Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Small Home Living: Advantages and Disadvantages

The financial advantages of living in a small home are pretty obvious. You spend less to heat the place. You don't need as much furniture to fill the space. It takes less electricity to cool a small place. Less is more in that way.

An interesting question came up about stockpiling with sales, and how to balance frugality in a small space. I'm all for stockpiling and thought it was time to address this.

Freezer

The one thing I wish we had but don't is a chest freezer. I've got a spot picked out where we can fit it, even in our little apartment. My husband says it's not the right time, though, and he's right. Our family is still small enough that the extra $5 it would cost us in electricity would not be saved by stockpiling on sales more than we do.

When we get one, we will get a BIG chest freezer and a new energy efficient one. A chest freezer is more energy efficient by design than an upright. The reason for that is that when you open a door of an upright, the cold air falls out the bottom. Cold air is heavy, so it basically stays put in a chest freezer.
(Currently in my freezer: Shown: ten 5lb rolls of ground beef, one 3lb roll of ground beef, five 5lb bags of mozzarella cheese, three 1lb bags of chopped peppers and onions, five 1lb bags of mixed berries. Not Shown, on door: four 1lb rolls of turkey, 2lbs grated summer squash, 2lbs broccoli, 2lbs brisket beef, bag of chopped apples for applesauce. Click to see in color)

So, I have to maximize the space in my freezer. It's not that hard to put 100 pounds of food into a standard sized freezer, but you have to pick and choose what goes in. I can get various fruits and veggies at a reasonable price year round. So, it takes a rare deal for me to stock up on a sale of veggies. Some meats I can get consistently at a good price, but other meats vary in price, like beef. When I see brisket beef for $1.30 per pound or ground beef for $1.25 per pound, I stock up. I consistently can get chicken for $0.59 per pound, turkey for $1.00 per pound, and pork for $1.12 per pound, so I don't stock up on those.

Refrigerator

In the fridge, I keep my semi-stable foods. There are obvious ones, like milk, cheese, butter, and eggs. I keep my potatoes and onions in my fridge as well, along with most vegetables. Most fruits reside on the table until eaten. We eat the potatoes before they turn sweet and onions that have been refrigerated don't make me cry like room temperature onions do, but I don't keep them in the same drawer as the potatoes. I keep lacto-fermented veggies in the fridge, and my husband's leftovers. I also keep a jug of water in there just as filler for the electric bill.

Cabinet Space

I don't buy a lot of shelf-stable foods. I buy flour, lard, salt, and canned tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are rarely on sale lower than the Walmart price. Salt and flour rarely go on sale either, so I don't stock up much on these.

For couponers who have shelves upon shelves of boxed food, bought for pennies, I would recommend stacking. In a small home, thinking vertically is crucial.

Clothes

I have a full boys' wardrobe up to four years old. I have bins stacked in the kitchen and labelled. I have two near empty bins for when Daniel turns five and six. When I hit yard sales, I am on the look out for a few pieces to finish his 4T wardrobe and pieces for the next few years up. Working with vertical space allows these bins to take up a little more space than a bureau would. With my bins, the lid of one holds the bottom of the next one up securely in place. When stacking bins, look for features that will make it near impossible to be tipped over.

Coming soon...

In the coming year, I'm going to be kicking off two new series. Touring Tuesdays will give you the opportunity to snoop around our apartment. Storage Solutions Saturday will highlight some of the ways that we can fit a bunch of stuff into small spaces without feeling crowded. Just like with FAQ Fridays, these are posts I've been meaning to get around to, but I need a structured framework to remind me to fit them in.

75 comments:

Liz said...

The chest freezer was the best gift my husband and I got for our wedding. I just pick up a little more of what is on sale when I am at the meat counter. It also helps when what is on sale is whole chickens or turkeys that would take up too much space in the freezer over the fridge. It especially helped to have that stockpile when my husband was laid off his job. The only problem I have with it is you have to make sure you rotate the meat from the bottom up or you end up wasting meat that you have to throw out as freezer burned or just too old.

S said...

I'm excited about your two new series! I am always eager to learn new ways to live comfortably in a small space. I also stock pile clothing and keeping it organized can be hard... My kids are 14,8 and 4. The 2 oldest are boys, so I have saved most of my older sons things for younger sons- 6 years worth of clothing! And I save all gender neutral things from Ds 2 for dd (my youngest)as well as watch tag sales/thrift shops and save hand me downs for my DD to grow into. One thing I am considering is getting either bed risers to increase the height of the kids beds to 16 inches, or 16 inch tall bed frames, so that those storage totes (I use the same kind like you have) can fit under the beds. I figure I should be able to get at least 6 under each childs bed... so that can be used for sizes up and for off season clothing, bedding/shoes.

Nydia said...

Im looking forward to the new features, about living in small spaces, we are a family of 6 and will live in our 900 sq ft paid for house until we have saved enough to pay cash to build a bigger one...which will be a while.

oceans5 said...

I am looking forward to your new series. We live in 1100 sq. ft. We are a family of 5 and LOVE our house. I am always looking out for new storage ideas. We do have an attic now which helps with out of the way storage. Really looking forward to your storage and apt. posts.:)

Treva said...

I only have the one child, a daughter, and I, too, stockpile clothes that are too big for her. Every time I hit a thrift store or yard sale I look around for stuff. My rule of thumb is no more than $5 per item of clothing or $10 for a dress and even that is high. That's what I spend when I've looked everywhere for something, can't find it, and need it right away. It's also nice when DD takes a growth spurt I don't have to worry about running out and spending loads of money on new clothing.

The one thing I want for my home is a small chest freezer. There are just 3 of us, so I don't need a huge one. My fridge/freezer is a side-by-side and I can't stand it. I hate organizing that thing. Yes, I have more space, but the space is awkward and the shelves don't move. It came with the house and I have no intention on replacing it since it works just fine, but I would love to buy local meats in bulk and I need a freezer for that.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

I don't have a chest freezer but I do have a full upright one and it is hugely cost effective for me since I'm a big gardener. I fill it with overflow of seasonal berries, greens and veggies and then use it throughout the year. It's been a big blessing because it was given to me from my parents when they bought a chest freezer.

Jenny said...

Where do you get your lard? I've been interested in trying it recently to replace butter or shortening in certain baked goods, but have read that pretty much all lard available at the grocery store is hydrogenated with added preservatives. Do you render your own lard? I just recently read a blog somewhere that talked about how to render lard using a crockpot- sounds right up your alley:

http://omelay.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/rendering-lard/

Our local natural foods store does have some lard from a local farmer right now that I've considered trying, but I'm sure that it's much more expensive than what you'd find at Wal-Mart or any other standard grocery store.

Patty said...

We have a french door fridge now and it is glorious. We are saving up for an extra freezer when our family grows. We are leaning more towards and upright even though it is less energy efficient because its going in the laundry room and with an upright we can add shelves above the freezer maximizing the space more than a chest would. We have the problem of living in hurricane land though so I'm hessitant to get and fill a freezer without having a generator to back it up. We lost a lot of stockpiled food during IKE since we were without power for 14 days. I hated being so wasteful.

Molly said...

We live in what I would consider a small space. It's an 1000 square feet house. It's an older home so closets are almost non-existent. But we have a big basement for storage. I honestly don't know what I would do without our basement! But I still feel very unorganized upstairs. We have one toddler with another on the way. That's why our house is on the market. I know we *could* do it in this house. I try to be grateful for the space that we do have but I get pretty overwhelmed thinking about space on a daily basis.

Emily said...

Jenny, I do render some lard, and in the crock pot, just like the link, but not enough for everything we need. I have a bucket from Save-a-Lot, not hydrogenated, but with added chemicals. As I get toward the end of it, I'm going to start calling local butchers for costs of buying bulk fat, but if I don't find any deals, I'm going to buy from http://www.soaperschoice.com, which has a better price than storebought lard anyway, even including shipping.

Rachel said...

We bought this house 6 years ago, and it was not really what we wanted, there just was not that much on the market at the time. It is about 1500 sq. ft. and it is just the three of us, me, hubby and a 16 yr. old. But since then, our family has been added to by 7 more people, a dil, sil and 5 grandchildren! So the holidays are a challenge. My living room is really small, not a lot of places to sit. Tawra, on livingonadime.com, wrote about making a house work for you, and I do try. We live in florida, so I can feed people on the patio for most get togethers. It works well for Easter, nice weather. Last Christmas we gathered at my sisters and it was 75 degrees, so some of us ate at the patio table. I think about a new, bigger home, but we are just not willing to take on more debt.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE my small home! I'm not entirely thrilled about moving into my partner's larger (1100+) home which is filled with clutter. Not just the inside, but the outside. We're working on it:( -Cris

Clisby said...

