Five Favorites: smallSpaces ed.



There are a lot of things that I don’t love about our status as “A Family of Five Living in a Studio Apartment”.  Have a mentioned that the bathroom doesn’t lock?  Privacy is at an all-time low because even the baby can push the door open.  HOWEVER, the pros outweigh the cons because I do love my family and because we are very used to spending loads of time together in small spaces. The top-all-time-thank-you-Jesus thing that I love about living here is just how easy it is to clean.  The place can be trashed with clutter really easily, true, but 15 minutes of everyone whirling around and picking up? Spotless. (If you know me, you know to take that with a grain of salt.  And if you don’t know me…then take it with a grain of salt.)


We purchased a big and a small Expedit from Ikea.  Really good purchase for us.  I’m still sorting through our ohsohandsome (hashtag sarcasm) “legal sized storage boxes” which are handy-dandy cardboard receptacles in which to organize stuff.  But they ain’t pretty.  Since ALL our storage options have no choice but to be on display, I’m slowly trying to trade these

with something more lovely.  In the meantime, however, they fit in the Expedit well.  And our Expedit has proved to be a key piece in both defining and decorating our small space. Our “living room” is on one side, our “bedrooms” and “playroom” is on the other side.

a “three-fer” favorite: crucifix from my parents, live plant, 5×5 Expedit bookshelf
the ever-visible storage bins are NOT a favorite but are, however, a reality of our situation


Realistically we eat very few meals here in the apartment.  The majority of meals happen in my in-laws house.  I just love that! But we DO use our kitchen table for school.


The school zone currently holds one (1) jar with coffee beans holding writing utensils (it releases a waft of coffee aroma any time we take anything out), one (1) Venus fly trap, and one (1) giant, wooden acorn (discovered at TJMaxx).  Because we are nothing if not eclectic.

We also discovered by fluke that the Ikea step stool works really well at this particular table as a school chair.

pay no attention to the blurry child…I am not sure that boys are not actually Perpetual Motion Machines

I originally intended for the stool to be used in the bathroom as an aid to hand-washing and tooth-brushing.  It was much too tall, and my resourceful middle child relocated “his” bathroom stool (oh…pun so completely not intended) to the kitchen because he thought (rightly) that his chair was too low.  SO!  We went back to Ikea and bought another just like it for the other child to use for school, and now I don’t feel guilty about doing handwriting at the kitchen table. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who stays awake at nights worrying about providing proper posture opportunities for early writers…)


This small Expedit holds the boys’ clothes on the top and the baby’s toys on the bottom.  Not ideal.  Not particularly “clean lines”, but it works for now.


Please excuse a really terrible picture of the thing that is really and truly my favorite.  My kitchen sink window peeks out into the backyard.  And I just LOVE that backyard.  The kids love that backyard.  Little A would sit out there all day long on a day like today that is sunny and almost warm. (Oh, October 2013, I love you so much.  I will think of you fondly come February 2014.)

Now get thee to Jenny’s place. She has pictures of some awesome curtains. They are the same ones I have (but more awesomer because she got them cheaper and new-but-at-Goodwill), and they are my 6th favorite, if I’m allowed that.


4 thoughts on “Five Favorites: smallSpaces ed.

  1. MAIA! This whole thing is so great, but #3!!! I think maybe you just changed my life. I am SO the mom that feels guilty about posture. We now have a school table in another room and it is fine, but sometimes I need the kids at the kitchen table while I do some cooking/cleaning.

    Tell me more about living in small spaces.

  2. You are right on with the proper posture for early writers! I bought a special table with right-height chairs when we began homeschooling 9 years ago, and I love it. The acorn is awesome – it reminds me of the children’s book “The Oak Inside the Acorn.”

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