Little did we know we'd be bringing home our first little one the 2nd bedroom...HUGE plus.   God knew.  :)

So, let me explain our living sitch briefly since it is kinda weird and confusing.  We live in an in-law in San Francisco.  Basically this means that someone converted their downstairs into a small studio like apartment.  There are lots of these through out San Francisco and they tend to be the cheapest options as far as living here goes.  I use "cheap" veeeeeery loosely.  :)  Downsides are that a lot of times it's an illegal addition.  Usually there are few windows, and there is usually a family living above you...and you hear every step and word they say.  We looked at about 8 or 9 places.  The first 6 were terrible.  Then I got a job offer and we needed to find a place ASAP.  We came up, looked at this one and were sold.  The best part of the whole thing was that it was very close to Jason's university.  We honestly didn't know how lucky we were to have everything else.  We also had no idea nobody actually lived upstairs and that we would have full access to the backyard until we were signing the lease.  So I feel like this place has been an absolute GIFT from God.  So there's the background. (Someone DOES technically live upstairs but they are elderly, have a house in Chinatown, and only come to stay during their birthdays and Chinese New Year).

When we looked at it.  We knew it was small.  But we needed a house so whatever right?!?  Then we actually moved up here and I remember Jason and I looking at each other and saying, "I really thought this was bigger."  Ha.  Oh well.

And we had every intention of staying here only until Jason's grad school was over and then moving out of the city...or at least into a bigger place.  But you know what?!?  Rent has increased so much in the last 4 years.  Places that are similar to ours are now a good $400-$500 MORE then what we are paying.  So while we could move some where bigger...and pay a whoooole lot more, at this point I would rather stay where we are at, pay less...and pay off student loans and save money at the same time.  Yay!    

When we moved here I realized we had a bit of a challenge ahead of us as far as arranging and making it work.  The bedrooms were a little small but the main living area was one "big" room.  On one wall it has the kitchen area and then that's it.  Kitchen, living room, dining room...all in one.  And would you like to know how big this room is?  13x14.  And that includes the cabinets.  So really less when it comes to putting furniture in it.  I scoward the internet for ideas on how to arrange furniture and not make it totally weird.  Everything I found though was super fancy, adorable little homes with amazing built in shelving and $1000 furniture.  Hmmm.  If I could afford amazing shelving and furniture...I wouldn't be living in such a tiny house.  Nothing "real".  No real life.  Just super nice, fancy, swanky tiny apartments.  So I guess this is why I'm showing you my home.  How I went about arranging a tiny house/apartment (and it's been a process let me tell you).  Especially our kitchen and living room in one!  Maybe someone will stumble across it and get some ideas.  :)

Also let me tell you that everything in our house furniture wise has been given to us...for free.  We paid $15 for our little Ikea desk in the living room...and around $100 for Jack's Ikea crib.  Those are the only two pieces of furniture we have bought.  I would LOVE a new little white couch.  I would LOVE a lot of new things and yet...overall I'm okay...when I put my mind to it ;)  I really do love our house and there is something really comforting in knowing that our stuff is just...stuff.  I mean...I like some of it a lot even though it was free but there will be no financial loss if something gets ruined or broken.  I guess this is a good thing since we are entering the world of kids.

Welp. On with the pictures.

So this is the latest arrangement for our large room.  We acquired both an armchair (which I LOVE) and a long dresser for our room.  We needed to find space for both the chair and our old dresser.  The couch was originally facing out to the door (where the picture is being taken from) but I really like this new arrangement.  While it's not quite so open it creates a sort of "living room nook" apart from the kitchen.

Taken from our bedroom door.  Our table is extendable and believe it or not we have pulled it out and have had a few people over for dinner multiple times.  It has an awesome design and look and Jason's aunt gave it to us.  It was old and weathered and Jason sanded it by hand and refinished it.  The dresser has been the BEST decision I think we've made.  The kitchen has very little space for things and the dresser solves that problem.  It also gives good, high, stable space for things like the microwave and coffee maker.  Those things used to be on a rickety table and I was constantly afraid Jack would pull it down.

Another angle from our bedroom door.  One of the keys to surviving a tiny home with kids is keeping the toys to a minimum (the basket and the little wood box by the TV)  At first I felt bad but really...he doesn't need that many toys.  All those fun, big toys he gets to play with 2 x's a week at church.  Otherwise...he really enjoys the toys he has and it causes us to go out and play outside of the house daily...sometimes TWICE a day.  I would LOVE a new TV...more for cosmetic reasons then anything else.  That TV is huge and boxy.  We just don't watch it except for movies here and there and so priorities you know?!?  And the CPU computer thing is from our old computer.  It doesn't work but Jack really likes to play with toys on it so we are keeping it around for now haha.
Have I shown much of Jack's room?  Not sure that I have.  So...this is Jack's room and desk office area that is NOT used and is VERY cluttered with Jason's school papers but I'm on a mission to not nag sooo...there they stay haha.  I WILL say that if we ever have a second baby this will become a room for two and the desk will be adios and replaced with a big boy bed for Jacko.  :)
Command hooks!  And Command strips!  Jason doesn't like putting a million holes into the walls of rentals so these command hooks are everywhere.  So convenient and nice.  Most of the pics on my collage wall in the living room are on Command strips...they work really well!

The rest of Jack's toys.  A crate of toys, duplos, and his train basket.  Oh and his xylophone and doggie!  :)  I'm telling you.  Less is more.  :)  And I'm sure with the addition of more kids there will be LOTS more toys.  haha

Anyways, a few more things.  We store a flat tub under his crib full of bedding and sheets.  All clothing and other baby necessities MUST fit into that canvas drawer thingy...and they do.  :)  His old swing is stored next to his crib and his doorway jumperoo is under the crib also.  There is also a book shelf stored inside of the closet where we store books and extra toiletries.  We also store Jason's tools in that same closet.

Finally we move onto the least exciting room...our room.  Basically we chose to have a HUGE bed and nothing else in there.  In my opinion...totally worth it.  We were gifted a basically brand new Cal King Tempurpedic Memory Foam mattress and bedspring.  I still needed a little room for my sewing machine...which there is.  :)
This huge long dresser takes up most of the rest of the room.  It holds a lot and so that's all that matters.  In a small house everything needs to have a home...preferably out of site.  Clutter is the fastest way to make you feel crazy and like the walls are closing in on you.

And some other random tips and tricks.
-We use the top of our closet for linens.
-Large items like cake platters I use as part of I don't have to find a home out of site for them...since there IS no room for anything like that out of site.  :)
-For more counter space sometimes I place a large cutting board over 2 of the burners.
-We definitely store quite a few things under our bed!  :)
-And really...keep it minimal.  When it's all said and done...if you have a small can't have a lot of things.  Pure physics.  You just can't fit it.  Or you might be able to but there will be no room for living your life!  :)

And that's it!  442 sq ft.  I still laugh every time I think about that.  Also let's note that we DO have a little entry area where our front door is that we store our bikes and stroller.  There is also a small corner of the garage that we get to use.  That has our camping and outdoor gear in it.  So YAY for that!

We really do love our home and feel so blessed to have it.  We will definitely stay with 2 kids.  More then that...hmmm.  We will see.  ;)

1 comment:

  1. Love it, Anne!! I do keep noticing your tendency to mention two kids... anything you want to share??? :-))))