Nov 9, 2009

Living IN Less

For the last couple of years I have been enamored with the idea of living in a small house. I could look noble and say it's because I want to "reduce my carbon footprint" and all that stuff. That's a fantastic reason, certainly, but that's not why I'm interested in living in a smaller space.

It's money and laziness. I don't like to spend money unless I want to or need to. I don't like to spend a lot of time cleaning, either. So, the 4000sf McMansions that are available these days actually kind of scare me.

The average size house in 1950 was 983sf. That was usually for a family with children, mind you. When we moved from Florida to "Up North," we had to rent the biggest U-Haul truck. There were two of us--and a pomeranian. What does that tell you? We have too. much. stuff.

Since my son was born, I've been on a mission to reduce, reduce, reduce. (My belongings, that is. I'm still working on having the same perseverance when it comes to my body.)

One of my favorite magazines is Mother Earth News. It is chock full of fun articles about homesteading and living off the grid and all those earthy things that I'll probably never do. BUT, I get to read about it and live vicariously through those who do.

In the October/November 2008 issue, there was an article entitled Home Petite Home. (My heart skipped a beat.) A family of three was living comfortably in.....640sf in Maine! (Click HERE to read the article. The magazine had more pictures. If you're interested, I'll scan them to another post. Let me know.)

They were inspired by a site called The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. I heard about them about a year ago and had fun looking through all the plans, but they were just a tad TOO small even for me and my desire to live simply.

Since it's not financially feasible for us to move to a different home right now, I'm determined I will CREATE my own small footprint. Hence The Bunker living and combining many activities into one space. And reducing, always reducing. In fact, I began to calculate how much space went to storage and I was appalled. Think about the taxes, heat, air conditioning, etc., you pay to provide space for your stuff (that you hardly use) to live? Not only do you have to provide comfortable living conditions for your stuff, but you have to keep it clean, too?

I declare a challenge to live in LESS space. Less is more, you know. I'm discovering that a little at a time.


Packrat said...

I'm happy that others can get rid of stuff, I will have to soon. I'm just not ready to. Not yet.

Roxanne said...

Packrat--I know what you're talking about. I wouldn't consider those things "stuff" anyway. It's the unimportant clutter that needs to go.

Sentimental value IS valuable. There's no hurry to do away with any of that any time soon--if ever.

Anonymous said...

Before I married I lived in a house that was 856 sq feet and loved it! People always used to comment what a cute house, but oh, so small and wanted to know how I could live in a house that "small". Goodness! How much house does ONE person need? I felt like it was just perfect!

Packrat said...

I'm back. I have to say that most of my life I have lived in a "bigger" house - as in 3 bedroom, 2 baths. Sometimes it isn't the lack of or abundance of square feet but how the whole thing is arranged. I live in a 1919 Craftman's style house - mid-sized for the era, but there isn't any place for linens or a vacuum or for a TV or a computer...

Roxanne said...

Trixie--Nearly 900sf for one person is roomy, isn't it? I have found that the more room I have, the more I attempt (in the past, anyway) to fill the space with stuff.

Packrat--EFFICIENT use of space is so key to being able to live in a smaller house. My husband is all for vertical storage. (Even when I don't need it, he wants to build me some!)

In the article the lady talks about how important that is. I think she even has one of those laundry units that washes the clothes and then dries them without ever taking them out of the machine. (Of course, I'd want to hang them out in the good weather!)

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