We live in a little house. One bedroom, one bathroom, nil closet space. Technically there is a bedroom and bathroom downstairs, but it’s separate from the house and is more of a basement/something you’d expect to tunnel you through to the Upside Down in Stranger Things than actually want to spend much time in. Space in and around San Francisco is limited, and our house is no exception. All in all, we live in about 700 sqft. The back yard is spacious with trees and a creek and greenhouse – the house is tiny. I think that’s actually what the Craigslist ad said when we were moving in. I like to joke to Trey “I’ll be in my office” and then go work in the greenhouse (or now – the sunroom). We like living relatively minimal. We just bought a portable air conditioner for the house after living without one (it stays pretty cool on the coast) for the 7 years we’ve lived in California. We also recently just got a microwave and toaster, and this is the first place in California we’ve lived that has a dishwasher, washer/dryer, yard, and drive way of its own!
When we first moved to San Francisco, I met a mother and filmmaker at a park near our apartment in the Mission. Her little 15 month old son, Dari, loved our new puppy, Jack. Over time, we got along so well that I became a caretaker for Dari in the afternoons for a few years while she and her partner (a sound engineer) worked on a documentary film that eventually won the SF Film festival. They lived minimally in a walk up loft-style apartment in a building that was once a bustling bread factory in the 60s. I’d ride my bike to their place after work and pick up Dari, pop him in the Bjorn, and off we’d walk to get eggs from a friend with chickens in the outer Mission, pointing out all the doggies along the way. Before I moved away to San Diego for graduate school, Dari’s dad was in the process of building him a little wooden boat bed, similar to the old boat he was fixing up across the bay in the Sausalito harbor. I was really inspired by them and the way they lived.
Since our house is
small tiny and without a single closet, we are selective and conscious of what we bring into it. With a little one, we know we’re bound to amass a lot as we go along, so we’re sticking to our minimalist ways as much as we can by being mindful about the things we purchase, repurposing things we already have, and coming up with creative solutions to other things by building them ourselves (the perks of having an engineer partner – he’s always down to diy).
For the first few months, little human will be sleeping in our room. We are putting together a ‘nursery’, but at first it will just be a small corner of our bedroom. I found a wooden mini-crib on Craigslist (above) that I love, and we’re slowly checking off the essentials we’ll need – everything from bathing to feeding, to feetie pajamas. In doing so, a few items have caught my eye. Of course all of these aren’t essentials, nor are they all the essentials one would need, by any means. We’re still researching items like a car seat, stroller, etc to choose the right products that will fit our lifestyle.
For now, here are a handful of things I’ve come across and liked so far:
1. Mabo organic cotton pajamas. I like this clothing line’s cotton basics. The cotton tops and striped bottoms are my favorites. I picked up a pair of their little spotted pajamas at the West Coast Craft fair a few weeks back and they are really soft. I’m finding there are lots of awesome independent and local brands of children’s clothing that I really like. I’m also a fan of hand me downs and vintage consignment.
2. Mason bottles, along with a couple life factory ones that were gifted to us. I’m really intrigued by the mason bottles as the silicone tops work with most small-to-medium sized mason jars, which are an alternative to plastic for storing milk.
3. Land of Nod Olin mini crib. We’ll be using this beside our bed for the first few months. They don’t make them anymore, but we got lucky and found someone looking to part ways with one on Craigslist.
4. Douglas border collie + blue heeler soft toys, similar to Jack and Keep!
5. Jenny Pennywood swaddling blanket. I’m a fan of everything local San Francisco artist Jen Garrido does. The hand-dyed textiles she makes under the moniker “Jenny Pennywood” are my favorite. When I saw she came out with a line of swaddling blankets, I had to have one! Other soft muslins like these have been gifted to us and I really like them too.
6. Bandanas for bibs. We have so many soft, worn-in cotton bandanas around that just need to be washed. I’ve been collecting them for years.
7. A few comfy floor pillows
for the dogs to lay on for playing on the floor.
8. A wooden peace sign teether. Wood will be gentle on gums, while also being plastic-free.
9. A moses basket. Good for placing baby in when I want to take a shower, clip herbs in the greenhouse, or air drum that sweet solo in the middle of In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins and need my hands free. I really like this pretty basket too, but haven’t been able to bring myself to buy one. I like that the baskets can be reused later for holding toys, books, etc.
10. Natursutten rubber pacifiers. I saw these classic pacifiers a lot in Italy and France when we went a while back, and now I’ve been noticing them everywhere here. Not only are they adorable, they are made from sustainably harvested rubber trees and are completely biodegradable.
More Little Human series can be found here.