The Year of Living Minimally – Week Twenty-seven

How many square feet do you need? Do you have empty rooms in your home, bedrooms of children who have long since moved out? Three bathrooms for two people? And what the heck is a ‘bonus room’??!

Maybe you like extra room. But maybe you exist very well in a small space, especially if you live alone.

We Americans have been taught to believe that more is better. A big house is a symbol of success (even if you can’t afford to furnish it). But The Tiny House movement focuses on living in a much smaller area. It’s not for everyone, I know. Perhaps I’d embrace it if I was single, but I know that two people in a tight spot can be trouble.

My first apartment was a studio, meaning there was just one room. It contained my bed, a two-seat sofa, and a table with two chairs. It worked just fine, but as I moved to other apartments, I always opted for bigger.

My husband and I lived in a three-bedroom house, and now we live in a two-bedroom condo. The extra bedroom has become a repository – my books, his guitars, an elliptical machine we don’t use (but should). If we stay here, my goal is to clear out enough stuff to set up my office there. I’d rather put the space to use.

Could you downsize from your current living arrangements?

10 thoughts on “The Year of Living Minimally – Week Twenty-seven

  1. Martha, I like living in a small house with my husband, but to me a tiny house is for one person. And I’m NOT climbing a ladder to sleep in a loft, thank you very much! My limited closet/storage space continues to work for us because we do not accumulate stuff. If I want to bring in a new whatever, an old “whatever” has to go.

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  2. In London, we lived in about 800 sq ft and that was too tight for 2 people. We had no dishwasher; breakfast cereals lived in the lounge, and the lack of a second (half) bathroom caused me frequent anxiety! Now, we’re in 1800 sq ft and it’s a little too big, although I think if we could reconfigure the allocation of space, it would be about right, especially with a writer in the household who wants a nice creative space.
    But I’m like you, Martha: I could absolutely entertain the idea of a tiny home if it was a residence just for me. With somebody else’s treasured possessions in the equation… no thanks!

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  3. Our home is 1377 square foot. And a garage which is used for my husband wood working. Every room is very much lived in. Our grown children our married. We have family over or friends over and sometimes I wish for just one more room. We have 3 bedroom and 2 baths. 1 bedroom is a guess room and the grandchildren love to sleep over as they are tonight. Are other is a office,craft room, kids play room. it is very used room. We bt small, and a one level ranch. Which is perfect most of the time. I think we have the perfect size.

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  4. We started with 1850sq. ft. We had three teen age children. We added another 200sq. ft. by converting a seasonal porch into a four season sunroom as a space for just Peter and I to relax in. Three years ago our daughter, her husband and their three children moved in with us, permanently. So, we added on again. We increased our space by another 1,296sq. ft. Suddenly our house was 3,300sq. ft! But we live in just 1,100sq ft of it, sharing a connecting laundry room with our kids and leaving the original house to them. I love living in 1100 sq ft. We got rid of so many things when our kids moved back. Furniture, “stuff”, wedding presents we never used in 38 years… it was so freeing. We have all the space we need, for the two of us and our 3 dogs. It’s so good to do these things while we can enjoy living in “just enough”. Keep at it Martha, you are encouraging me to look at my space with new eyes!

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  5. When we bought our home in 1978, we could afford a city ranch. I assumed that in time we’d leave the urban ring and move into the suburbs, to a “bigger, better” house. We never decided not to, but as life went on we stayed where we were. Our last mortgage payment was when we were fifty years old, and now that our two sons are grown and gone, we don’t have to downsize. And it’s on one level.

    We do have three bedrooms, keeping one as a guest room and the other is what we call our “reading room.” Most folks would call it a den, but we have no tv in there and we use it to read, my husbands laptop is there (mine is in the guest room), and I do my needlework from here as well. Our tv, hardly ever watched, is in the family room downstairs, as is our treadmill—yes, I use it six days a week and he five! So, I guess you could say we have more space than we really need but it’s our home and I hope we stay there all our lives.

    Tiny house? Gosh, no.

    Downsize house? No. Downsize stuff? Oh, my, yes. With Tony recently retired and me following suit this June, I insist our first project will be to get rid of a lot of unused stuff. Pass it on, give it away, or throw it out. Our living space is not cluttered but the cellar? Yikes!

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  6. I have 1900 square feet. I raised three children here, both married and alone. Now there is just me. The living room is excess, but everything else gets used. And some of that living space could be used if spread over the laundry room, kitchen and family room. Suddenly, the formal dining room isn’t big enough for all of us at one time. And since it is my only eating space, it does get used a lot. I grew up in a house that had less than half this space. Small houses? No thanks.

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    1. Actually I don’t MIND the pans in the linen closet. That saves a lot of wear and tear on my back as they’re up high enough I don’t have to squat to get ’em! ‘Course I’d NEVER tell Brandon that! Then he’d NEVER look for a place of his own! 😀

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  7. House size wise we are down to about 1600 square feet. A little cracker box. Unfortunately it’s full of twice that much space worth of furniture since Bran moved home! (rolls eyes… we have pans and food in the linen closet now…)

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