Thursday, January 21, 2010

downsizing . . .

I'm all about downsizing these days. When you move, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, from 2,500 square feet of living space

to 450 square feet of living space,

downsizing is important.

We started practicing for downsizing when Joc got married last June, leaving us with an empty nest. How I cooked, how I cleaned, even how I did laundry changed. Sort of. It was until just recently that I realized how little it really had changed. There's a lot more to downsizing than I thought!

Cooking was an issue. I grew up in a family of six, with family get-togethers that were always huge. I learned how to cook in quantity! Even for just the four of us, I was able to cook in quantity and enjoyed leftovers for lunch and freezing for future meals. When James & Jocelyn were both gone, I cooked the same quantity, I just broke it up; something I'd typically prepared in a 9X13-inch casserole dish, I now prepared in two 8-inch square casserole dishes. Voila (woila--viola), I had two meals. One for now and one for later! It was great! Some weeks my grocery bill would be next to nothing because all my meals were in the freezer already!

That is a thing in the past. Do you know what you lose when you go from 2,500 to 450? A chest freezer, an upright freezer, and the big freezer that's attached to the big refrigerator. I went from 60 cubic feet of freezer space to less than a cubic FOOT of freezer space! Changes definitely had to be made. Not to mention our storage space for dry goods is significantly smaller as well. It's taken getting used to, but the timing was good. Todd & I both knew we wanted to make healthier eating/food choices, so we've gone to more fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables; I make smaller portions so there's little to no leftovers, and I stay away from processed foods for the most part; there's just no place to put them.

We bought a small George Foreman grill and a two-person crock pot, both of which I love working with! I've done sirloin steaks, pork chops and chicken on the grill, all of which tasted wonderfully and were FAST! I've only used the crock pot for cooking our steel cut oats, so far, but I've been searching for 'two person' crock pot recipes and I'm gonna try those out soon. Especially for Sundays! I like crock pot cooking, but the big one is, well...BIG. And it takes up my whole kitchen counter, practically!

I also don't buy in bulk anymore--pointless--and I don't buy stuff that I won't use in the week I'm buying in. I've ended up throwing too many dollars (ie., spoiled food) away. It's been a learning process and I'm enjoying figuring it all out.

I downsized my quilting space, but not my quilting stuff. Not even my quilting books. Perhaps over time, I'll be able to part with some of that stuff. Then again, maybe not. :)

CLOTHES! Todd & I are both having to downsize in this area! We went from each having our own closet and big bureaus to small sets of drawers and a small closet to share (which also houses our washer/dryer machine, a whole other story)! It's forced me to really determine what I wear and what I don't wear, and to make a distinction between seasonal clothes. I can store summer clothes during the winter, for more closet/drawer space, but storage space is limited too, so I really have to make decisions on what I keep.

Knick-knacks, photos, and the like have always been a big thing for me. I had lots of things because I like switching stuff out and changing the look of the room, and displaying my pretty things. In the RV there really isn't a lot of space to display things on! This effected my seasonal stuff, too. I had *tubs* of fall decorations, Christmas decorations, and Easter/spring decorations. Not only was there not room to store it all, there just isn't room to display it! I went through and kept a few things that were favorites, and the rest either went to Joc & Kim, or will be properly disposed of (sold, given away, Goodwill, etc.). On a very positive note, it made switching from fall to Christmas and back to normal a very easy, quick process!

Media: we had a LOT. I kept all our DVDs. I'm an avid movie fan, and I like to be able to watch what I want to watch when the mood strikes. Ergo, I have a lot of DVDs! Instead of dealing with all of the cases and where to store those, I pulled them from their cases and stored them in a book with DVD sleeves. Now they're all in one place, in alphabetical order. :) I still have about fifty Disney movies on VHS. I think I'm going to have to give those up. I just can't justify keeping/storing them. Especially since we don't even have a VCR at the RV! I weeded through our CDs and stored the ones we kept the same way we stored the DVDs. Except I kept the Christmas CDs separate. And I don't think I alphabetized them. *gasp* Yet.

Stuff in general. We've a lot less of it. From cooking ware, to dishes, clothes, to furniture, we have less. The funny thing is, I don't miss it. I guess because we have the most important things. Jesus, our love for each other, and Jesus. :)

Except a cat.



5 expressed . . .:

Alyse said...

Wow, I have really enjoyed reading your blog about life in the RV. It seems like such a fun way to embrace the "empty nest"! I just wanted to suggest a website for crock pot recipes. I use it all the time and the nice thing is, you can adjust the servings so that you dont cook more than you need!

Alyse said...

Oh, and your recipes can be stored on their site if you create a free account, so no need to find a place for cookbooks!

DocSly said...

Denise, a delightful tale about downsizing. Really makes us think about what is really important. I love people and one can collect friends and they just take up space in our hearts.

Amy Ekis said...

Where does your kitty kitty sleep? :)

Laurie said...

What a job, downsizing, I mean. WE are trying to get ready for possible big move; I burned all our CD's to our harddrive and got all the Cd's in a box for storage. I wonder if I need to keep them just to prove that they weren't pirated. We live in a large house and may be moving to a small apartment with 2 kids for 2 years....
Enjoy making the quilt for your grandbaby.