I once read a blog (naturally, I can't remember the name now) by a couple with one child, living in a NYC apartment that was < 300 square feet. I think they must have owned it, because they did a lot of renovations - but one of the best ideas was storage in the floor. The flat was in one of those buildings with really high ceilings - so they essentially built closets in the floor. That raised the floor level by a couple of feet, but it still had a high ceiling. Obviously, whatever you needed quick access to would have to be in a fairly open area, but I could see a lot of advantages to this.

Blessed said...

Our family is very unusual--for the U.S. We are a family of 6 living in 560 sq ft. That's the size of most people's living rooms. (Our home is a former summer cabin turned full-time residence, on beautiful Monterey Bay, CA, alas one of the most expensive places to live in the States.) And yet, it is working for us, (albeit by the grace of God!) and although I would not choose to have quite this small of a house for our size family, it can be done--and used to be done much more commonly back in the olden days. Modern Americans have just all gotten used to more space than we really need. I thoroughly enjoy the rethinking of common expectations our family does on a daily basis (for example, the amount of stuff we need, sharing bedroom/beds, etc.) I think we enjoy some aspects of life more than a lot of people do, because we have to be purposeful about almost everything.

So even though I would love for some things to be different--like a bedroom for myself and my husband!--I hope we never have a normal sized American house. We are a close-knit family, and our house reflects it. : )

I am really looking forward to your postings on these topics, as I am always interested in hearing other people's small space solutions!

Scottish Twins said...

Emily - I'm working on a post about an article I recently read. It said you should never eat canned tomatoes - out of all the canned foods, even experts avoid the tomatoes - because the levels of BPA in the lining of the cans are way higher than other foods. They have to increase the BPA because of the high acidity of the tomatoes.

Clisby said...

Another reason to get a freezer - you can freeze fresh tomatoes. Of course, you could can your own in glass jars, also - but I'm kind of lazy and freezing appeals to me more.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of vertical space, but I found the totes were not as impossible to tip as you would think. My solution was to put the totes on bookshelves that had been tethered to the wall, and put straps around the bookshelves halfway up each tote.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, but have never posted anything. The bins being stacked in a location that the children can get to them is very dangerous. My now 10 yo son, would have been climbing on those as soon as he was sure no one was looking at him. He was a climber and would find anything to climb up or on. We had bookcases that were full of books and very heavy. I never thought about them until I caught him standing on the second shelf from the bottom and it was swaying. Even though your bins are probably not as heavy as my bookcase, it doesn't take much for a child to fall and have something to topple on top of them. Those areas on the lids of the bins don't lock them in place. They make them not slip as easily.

alice said...

I'm going to correct one thing you have -- those bins are not safe stacked with young children around.

The lids are not designed to keep them from being tipped or toppled over, they are designed to make things easily stackable.

Emily said...

I'm sorry to hear that other parents have such trouble teaching there children boundaries. Another benefit of a small home is I know where my kids are and what they are doing at all times.

Stephanie said...

I live in a 3 bedroom trailer with my husband and 5 (soon to be 6) lil ones.......I would not want to live in anything bigger because I have a hard enough time keeping a eye on them as it is!!!
Love your posting!!!!! So many good ideas! I am waiting for my Kefir to come and am pretty excited!

Jessica said...

"I'm sorry to hear that other parents have such trouble teaching there children boundaries. Another benefit of a small home is I know where my kids are and what they are doing at all times."

Wow, Emily. Two people point out, in a very nice way, that this may pose a safety hazard to your children, and this is your response? That somehow they're failing as parents for thinking that all risks should be considered?

I watch my child all the time too. But she is fast. All it takes is a second... I don't believe any parent can watch any child every second of every day - you have to sleep sometime, or go to the bathroom - no? I was surprised to see such a response from you.

Jen said...

Ok Emily, to bible talk you, God has given us boundaries, yet we have free will and a sinful nature correct?

Now apply that to children and parents.

You can teach your children boundaries. You may very well be able to keep a better eye on them in a smaller space. However, it takes literally seconds for an accident to happen.

