Sunday, August 11, 2013

On Foot or On Floor

Recently I announced that my family would be selling our couches and living on the floor, eastern-style.  You can read about our reasons here.  Now that we are settled in our new home, I thought I would fill you in on floor life for the Nelsons.

It's so easy!

I don't know why I thought it would be such a huge adjustment.  But it wasn't.  There hasn't been a day in the last month that I wished I had a couch.  As a now experienced floor-liver (liver?) I can testify to the following benefits:

  • I get up and down off the floor probably thirty times on average during the day.  Maybe more.  I really should have counted before doing this post.  That alone makes me much more active throughout the day than I used to be.  Check out the 52 ways you can get up off the floor.
  • I squat a ton more!  Including to set the table and, yes sweep the floor.  I got rid of our long-handled broom so I have to scuttle around the room in a squat to clean.  No video clips, sorry.
  • Kids love it.  They spend most of their time on the floor anyway, and how great when mom and dad are down there with them!
  • When sitting (or kneeling or squatting), I change positions so much more often than I would on a chair or a couch.  Again, more active.  My pelvis is also almost never tucked under.  Yay for neutral pelvises (pelvi?).
  • SPACE!  I anticipated this might be a benefit, but wow it's so great not to have to navigate around couches.  And not to have to move them across the country.

 The Living Room

  • We aren't completely done decorating yet.  But I've decided it's nice to fill the vertical space (normally covered by couches) with vertically-oriented things, like bookshelves, mirrors, long curtains, or a great big map (yet to be mounted on the wall).
  • Probably more pillows to come, though our rug is cushy enough we don't really need them!  But they are always there for those who want more padding. 
  • I definitely suggest a plush shag rug.  This one is 8x10 and a great Amazon find (much cheaper than anything we found locally of the same quality).
  • That desk (currently functioning as a table) we inherited from Cameron's grandma.  Isn't it pretty?
  • I think some tall houseplants would be nice in the corners.

Peter's Room

  • I snuck this as he was *trying* to go down for a nap today.  Sad little bug.
  • Ah, so we DO have a chair!  I've caught Cameron in it twice, after a long day at school.  But it really is never used.  We kept it so that Peter's grandmas would still want to visit us.  And because my parents gave it to us for my/Peter's birthday when he was born.
  • Cam and I have always sat on the yoga ball to hush him or "rock" him to sleep.  Be careful though, it's easy to tuck the pelvis on a yoga ball under the weight of a toddler.  I keep myself moving in circles and watch that tuck.
  • Smaller, beige version of the living room rug.  Also from Amazon.  Toy-time and book-time rug.

The Entry Way

  • Confession time.  Upstairs we have a couch.  Cameron likes to lie on it sometimes when he reads, but otherwise it isn't used.  We actually tried to sell it right up to the day we moved, but had no buyers.  I figure again, guests might be glad.  (We do also have folding chairs in storage for when friends come over who want to sit).
  • The bench is for putting on shoes, in absence of a clean rug.
  • The pull-up bar in the distance is used by all three of us for hanging and for pull-ups. We want to build Peter another play structure, because even though I'm right beneath him when he's hanging, it makes me nervous how high it is.  (He LOVES this activity.)
  • Exercise bonus from this house: our bedroom closet is only one foot wide.  Cam and I therefore keep all our clothes in the walk-in closet upstairs.  We have to go up and down the stairs a lot more than we otherwise would, just to retrieve and return our clothing.

The Dining Room

  • We cut the legs off our kitchen table using a skill saw borrowed from our neighbor.  We gave our chairs away.
  • Cheap rug from Costco.  Perfect for eating on, because it is easy to sweep/vacuum/scrub.
  • "Outdoor" throw cushions that are easy to wipe down.
  • Peter for now eats in his "high chair," set on the floor at our level.  This system is working great, except that I don't like how it forces him into a slumpy tucked-pelvis position.  I figure he's not in there long every day, and I have no idea how we would get him to stay at the table otherwise!
  • There's a very cluttered desk in the corner you can't see.

That's it!  Lovin' life on the floor.

** Postscript: My 7 year old neighbor is over right now, reading on the living room carpet while his mom runs an errand.  I have observed him change position 40 times in the last 20 minutes.  What an active reader he is!**


  1. Your (nearly) chairless life so impressive. I'd love to try living that way for a month to see if I could get used to it before taking the plunge and cutting off table legs. But as long as there are still chairs and couches around, I will have a hard time not sitting in them. I like your practical and decorative solutions. Food for thought. At least we have a squatty potty :)

  2. LOVE! I really love this. How easy did you say it was to get Cameron to agree to this?

    P.s. Pelvises. ;)

    1. It was like this:

      "Hey love, I have been thinking today that I would like to sell all of our couches and chairs and just live on the floor."
      "Okay, sounds great."

      I'm sure Joe will come around!

    2. Ha ha ha ha ha! Love that guy!

  3. Meredith, your house looks beautiful! It's a timely post. We've been talking lately about trashing our trashed couch in the front room and not replacing it. The floor would be more comfortable at this point anyway.

    I think it's funny that you "caught" Cameron sitting down, or at least that you phrased it that way. ;) Isn't it true that sitting isn't inherently evil? The problem is how MUCH we do it at the expense of other positions, and at the expense of movement in general, right?

    It is a bummer how all the things meant to contain our children (carseats, high chairs, etc) take a toll on their beautiful natural alignment? What is to be done about that?

  4. I loved the tour of your beautiful new Williamsburg home Merzi; its inviting and apparently quite aligning. You think of it, you do it. You plant the seeds for others to think about it too. I definitely find myself when reading or at the computer, in all kinds of positions now. I read Life of Pi at the cabin last weekend, cover to cover; I was standing near the footbridge for a good portion of it, enjoying Thomas's rock throwing below.

    Can't wait to come have a meal around your table, love.

    You just might catch me sitting in the cozy red chair :) at some point during my visits to Williamsburg.

  5. I wanna live with you. You're such a classy decorator. After I saw Katy's video tour of her house I was a little less sold on the no-furniture idea because I wasn't sure you could have a nice looking house without it. But you've re-sold me. :) Love it.

    1. Meredith's house looks a lot nicer than mine, and we have furniture...

  6. I guess I should've done a little searching on your blog before commenting on the previous post :). That's smart, with the little high chair! We have a Bumbo with a tray that the little one uses for meals now, but he's getting too small for it. And I have the same concerns about the tucked pelvis. I've thought maybe just getting a booster seat and pushing it up to the table? Have you tried that?

    1. I'm not sure there's any way of getting around the tucked pelvis at dinner, unless you want to let your toddler stand to eat. (We have tried this, crazy us, and as one might expect it turns dinner into a three-ring circus. I'm sure with some serious training we could make it work, but I prefer to sacrifice his alignment for a few minutes out of every day in exchange for a few minutes of peaceful containment.)

      This is the chair we got. It has worked great for us! We love how portable it is: