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to hate my tiny house with a passion?

(37 Posts)
proverbial Wed 08-Jul-09 12:50:11

I have a a very very small terrace house with no garden, 2 small boys and another on the way soon. Its my own fault, we bought at the very height of the boom here, thinking we could trade up in a few years, but are now stuck as its worth half what we paid for it.
Its in a nice location, and is a pretty little house, but I feel so trapped here. I feel like the walls are closing in on me and there is nowhere to put anything and its always a mess. I can't imagine where we are going to put any more stuff when the baby comes!

MY OH tells me its disgraceful to complain when half the world is in real poverty in tin shacks and mud huts, and at least our children have warm beds and full stomachs. Does make me a little ashamed of myself, but I can't help obsessing over it. Doesn't help any that I have no money to bring the kids to fun places and no energy to do free things with them like long walks on the beach (this pregnancy is a tough one)

So a YABU and a kick in the arse needed?

GypsyMoth Wed 08-Jul-09 12:52:43

How many bedrooms?

I have 5 DC in a small 3 bed.

Think yabu but need to know more!!

EyeballsintheSky Wed 08-Jul-09 12:54:32

Yes and no. I live in a tiny house too, not as tiny as yours (sorry!) but nearly. It drives me mad as any spare space we have is housing all our crap that wouldn't be so bad in a bigger house as we'd have cupboards and things. A friend is coming down this weekend and we can't have her to stay because we have no spare space and that annoys me.

But yes, warm beds and food in tummies is the main thing, I guess. Not much consolation though!

LadyOfWaffle Wed 08-Jul-09 12:55:31

I feel the same, then I think of people in tower blocks, and worse. I know it's hard but you have to make the best of it Is there anything you can do to help - decorate (cheaply) abit different, sort some good storage out? Or rent out and rent a house + garden, I have thought of doing this but nothing compares to your own home

MamaLazarou Wed 08-Jul-09 12:56:54


I will never be well-off enough to own a house. I would kill to be in your position. envy

macherie Wed 08-Jul-09 13:01:13

YANBU, I know exactly how you feel.

We live in a tiny house, with a miniature garden and on the rainy summer holidays like today I feel like crawling the walls.

We have as much storage as we possibly can but it is always a struggle to have the place tidy, there is stuff everywhere.

The upside is that we live in a nice area, with a great park which we treat as our garden. We've made a lot of friends there, who like us need to get out of the house a lot!

Another positive is that the dc are all really close as they spend so much time in very close proximity to each other wink

CarGirl Wed 08-Jul-09 13:01:30

I think you are obsessing over it because you're struggling at the mo.

We're very cramped and the real key is being very ruthless with material stuff - fling out anything that is not in regular use. Have you got a loft - store what you can in there. Give the dc the larger room so all their stuff can go in there etc.

I think it must be hard though not having a garden and 2 small boys whilst pregnant..

proverbial Wed 08-Jul-09 13:02:26

3 bedrooms at the moment, but soon to be 2. We have a small bedroom next to the living room, we are knocking down the wall to extend the living space a little. At the moment we have living space, dining and kitchen in a room that is about the size of an average living room, and the children can barely move in here. If the new baby is another boy they can all share (we've given the larger of the bedrooms), but don't know what we'll do if the baby is a girl.
So we are working on making the most of the space, I hope it will make me feel better about it!

I think my main problem is if I knew we would be able to move in 2, 4, 6 years etc I'd be ok, but I don't think we'll ever manage it. At least not until the kids are grown up, and the thought of 3 teenagers here fills me with true horror! And the fact we have a large mortgage for a small house!

I should get over it though right? I should be grateful for what I have, many people worse off etc etc

Chandra Wed 08-Jul-09 13:04:52

There is a nice little book that can turn the things around, it is called Clear Your Clutter with FengShui or something like that (Karen Kingston is the author, I think).

There is one thing that you can't change now: You can't move.

Try to do the best with what you have. I have fund that book inspiring as it made me realise I really didn't so much space but needed to get rid of all those things that were using the little I had and making me feel down as they were all around the place.

We used to live in a tiny little one bedroom flat. Once that we only had what we needed and loved (and followed the strict rule to get something old out everytime we got something new in), the place was great. No mess, no unnecessary things, no baggage, and it also keep our finances in good shape as we always asked ourselves the questions "do we need this?, can we live without it? do we have a place for it?" so no unnecesary expenses.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Wed 08-Jul-09 13:10:26

Is there any chance of you extending upwards?