I used to post with a woman who lost her beautiful 2 year old to a furniture climbing accident. The child woke up in the middle of the night. They didn't find her until morning. Unless you never sleep, never use the bathroom, never get intimate with your husband, things can happen. There are efficient ways to store things without putting your toddlers at risk.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Seriously? You think I didn't and wasn't teaching my child boundaries? You really think you know it all don't you? I feel bad for your children and hope they survive having parents like you.

Do you take your children with you to the bathroom every time you have to go? Think about that. I came out of the bathroom to find my 3 yo had learned to open his daddy's office door and was climbing on the bookshelf.

I think you will do great as a pastor's wife actually, because so many of them I have know are exactly like you. They think they know it all and won't listen to anyone about anything.

I didn't attack you and I was not rude in my post to you, but you were terribly rude to me and to any other parent that posted about having a climber.

Devon said...

Boundaries or not, children test their limits. That's a normal, healthy part of being a small child. And since I refuse to believe that you NEVER EVER take your eyes off your children, you need to do something about those totes. They are a hazard: end of story. It drives me insane when people put their children in harm's way. Tether the totes to the wall, for crying out loud. What does that cost you? A few bucks that you can pull from your blog revenue that will help keep your children safe? Geez, I can't even believe people had to bring this up today.

Emily said...

Jessica, it's not as simple as people coming in concern for my children. There are dozens of people talking about me in an online forum as I type these words.

I don't think I can watch my children every second, but having a small home does allow me to see when they are getting near things they shouldn't and teach them right then that it is not okay. Teaching them boundaries and consequences for crossing those boundaries helps them in the long term. Parents who do that with their own children would understand that those bins are not a hazard.

Devon said...

Off to beat my head against a wall again. I can't believe what I'm reading here, and this time I won't apologize. This is seriously foolish. Someone who is so concerned with her children's health as to not purchase processed foods should be equally concerned with something falling on their heads and killing them. Do you think maybe they're talking about you on the forums because this line of thinking is slightly on the crazy side? Why on earth would you ever take a chance with your children's well-being?!?! IT CAN HAPPEN IN A SECOND. You will NEVER regret the things you do to keep your children safe, but you will the ones you don't. Why would you refuse to do something simple to keep them safe? I really don't get this. It has nothing to do with people not teaching their children boundaries: it is a SAFETY ISSUE.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure God is thrilled with you being rude to people and not even apologizing. So just because I typed my concern for one of your children pulling the bins on themselves, you ASSume that I am from a board that is mocking you? Wow again!

And also to assume that I or anyone else who voiced concern doesn't teach boundaries is laughable. I really hope your children don't test your boundaries, I don't think you'd know what to do.

You are so full of pride, you take offense to someone voicing CONCERN for your children's well being. Pride comes before the fall...

Jen said...

Part of having a blog that has decent readership is having your posts disected. Sorry Emily. It is what it is.

Unless your children are scared of you, they will at times test the limits. That is what children do. It's part of what makes them people. Your job as a parent is to make sure the limits they are testing will not get them injured or killed.

And if your children are actually afraid of you...well...I do not know how to respond to that scenario. I hope that is not the case.

Stephanie said...

Yes, Emily, that's totally it. Everyone is out to get you, and the only reason they're talking about you is to bring you down. /sarcasm


Honey, they're CONCERNED about you and the safety of your children. Small places are great for watching kids, sure- I'm a mom and I've always lived in small places. But children are FAST, and all it takes is your head turned for three seconds before your child has scurried up something they shouldn't have.

Accidents happen. It's a fact of life. Don't make it easier for your kids to have them. Boundaries are great, and all good parents set them for their kids. But kids TEST boundaries- it's a natural, NORMAL part of their development. Not testing boundaries means something's wrong. Home should be a safe place to test boundaries, not a death trap.

Emily said...

Anonymous, I'm sorry, you happened to come at the same time that they started flooding the site, so you blended in with them. Three sides of the stack of bins are blocked. Only one side is exposed to where a child could even touch it. They have been taught boundaries around it. My husband and I have both tested it to see how they could possibly pull it down and it would take an odd scenario for them to manage to topple any bins, one that we would surely notice. It is not an issue.

To forum people, since you're here anyway, I would appreciate it if you would leave my husband alone. Comment here all you want. Discuss he and I all you want on your own forum, but stop following him on Twitter and stop trying to friends us on Facebook. It's creepy.

