Simple Green Me

Cultural reporter for KUTV 2News and adjunct yoga/meditation professor blogs about wellness, green living, downsizing, simplifying, better travel✨and more. Offering mindfulness, meditation, goal-setting and decluttering coaching!


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From house to condo: A Downsized home tour

Though we’d been talking about it for awhile, we had no idea what we were in for: Moving a family of four (yes, we count our dog) into a 2-bed, 1-bath condo. When our (AMAZING) realtor Jenny Pace took us to the downtown condo for the initial walk-through, we had our rose-colored glasses on. But when moving day put us back into the now-empty, 878-square-foot condo, my husband and I started missing our 1400-square-foot house, and all the beautiful upgrades we had put into it. Even though we kept our house and are currently renting it out, this felt like starting over…on a lower level.  But that feeling left as soon as our stuff went in, and fit PERFECLTY! In our old house, TWO BEDROOMS sat unused; one held a desk, and the other, a guest bed. Now, our desk takes up the right amount of space – a spot in the main area – and guests may sleep on our fold-down couch. No wasted space, and no extra space to clean! Plus, the two bedrooms we do have are far bigger than the ones we occupied while in the house. 

There’s also a lot to be said about layout; our old house was pretty open but was not laid out in as good of a flow as this condo! I think because condos have to be efficient to make the building work, most times builders put effort into smart design. 

I also must say that with our own style inside, and our own art on the walls, this place feels SO cozy and luxurious! (The view of the Capitol doesn’t hurt…feels like we are in Europe or Washington DC!). We definitely plan to renovate a few things (kitchen, floors, paint) but are in no rush because we’ll be here awhile. 

The initial sadness of stepping into a new life has completely dissolved now that our new life is so EASY and adventurous and exciting and fun!! Read all the upsides we’ve experienced  by downsizing HERE
Enjoy the tour! Let me know about your own downsizing experience or desires in the comments! 

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 

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7 cheap ways to triple your bathroom storage

  

The bathroom is typically the smallest room in the house but needs to hold a ton of stuff! These are my tips to organizing your stuff in a way that makes life simpler and allows you to retain only the items you really use.

🛁search Goodwill or similar for secondhand organizers (they are everywhere!) and dedicate a compartment each to “skin stuff” (tweezers, lotion, eyecream), “nail stuff” and makeup.

 🎀I put hair stuff including hot tools in a box UNDERNEATH the vanity or nearest to the outlet. (Along with extra toilet paper in a basket)

 🚽organize essentials like cotton balls, qtips and wipe lads in easy-to-reach jars. 

🛀🏻 buy adhesive hooks for extra towel/robe storage. They come in all colors; I got a brushed nickle-looking one for $3 so I could hang a towel right by the shower, then a bunch of these clear ones that I used for the towel by the sink. 
⛩an extra corner shelf for your bathroom ($30, ikea) gave me space for my husband’s deodorant/lotion, toothbrushes, makeup totes and face wipes. 

  🚿shower caddies are your friend! Even a little one goes a long way in adding storage – especially for awkward things like poofs and razors!
🛍keep bulk bathroom items (extra bottle of lotion, razor blades, etc) plus bath salts out of kids’ reach in a basket in the linen or hall closet

Kids’ bath toys are a whole different blog post! So I’ll end here. What are your bathroom organization victories?


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We did it! Downsizing from house to condo!

  
We finally practiced what we preach and moved from our 1400-square-foot suburban ranch to a 890-square-foot condo in the city! 

Not only are we saving money on our mortgage that we’ve already been able to put toward a vacation, but we’re playing WAYYYYY fewer utilities and haven’t used our second car in a week!! And even with a crazed, energetic toddler, AND a dog, we haven’t missed our yard. I think when you make a move like this, you ACCEPT that you need to take the dog/baby out on outings, and it becomes your lifestyle, and it’s actually FUN. 

Bonus: we’re getting an amazing workout, walking to our nearby coffee shops and restaurants, and feeling IN THE MOMENT as we marvel at the simplicity and efficiency of our new life! We’ve had surprisingly tons more family time by cutting out excessive errands/space from our old life. It’s amazing how downsizing affects everything, and improves your relationships. Perhaps because there’s less to stress about, and more to appreciate? 

Moving was easy because we downsized slowly over a few months, so we only took with us stuff we really treasured/needed!

Now, everything in our new house has a place, it all fits perfectly, and we have STORAGE TO SPARE! 

Now, ill be sharing tips for downsizing/organizing your home and how to make the most of a small space. You’ll even here about my balcony garden. 

Cheers to new, better beginnings!


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4 (Free) things that make moving super easy

  
So, I’m pretty good at moving. I can’t even count how many times I’ve done it; I know we all have moved a lot! But this time, as my family and I prepared to downsize our stuff/mortgage/life from a house in the ‘burbs to a 2-bedroom condo downtown, it was EASY. here’s why:

1. Downsizing/organizing

  
If you read my last post, you’d know I’ve spent about a year downsizing and organizing all our stuff. We’re down to 1-2 “special” boxes, two SMALL boxes of books, two sets of bedsheets/towels/etc, no unnecessary duplicates in the kitchen (or anywhere for that matter), organizational bins for EVERYTHING (makeup, surplus bathroom goods, art supplies, games, toys, electronics/cords, medicine, tools, outdoor gear, etc)…I am feeling empowered! Because when you’re only moving the stuff you REALLY want to follow you, and it’s all in one, well organized place, moving is so easy that it’s almost fun!

2. Pack in order

the order in which you pack makes all the difference. Because with picture frames and decor packed away, you’re able to see what you REALLY use around the house, and further downsize/organize. Plus, this particular order allows you to keep your essentials out till the very end! So definitely pack in this order; it’s magical, I tell ya:

A) picture frames and decorative items

B) books and media (leaving only a few essentials out) 

C) excess blankets/bedsheets/towels (leaving some out for tip #4) and packing a separate bag for “immediate use” towels/sheets/blankets

D) seasonal clothing 

E) hats/accessories/jewelry

F) artwork and rugs (see tip #3)

G) outdoor gear

H) files/office stuff/art supplies

I) kitchen items 

J) clothing/shoes 

K) toys and computers

L) bathroom stuff

I-L happen on the day before moving. All else is up to your timeline!

3. Prep items for your new home

  I vacuum, steam and roll up rugs so they’re fresh upon unpacking. I wash bed sets and store in a bag so the first night in your new home feels like home. I wash throw blankets and pillow covers. I disinfect toys. I clean kitchen appliances before they go in boxes. This step doesn’t feel like extra work; it’s exciting to think you won’t have to do it for awhile after moving into your new home! 

4. Utilize your towels and other household items for packing  

   

 In an effort to be green, I avoid the bubble wrap and instead use every last towel (besides the essentials mentioned in tip #2), sheet and blanket (besides the essential ones I washed and packed) to pad picture frames, vases, Dishware and other fragile items. Pillowcases worked like a dream for framed artwork (most common sizes fit inside; even a few at a time)! Most of these textiles are ones I plan to give away after the move anyway. I did already set aside my essentials, and what more do I need?😊).

I also utilize backpacks and duffel bags as boxes, and trash bags (to be reused in the new home) for soft goods. We only ended up buying 12 boxes from U-Haul, in addition to the four glassware-stowing boxes we scored for free from the liquor store).

If I could add one more tip, it’d be hire out! We splurged on movers this time, but I couldn’t justify pre-move-in cleaners this time around! But that’s okay, because I feel so satisfied knowing only the things we really need made it to the new house, so that we can start this next phase of our lives unencumbered! Good luck with your move!