When the answer is “it doesn’t”

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Have you ever held onto something or someone well past their value in your life? This week at #TheTackyBrownHouse it’s been an exercise in “now why is that here?” thinking.  We left our home in Arkansas which had 4100 sft, to move to Northern Alabama to a home that was going to be “temporarily smaller” for resell convenience at 1800 sft, and now after six years of that temporary status, we purchased our long desired country home of 1365 square feet.  Honey if you think the reality shows are telling the half of what it takes to go to a “tiny house” you’re missing it. The reality of the layers of what has to be paired down is more like an ongoing drama saga, but one I am excited about living! Combine that with a few family member’s deaths along the way and the ensuing “stuff” that one has to sort through, choose and decide and well, downsizing becomes a whole different thing.

I’m a “see it to remind me” sort of girl with a high desire to reach out and touch the memory in an item. That works really well when you have more home than things but not so well when hoarders the show might use your space for a promotional video. Well, perhaps I’m not there yet, but I can assure you that our last home had more square feet in our second double garage shed than #TheTackyBrownHouse has in total.

…and so begins where we went today, Christmas day, after many moons of holding on to this or that piece of furniture, picture, or decorative items in case it was “just the piece” that would fit as we completed rooms.

I believe life works best when you “try on” things in a room. For nine months we’ve lived in various parts of this little six room home as we renovated from the bare bones back to a functioning home. Upon move in we had ONE, count them ONE bedroom that we could all have beds in to survive the cold of a house that didn’t have central heat yet while we worked on flooring, walls, and plumbing. You’d think we’d stay in our warm cozy home in town while we worked, but heck what was the fun in that? We learned quickly what did and didn’t work in that room.  Nine months later, we again tried on with fresh eyes what table worked best in the eat in kitchen. Much to our surprise, the original antique pine table that Dh and I purchased our first year of marriage DID fit, after we had thought it didn’t 9 months ago!  Edit room, move two other tables to the dining room.  Turns out the little french table works better as a club table in my office….who knew!  Then it turns out that the movie/tv room is better as an indoor office for my business and the “office” building a better meeting space for the busines.

Sometimes you’ve gotta try something new to have enough experience to gain a new perspective.  We all get stuck in our thinking, believing we understand what we’d enjoy, how something will work, or what is the comfortable answer…but sometimes, when we allow it, a fresh, intentional look at what we are doing may bring up some surprising answers. Here are a few of mine this week:

  • The small table in the kitchen isn’t nearly as functional because of the way the chairs push in as the larger, more useful one we thought wouldn’t fit because the chairs fit tightly to it when pushed up.
  • The behind the couch table make a perfect media support area under our mounted t.v. and provided needed storage for disks.
  • The media room we planned is still a media room, but now for an in house office, not a family hangout as often. EVERYTHING about that change worked 100% better and it supported the family gathering in front of the fireplace with connection to the kitchen while we cook together…double win!
  • 4 storage pieces we purchased for the littleness of the house are just NOT a fit…bigger, family pieces DO fit and allow for more storage and style
  • a loveseat we all liked but no one loved is best….out of the house headed for someone else to love!
  • 2 chairs in place of the loveseat is a win/win for style and ease of use and transitional use when company comes over!

We had a major family win as these discoveries were made, actuated through trial and error with the end result being a MUCH more useable space in two of our areas! Go Team!  Meanwhile 4 boxes of wonderful things left with very happy owners and we’re looking forward to sharing with two sweet friends who have called “dibs!” when we shared on Facebook we had things to share! Isn’t that the best, simplifying your life while supporting someone elses!

Next time you’re having to do continual work arounds on how to make something work, perhaps you might consider that item in your life, job, playtime, or furniture doesn’t…and release it to another time or place! There are seasons of life for all of us, personally, this season I’m ready for a few more pictures of things I treasure and to release more of the ones I do not use to others! How about you? What’s your after holiday evaluation of your situation?

We’ll be doing #15minutemiracles again on Monday, a fun way to do focused work on your work, home, or life from 10 am to 12 pm cst. Join us on the FB wall http://facebook.com/sweetieland and add your pictures too!


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  1. We were doing the same thing on the other side of the country…moving, “trying on”, letting go, and repurposing … It was a fun way to spend Christmas afternoon while dinner cooked. Looking forward to #15MinuteMiracleMonday

  2. Ahhh, how we learn, huh Sweetie? Especially as you expressed so lovely, loss of loved ones, life here one day and forever gone the next, brings a life view to us through a different and sometimes magnificently prescient lens.

    Seeing how little space one needs to live, realizing that much of the world lives in a home of 1365 sq ft or less…is a powerful recognition of the importance of good stewardship.

    Peace and Joy, my friend!

    1. Confession time: we added 200 or so sft to the original purchase by taking in a single garage and creating laundry space. Yes, one of the on-going themes of my heart is good stewardship of “enoughness” whether its “enoughness” of my income, giving more to others, “enoughness” of my efforts, being kinder to myself, or “enoughness” of knowing when to say when on anger, upset or disappointment. Learning to truly let go of things before the sun sets and knowing each day is “enough” effort in this progressive journey we call living is so freeing. Thank you for being on the journey with me! ~xo xo Sweetie

  3. I have learned downsizing can be done. Painful at first but the finished product is awesome.

    1. I remember you telling me in Vinita that it was easier to keep if there was less of it. I have SO much to go at both houses, but we’re wading through! ~love you!

  4. I am right there with you, Girl! We are building a log cabin (by ourselves, what were we thinking?) and temporarily living in our GeorgieBoy motorhome RV. We have NO ROOM and it forces is no make tough decisions about “things.” I’ve learned that we can live with considerably less and still be happy (usually).

    1. Oh girl! I love that we’re on this journey together. I can so appreciate that we’re going to be friends! Thank you for reaching out today and I look forward to sharing! xo! What a blessing! ~Sweetie!

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