Kelly said...

But Emily, you can teach your kid right from wrong all day long, and the kid will still occasionally do the wrong thing. Like trying to scale a stack of totes that could likely topple over, even though you've told him a not to.

It's not a matter of keeping an eye on your kids. Realistically, parents blink every once in a while, and that's plenty of time for a kid to get into trouble.

elaine said...

I'm not saying anybody's right in the whole "those bins are a safety hazard" debate. But I do want to point out that everyone's children are different. I visited a blog this week where the blogger posted a picture of her family's tabletop Christmas tree. She said that whenever she had a toddler in the house she would have a tabeltop tree. I've always had a regular tree on the floor and never had a problem with my children when they were toddlers. Some kids are more inclined than others to test boundaries. I, myself, would err on the side of safety.

Stephanie said...

The attitude of "It won't happen to me!" is alarming, Emily. Truly.

Wouldn't a safer way of looking at it be, "It very well MIGHT happen to me, so it's better for my children if I take all the precautions so that it doesn't"?

If someone pointed out something about my house that was unsafe for my son, I'd be all over that in a heartbeat trying to make it better, instead of putting my fingers in my ears and going, "LALALALALALALA I can't hear you!"

That's the beauty of the internet- people can make suggestions to help us make things better. It's just up to us to not be so proud as to push away all the good suggestions. Please don't let your pride get in the way of your children's safety.

Emily said...

elaine, you bring up an excellent point. Christmas trees are heavy, have pretty shiny objects that children would be drawn to and their small stand makes them less sturdy than my stack of gray bins.

Anonymous said...

I am the commenter with the previous note about bookshelves. Is there a reason you can't use tethers to secure your things? I have only one well behaved child and a small home and I still would not stack large objects without tethers of some sort.

There are a few things that supervision cannot make safe-- firearms, medications/poisons, and crushing hazards. Children can get up in the night and injure themselves unintentionally, and it's worth the time to secure these things.

Liz said...

I'm looking forward to your new themes on home organization and storage solutions. We live in what I consider a small space but is actually double of yours (and we're a family of 4) so I'm always inspired by things like that. Please include color pictures though. Not only are your pictures b/w but they are low contrast which makes it even harder to distinguish some things (I thought the cheese in your freezer was bags of ice until I clicked for the color version).

Have you considered getting your beef from a local source? We buy "cow shares" from a local farm. They are not organic, but they're hormone and antibiotc free. The famer sends the cow to the meat locker and the locker calls us to ask how we want it divided and packaged (amount of steaks to ground beef to roast, etc). It is more expensive and is a lot more upfront but the quality is SO much better. It comes to about $2/lb which is more than you pay for beef, but far less than anyone can get steaks for.

I'm also wondering how you balance frugalness with greenness. Lots of times, things can be both cheap and green, but often times you have to sacrifice one for the other.

Anonymous said...

Emily - if you're husband doesn't want followers on Twitter than why does he have an account and why does he tweet?
.

Emily said...

Liz, I have looked into local farmers for beef but it is WAY more expensive.

Anon on tethers, tethers aren't necessary. The way the bins are shaped, it would do little to secure them further. If I had them on shelves, it might add to their security, but not stacked.

There are two stacks next to each other, and it would take a lot of effort to knock them both over. I have them arranged so the heaviest (sturdiest) is on the bottom, and they get progressively lighter. So, IF a child were able to pull ANY down, it would be the ones that are near empty. I think that people aren't thinking through the physics of stacking.

Anon on twitter, he has it to stay in touch with friends and follow people he's interested in, not to be harrassed by ladies who maybe should find something better to do with their time.

He doesn't play video games, except a few facebook apps and spends WAY less time on the computer than I do, so that's a foolish thing to criticize him about.

Anonymous said...

We are a family for four and we live in about 1000 sq. ft. I love it for many reasons (easier to keep clean and tidy, for one!).

My storage problem is trying to make sure everything we want stored is hidden away in closet so the house looks neat. Does it bother you to have your storage containers out in the open? It doesn't seem very aesthetically pleasing to them in the kitchen.

Also, I second the previous commenter who said it would be better to have color pictures on your blog. The black and white pictures just don't look as good as color.

Rachel

Anonymous said...

Emily,

I would like to point out something regarding your comment about people looking for you on Twitter and Facebook.

