Living minimally in a Victorian home in Oregon

My husband and I live in a 850 sq. ft. apartment in Forest Grove, about 25 miles West of Portland, Oregon. We pay $850/month. We live in the upstairs apartment of this Gothic Revival Victorian home built around 1890. It is a 2 bedroom apartment. This is one of the biggest apartments we have lived in. We have lived in everything from 350 sq. feet to 900 square feet. Even though we live in 850 square feet, we live minimally.

How you can live minimally/simply in a bigger apartment/house:

It can be difficult living minimally if you live in a bigger space. Here are some tips to help you.

  1. Don’t feel like you have to fill up every space, cabinet, closet, etc. Less furniture means less to clean. More floor space means you will have room to walk and to exercise. It will be easier to find things if you have more room in your cabinets and closets.
  2. Don’t feel like you have to have something hanging on every wall. Your space will look cluttered if you have too many things hanging on the walls.
  3. Get rid of things you haven’t used in the last 6 months. I constantly downsize the stuff I own if I don’t use it or if it doesn’t serve a purpose.
  4. You can live without dressers, bookcases, coffee tables, plants, t.v. stand and t.v., and extra seating in the living room. You can downsize your furniture when you get rid of smaller things like books, knick knacks, and CD’s/DVD’s.

History of our house: We feel so lucky to live in a house like this. It has so much character and history. I love all of the detail work and I love the color!

We went to the local historical society to learn more about our house. We learned that the house sits on land which is zoned for commercial use. In the future, it may be demolished for commercial development. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Sanborn maps place the construction date between 1888 and 1892. The block of land that our house sits on was bought in 1872 by Persis Chandler for $1,600. Our house is called the Chandler house. It is also known as the Dr. Large house. Dr. Large was born in 1856 and moved to Forest Grove in 1880 and opened a medical practice. He served as a coroner and wrote articles for the Daily Oregonian.

Unique features:

This is one of the few houses in Forest Grove with strong Gothic elements.

  1. Two interior chimneys
  2. Rear hip roof porch was added
  3. Steep central cross gable roof with wall dormers

Our 850 Square Foot Apartment Tour:

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One comment

  1. Susan Skytta

    I am so impressed with your video of your new home! I love the tour to know more about how you live. Thank you!

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