The beauty of blank spaces.

I’m not a blank spaces kind of girl. I like to see those spaces used for their purpose. Bookshelves full to overflowing with interesting books and drawers full of pretty clothes and knickknack shelves full of (preferably vintage) thingies.Over the past two years I have learnt to love blank spaces. They show me that I have made progress. By leaving them blank they incite my imagination. All the things I could do with that space, the way I could curate it or fill it with stuff I love. And being able to imagine is enough.

The Fearse Family: Blank spaces

Here are some of the blank spaces I have cultivated since we began our BNN year. Even though they are spaces filled with nothing, I sometimes think this is my biggest Buy Nothing achievement. Currently I am piloting an e-course for Bethany of Our Journey to Ithaca (which I will look forward to recommending to you when it’s up and running. The e-course runs alongside reading the e-book Clutterfree by Leo Babauta and Courtney Carver (full disclosure: I purchased this – but education is something I’m always willing to invest in). I haven’t read enough of the book yet to recommend it, but so far it reconfirms a lot of the things I have already learned about living a less clutter-some life, and also reminds me of some home truths I choose to forget sometimes. This quote, which I read today, is particularly relevant to this post: When you have emptiness in your home you have space to fill it with conversation, play, laughter, and silence. 

The Fearse Family: Blank spaces  The Fearse Family: Blank spaces The Fearse Family: Blank spaces The Fearse Family: Blank spaces The Fearse Family: Blank spaces

The Fearse Family: Blank spaces

The Fearse Family: Blank spaces

I’d love to hear your tales of blank spaces! Share photos! 


Toddler musings on the difference between ‘house’ and ‘home’.

On the way home from family day care yesterday Little Fearse started a conversation with her BP about our house and whether it was also our home. Later, on the way to Granny and Papa’s for dinner this happened:

Lil Fearse: Bye bye Daddy’s house.

Mama: Bye bye home.

LF: Daddy’s house, LF and Daddy and Mummy home.

M: That’s right, it’s our home.

LF: Go Papa’s house.

M: Yes, Papa’s house and Granny’s house. It’s also their home.

LF: NO! Papa house. Granny house. NOT home!

M: Well, yes, it’s their house and their home, too.

LF: NO NO NO NO NO! Daddy’s house Papa and Granny home.

M: Is our house Papa and Granny’s home, too?

LF: Yes. Mummy and Daddy and LF and Papa and Granny home.

I think it is a most remarkable thing that our two year old wants to distinguish between a house (structure) and a home (heart). For our last year or so we have been working on making this house a place to put our hearts. We are getting there. When our family came for LF’s birthday on Saturday many commented that they were starting to see the difference. There is less stuff and more room for that cosy, homey feeling. It is so restful and calming. It makes me happy.

Mama xo

Let’s pretend we live in a tiny home.

A few years ago Big Poppa and I spent a little over a month living in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn. It was a bitterly cold Winter and the apartment was heated by a radiator that we couldn’t manage to regulate. It was hot and stuffy. The gorgeous apartment was a real home, but it was absolutely filled to the gills with THINGS.

DSC00124 We loved staying there, but we learnt quickly that our threshold for stuff was a lot lower than we’d previously thought. We started to stash things in the already overflowing storage cupboard, just to get a little bit more foot space. We had to somehow find a way to bring our own suitcases and clothing into this space, too. Even beneath the bed and spare spaces in the bathroom were already jam packed.

The other thing is, as two over 6fters, we broke a lot of stuff. We didn’t mean to. We were really careful and very respectful of the apartment, but we were just clumsy and big and took up a lot of space. We tripped over each other and we tripped over the stuff. It was almost a daily struggle to ensure we didn’t break anything new today.


At the time our thoughts went something like this:

Mama: “Ooh this place is too small. I couldn’t handle living in a place this small all the time.”

Big Poppa: “Let’s never live in a place this small. This place is too small for big people like us.”

Mama: “Yes, too small it is.”

Big Poppa: “Too small.”

Mama: “Too small.”

Fact is, the place was more than small. It was tiny. It had three rooms and a large storage cupboard. One room was a bedroom just big enough to hold the bed and the other a bathroom just big enough to hold the bath. It was at the top of a five floor walk up, so if it weren’t for the open roof access I would have felt pretty trapped in there.

Being “interesting stuff” collectors we didn’t see the problem as being about too much stuff we saw is as being a ‘not enough space’ problem. Even though we now have a large home for just three people, I guess one day we hope to fill it with more people. One day this place might seem “too small, yes too small” and I want to do everything in our power to ensure that we continue to value the space we have and honour it by not having too much stuff.

Exploring tiny homes helps us big home people to realise the potential around us. These tiny homes don’t have stuff. They have beautiful things and space. I think the tiny homes have the appearance of much more blank space than our big home does. This is telling. We need to think hard about how we give ourselves an illusion of tiny when our home is not tiny at all.



If you are interested in learning more about tiny homes, I really liked Tumbleweed Houses, but there are heaps of interesting links out there for you to discover all on your own.

We’d love to hear the tips you’ve learnt from tiny homes.

Mama xo