You have chosen to write a controversial blog that details many aspects of your life. You have made a conscious choice to invite strangers into your home via the internet. At this point in time, it is not realistic for you to expect privacy anywhere on the internet where your identity is apparent. Having people look you and your husband up on Twitter and Facebook is something you should expect, not be surprised and creeped out by. It might not be the way that you prefer things, but in choosing to have this blog it’s what you opened yourself up to. Want people to stop trying to friend you on Facebook? Stop having a blog whose controversy draws so many people in. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

I note that you said that you intend to make future posts where you photograph your apartment in order to show the layout and organization. Do you think this is wise considering the lack of privacy you are already experiencing? Your blog, your husband’s blog, and both of your Facebook profiles have revealed enough information to determine where you live. It would not be difficult to locate your apartment at this point in time. Giving people pictures of the inside is not a good decision. It is only going to compromise the safety of your family.

--S

Emily said...

S, I understand if people try to friend ME on facebook, but not my husband. He didn't write a blog that draws people in. I did. He didn't ask for a bunch of people to harrass him on Twitter and Facebook.

I have not used my last name. Someone did some research to figure out who we were. That person, who posted all of our info on those forums, I'm sure already knows where we live. That IS creepy. Posting pics of the inside of our apartment doesn't compromise our security in any way beyond what that person did.

Me said...

Wow! I agree with you Emily. That is REALLY creepy!!! Why are you being discussed on a forum?

Anonymous said...

How do you train your children up so well to keep them out of bins?

Anonymous said...

I would also be sure those bins are absolutely childproof and cannot be opened by little fingers. It would be terrible if a child were to get trapped inside of one.

Emily said...

Me, They've been talking about me on various forums for months. It's not my favorite, but I don't really mind. I don't mind them talking about my husband, either, but I don't like them harrassing him on Facebook and Twitter.

Other commenters, I'm not going to be publishing comments that explain to everyone else how to stalk me.

Emily said...

Rachel, I don't like the look either. We had them in the hallway outside the apartment, but for various reasons that was less than ideal. I've started painting some, and that may be what I end up doing. I've also thought of covering some in nice fabric. I'll address more of that when I do the storage solutions series.

Wanda said...

Emily that does look really dangerous. Everyone is just trying to help. You seem really defensive lately.

Emily said...

I will say again, it is less dangerous than a Christmas tree if you actually THINK about it, it is just less common.

Also, I will not publish comments attacking my husband and I will not publish comments that direct my regular readers to your gossip forums.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say in response to all the commenters who are horrified at the idea of anyone "Taking a chance with their children's safety" - there are lots of ways we ALL take chances with our kids' lives. Vaccinating, and not vaccinating both carry serious risks. Feeding artificial baby milk (aka infant formula) - can have seriuos repercussions. Driving in a car is arguable one of the most dangerous things one can do, but I'm pretty sure most of us do it on a regular basis. Persepctive, people. Please.

Elizabeth said...

These bins could actually be used as end tables, near the couch or the beds. Cover with a nice piece of fabric and it serves as a table and storage!

Emily said...

Anon, on my last name, I didn't mean to reject your comment, really. You're right, I used to be less private, but as the blog grew, I would occasionally adjust things to reveal less and less personal info, like my last name. As you said, you didn't remember it, write it down for safe-keeping or try to follow my DH's twitter account, because that would not be normal.

Anon on perspective, thanks. (:

Anonymous said...

I understand why you don't want to include a link and direct more people to your private info, but I wish there were a way those of us who want to could get over to this forum and stand up for you.
Mean people suck and need to be stood up to. I bet there are more of us who support your way of life than there are those who are tearing you up.

Anonymous said...

Actually you do use your last name. I click through blogcatalog.com to reach your blog. Your name is posted there for the world to see. I have a life so I won't be stalking you today.

Emily said...

Anon, there are about a dozen forums that "discuss" me, and countless threads, and two forums that discuss my husband. I'm not sure which one is sending people to follow my husband's twitter. There are people on those forums who do stand up for me, and they are attacked pretty viciously for it. They do a good job, though, and I hope they know I appreciate it.

Anon, thanks for the heads up on blogcatalog; I've changed it. Yes, generally people who have a life don't stalk me, and those are the ones that I don't mind having my last name.

liveoncejuicy.wordpress.com said...