We, like you bought our 2 bed flat at the height of the housing market and when we tried to sell last year at a price close to what we paid for it, we couldn't sell, now it is worth a little under what we paid for it and moving would put us into negative equity.

So, as we have another on the way, we have gone into the loft. Luckily we have this option.

YANBU to be stressed by it, we have been stressed about how we would manage in such a small space. Even when BIL tells me how he managed with two little ones in a one bedroomed flat did not make it any easier for us to cope.

What we did though, was to make sure we used the space as much as we could, we bought taller bookcases and storage units from Ikea to use the upward space, and we seriously seriously decluttered, we got everything, decided what we really needed and threw the rest out. And then, we looked at what we really needed, and realised even half of that we did not need, or use, but held on to just in case, and we got rid of that too! (i say threw it out, we sold what we could, went towards the loft conversion!).

And we did things like getting rid of the busy rug in the front room which made the room feel more spacious, got rid of the electric kettle and bought a hob one (amazing how much space that gave us on the sides, or appeared to).

AramintaCane Wed 08-Jul-09 13:15:34

Summer is always the worst. I always long for more space and a garden in the summer. Yes there are loads of people worse off but I bet you don't go on about it all the time.
We have a tiny house no outdoor space and huge mortgage. People often say how do you cope - especially in the summer.

CarGirl Wed 08-Jul-09 13:16:16

Even if the baby is a girl the dc can share for quite a few years. In the future you could possibly rent out your home whilst you rent something bigger, not ideal but certainly a potential solution.

As the dc get older it does get better because the toys get smaller, plus you can get bunk beds - there are even some great triple bunks out there.

minxofmancunia Wed 08-Jul-09 13:18:56

YANBU, I can empathise, we too have a lovely but v small house in a lovely area! 2 bed victorain cottage terrace with all oringinal features but we're bursting at the seams! Have dd 2.9 and am 7 months pg!! We're trying to buy another house bigger with a garden ( same area) but vendor is being a nightmare and don't know if it will fall through sad

We paid for the area tbh, I do feel pangs of envy when i go to friends houses, went to one on Monday, huge 5 bed detached massive downstairs etc. BUT in what I would term a pretty rough area. Where we are is great can just go out and have so much loveliness on your doorstep. Friends house has to be big cos there's nowhere for her to go nearby that you'd want to spend anytime and the schools are awful.

I try to balance it up like that when i feel the walls closong in on me! lack of stirage for "stuff" a huge issue though, will buy that book and try some of Chandras suggestions!

belgo Wed 08-Jul-09 13:20:09

YANBU. How frustrating to have a house worth so much less then you paid for it.

Of course there is always someone worse off but I don't blame you for feeling annoyed and trapped.

OrmIrian Wed 08-Jul-09 13:23:31

We are in a similar position. Ours is a 3-bed terrace but a bigger one by the sounds of it. We have 3 beds and 2 reception rooms but as our DC are older we are really beginning to feel the lack of space. When Dh starts his new job moving is more of a possibilty but even so I hate the idea of being stretched to pay a mortgage, and even if we did there are no guarantees that we can get a much bigger place. We are thinking of a loft conversion. is that something you have considered?

proverbial Wed 08-Jul-09 13:31:53

Loft conversion not possible I'm afraid. Its a 3 story townhouse, very narrow but tall. On the ground floor we have bedroom and bathroom, then upstairs living/dining/kitchenette all in one small l shaped room, a tiny bedroom, then upstairs again we have the master bedroom with ensuite, which is now the kids room as it is a sort of playroom too. Little balcony off this. The attic space is literally just the rafters, the master bedroom has sloping walls as its built into the eaves.

Its an odd house ( I think thats what drew me to it, I like quirky), the 2 bedrooms we are keeping are fine size (slthough with no storageangry), its the ridiculously tiny living space. You are only ever 3 steps away from the sink or hob, not very safe with small kids either.

Complete lack of foresight on my part is to blame! When we viewed 4 years ago it was half built, looked bigger, and we had one young baby and no intention of having any more. Plus I worked full time so only here evenings/weekends. Roll on 4 years, the housing market has collapsed, we will have 3 little terrors and I'm always here. If I could just shake off this "rat in a cage" trapped feeling....