The people on those forums are exactly why I homeschool. When you get too many people who are exactly the same together, they get nasty. And if you happen to be different...god help you. My son has Asperger's Syndrome--different by definition--and the kind of biting nastiness on those forums is exactly what he faced day after day at public school. No more. How about we start celebrating difference, rather than trying to beat it into submission?

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily Honey,

Love seeing the insides of a Godly home. It glorifys HIM. As for food storage I would double bag those meats Honey.

As it says in Leviticus "Meat that touches anything ceremonially unclean must not be eaten; it must be burned up."

Now if you are anything like me Emily you don't want to take chances. I like those freezer ziploc bags.

Keep up the good work!

Nelly

Amber said...

Nelly,

When Jesus came to the earth he did away with the Law because no one can follow it... it's not possible. Christians are saved through grace alone, not by following an impossible to follow law.

If you're going to tell her to follow one aspect of the law I hope you're also going to tell her to follow the other 600something laws.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking that the comments about the freezer bags was a joke???? To show that the comments about the bins went a little too far. I enjoy this blog because I too live in a small home with not much money. I want to use the info I can and enjoy the post. If Emily post something that I cannot use or I disagree with I simply ignore it and use the information that is helpful. #1 she has tested the bins and it appears there is no danger. #2 let those without sin cast the first stone. How many of us can truly say our home is completely safe? Anyway, not sure why people who are looking to find fault continue to visit.

frugalredneck said...

Emily, I am looking forward to the new things you have coming up. I am really sorry for all the crud that has come against you and your family, that is just awful, Unfortunatly that us what we now face in this world. As far as the bins, I really don't see the uproar, But I have 6 kids, Only one had stitches, My two 5 year olds have severe adhd, I also agree that some parents have a better way with their kids. I have a hard time with the 5 year olds, but the rest I never baby proofed much, I don't know I am more lax than most parents, I have big bookshelves, But noone is allowed to climb on them, I also have a staircase, could be a hazard, But I have taught them all how to go down it. It feels to me that emily is getting hit hard, with every post. Anyway, you know your kids, and their limits, I know mine, other parents know theirs. Every kid is different. I think she seems to be atleast from what I see, a good mom, And I don't get that she would ever put her kids in harms way, Just my two cents.

Roxanna said...

Emily,

I am not saying this to be mean and I hope you don't take it that way but I feel like I have to say something.

I have read your blog for awhile and I have notice you are getting really bitter and almost mean in a lot of responses/post. I don't know if you realize that you are coming off as that but it is not flattering :(

I can understand that you might be upset(I would be too)that people are attacking you on different forums, but I think on the interwebz we tend to forget that WE are putting our self out there to be judged. When we talk about our personal life it opens up for people to attack not only us personally but our families. I know this from experience from a message board I am on. I have seen people 'vent' and then get attacked.

I enjoy your blog BUT if you don't want people to attack you personally and also your family members I would recommend you close it because people will continue to do it. Also it is VERY easy to find people on the internet and a lot about them.....it is almost scary :( I know someone on another board who went as far to do personal back ground checks on people. People have a lot of time on there hands and that can be dangerous

Emily said...

Roxanna, I understand with this blog that I have put MYSELF out there to be judged, I just don't like the harrassment towards my husband. Again, I don't mind them talking about him, but they're harrassing him on the social networking sites. I don't want to come off as being nasty, but I'm not going to pretent I'm happy about it.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about putting the bins under your bed? You can purchase risers that go under the legs of the bed to lift it up to the height of the bins. You should easily be able to put 6 bins under the bed, thus eliminating any potential safety issues.

I also stack bins, but I put them in locked storage. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable having that safety threat accessible to my child. Those bins can definitely tip over, even when stacked heaviest on the bottom to empty on the top. Even an empty bin weight a couple pounds. That could potentionally cause injury or death to a small child. Not worth it to me.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I had to laugh at the comment from some know it all mother about how she would jump to fix it IF something in her house was unsafe. Well guess what, I don't even know you and I can guarantee that you have unsafe things in your home, they just haven't been tested out yet (and may never be). None of us live in a bubble, ladies! I agree that we all need a little perspective here and some TRUST that Emily knows her house/children well enough to know what the risk is with these bins.
I agree with the fact that Emily is being defensive, but the way some of you jump on your high horses over something like this is enough to make anyone defensive.

Brooke

Elizabeth said...

To Anonymous who suggested buying risers and putting the bins under the bed. That would then raise the bed to an unsafe level and a child could easily fall off such a high bed and get hurt.
The fact is, there is danger in everything. Whether it be a string on a child's hoodie, a stove in the house, steps, etc. As parents, we need to take efforts to make sure our home is safe, but a stack of bins that has been tested by the parents is not the most harmful thing in a house. I have my own stack of bins in the children's room and they have never been climbed on. The table has been though (should I get rid of the table, or instead teach the children not to climb on them?). Everything could become dangerous and children certainly find a way to make things so, but I don't see bins full of clothing to be much of a hazard.

Angie said...

I agree with the sentiment that a little more perspective is in order here.

Also just wanna say that to me Emily doesn't come off as mean or bitter but rather matter-of-fact and to the point.

Patty said...

It has been amazing me how flippy floppy people have been lately. One day everyone is concerned and the next people are background checking and harassing. It seems any family putting their lives out for the public to watch are being throttled by this mob mentality. I think Emily is incredibly aware of the hazards in her home (as she said, they tested the bins of fluffy soft clothes). I don't think Emily's attempt was to be mean, I believe her attempt was to be direct. There will always be room for improvement in all things of life but we do the best, safest things we can in the meantime.
I second the 'make bed taller and they'll fall off' argument. I don't fear the kids falling off persay but I fear that that would be the next mob backlash just as using zipper bags will get the plastic poison patrol out. Unless these complainers out there have their kids in a empty room with organic cotton white padded walls located away from all highways, power lines, pipelines, etc then they have no leg to stand on and if they do I fear how the child will handle the real world one day. Teach the children but learn from them too.
Just because Emily chose to write a blog in her free time does not give everyone the right to assume they are her bestest buddy on social sites or the real world. Keep your head up Emily and continue being the fab. mom you are.

Emily said...

I'd like to say I understand when people feel connected to me. I feel connected to other bloggers even though I don't really know them. I understand people adding me on facebook because they like me. But that is not the case here. People are adding and following me and my husband so that they can make fun of us on their little forums. Again, I don't mind it with me, but I would prefer it if people would leave my husband alone.

Anonymous said...

A table is not a crush/tip hazard, so it is not the same issue as a stack of bins. I absolutely love rubbermaid bins but they should not be stacked in the living space.

Captain Cleavage said...

Emily do you have a coffee table? I know the bins are working for you the way they are but My aunt also lives in small quarters and she used the rubbermaid bins for storage as well making them into a coffee table, end tables, and even using one as an art table for her kiddos. Just a thought :).

Anonymous said...

Stacked bins are the least of their problems. When you go into a store, items are stacked. A little self-awareness has to be had in the home just like anywhere else on earth. Sheesh, almost anything in the home is a hazard, not just things that are stacked. The gaddang refigerator may fall over one day - does she have to get rid of it?????

Get rid of the kefir, that crap is probably the worst thing there is!

R said...

Hi Emily,

I hope you see this. I am a long time reader and a sometimes commentator. Politically we are so very very different, but I really enjoy your blog. I think a lot of the flack you get comes down to consideration. More precisely, lack thereof. I'm not sure why people don't think being considerate of the feelings of others, even those others we don't know in real life, is important. I do think it was somewhat insensitive to imply that other mothers weren't "teaching their children boundaries." A simple "Thank you for your concern, but we are comfortable with the situation" or "We've taken adequate precautions" would have probably been sufficient. However, I completely understand that you were feeling under attack. That would make anyone upset. Please just know that you have many readers who appreciate you. I also really appreciate that you constantly strive to be considerate of others. You always mention that the way you do things is the way you do them, and isn't meant as a critique of the different choice others make.

heather said...

emily, i kind of like you and your blog. i don't want to live like you do or really think like you do. thankfully, we can have "to each our own". in another 10 years, i do think you'll have new perspectives, but that's just me using my own experience of growing up. as for the unwanted "popularity", i think it's going to go with the territory. and that is something that only you and your husband can decide...is it worth it?

Kevin said...

This is a very nice blog!

Ralar said...

Nely,

Some people can and do follow the 613 commandments -- they are called Orthodox Jews. BTW, Rabbi Jesus himself followed the 613 commandments.

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