Pogleswood Wed 08-Jul-09 13:32:34

No,YANBU! I sympathise. I'd agree with everyone who has said declutter - though you didn't say if you think you've got too much stuff,or if the bare minimum you have got is impossible to deal with! Like Pavlov said - we decluttered,and then decluttered again,it was amazing how much we really didn't need,and it was fantastic getting shot of it.
But IME it does help to feel you've got some control over how you live,when we were in a tiny house with noisy neighbours that was what got to me most - the feeling that there was no way we could change things.But circumstances did change,try not to dwell on how you'll be there for ever..I know that's easy to say though.
And it is all harder if you're having a tough pregnancy and you've got the 2 little ones as well..
(And I don't think knowing you should be grateful for what you have,while true,helps at all if you're being bothered by something day in day out!)

Bramshott Wed 08-Jul-09 13:33:49

I think there are two issues here you are getting mixed up. Clearly it is maddening that your house is now worth much less than you paid for it, and because of that you're unable to move. However, I think you need to set that aside, and concentrate on living in the house and making it work for you, without letting your resentment about being stuck there "poison" your relationship with it IYSWIM! Try to imagine that someone's given you the house, or it's a holiday house, and work out how you would best arrange it, rather than wishing you had more space.

poshsinglemum Wed 08-Jul-09 13:35:56

YANB entitrely U.
I rent a small house and it's difficult.
However, take it as an opportunity to think of clever storage solutions! wink
I'd hate not to have a garden though. It won't be forever will it?

crazylizzy Wed 08-Jul-09 13:38:40

YANBU. I can understand why you are feeling like you are, but like others have suggested there are other options such as rent out to rent house with more space, bunk beds, (I 2nd the triple bunk beds, they look amazing!), loft conversion etc.

minxofmancunia - you sound just like us. We are in a Victorian 2 bedroomed, stone cottage in a lovey area but my god we are "cosy" in here at times! wink

Anther thing I'd say is de-clutter within an inch of your life, really, it will make you feel so much better in yourself as well as having more space. It is a big job but go through everything, de-clutter wardrobes, clothes, toys, games, books, kitchen,'ll be amazed at how much more space you'll have, and money if you sell the stuff you're passing out!

FlyMeToDunoon Wed 08-Jul-09 13:42:32

YANBU and I live in a small cramped house too. I agree totally with all those who advise decluttering and try and devise storage for everything.
When tidy [not often] my house can look quite bare because I have tried to get rid of anything extra and uneccessary. I too feel that I cannot take a step without running into a table, chair, child or pushchair. Everywhere is a corridor along which there is a only one route and if something is left lying around that thing must be moved to get anywhere. DCs too are always around my feet and as I turn around.
We had cupboards built into the understairs space and they house masses of stuff.
Our bedroom is the loft too but we do have eaves space to store some boxes.
Make sure to get out into the park as much as possible. Or just on buses or trains or the car.
I keep hoping for change too but we just can't afford to make that upward hoik to a slightly bigger house.

CarGirl Wed 08-Jul-09 13:44:01

One thing I've discovered is that by building wardrobes using sliding doors you can save room - you make them shallower than standard - just big enough for an adult hanger and space for the doors to slide. Standard wardrobes are deeper than they need to be and stand in front of your skirting board, I think we've gained 10 cm possibly more by doing this. Also wardrobes to celing height. Use the high shelves for storage of wrong season duvets etc.

However serious decluttering does make a massive difference. I think getting rid of your 3rd bedroom will too. We have a laptop instead of a pc.

Have you got/could you build a porch?

crokky Wed 08-Jul-09 13:44:06

I think YANBU. I would find things more difficult without the garden. I don't think it is disgraceful to complain, I think it's a step in the right direction - you don't like things as they are so you are saying so and then you need to think how to improve things.

If moving is not an option, you need to try and make the most efficient use of the interior that you possibly can. Try and get rid of as much stuff as you can and then make sure that the remaining stuff is in very clever, efficent storage. Take a look round an Ikea store - they have loads of good ideas in there.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Wed 08-Jul-09 13:54:55

We have also decided to get rid of our fireplace. Although our home is victorian of origin, the fireplace is not original, its a cheaper version with a gas (real effect) fire. We do not need it, as we have central heating, so we had it disconnected. If we take this out, and put in place a feature inset 'fire space', we will gain half a meter back to the wall and about 1.5 meters across, as well as the space being inset back so we can put some of our plants into it, making more room as a couple of plants will have a home! We will not be getting this done for a few months though, shall wait for the current building work to be done!

ninedragons Wed 08-Jul-09 13:55:12

We are also in a small flat. I was saying to DH last week that technology makes small spaces so much more feasible. We have a large LCD tv rather than a hulking great CRT thing that feels like somebody has parked their VW Beetle in your sitting room. A lifetime of music is on something essentially the size of a business card. The computer slides under the sofa when we're not using it.

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