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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Downsizing... But Not Really (part 1)

I recently got a desire to watch some of the "tiny home" shows on tv.  For those who don't know what a tiny home is, it's a home that is very small.  Very VERY small.  Usually around 200 square feet.  Sometimes they're on wheels so you can be mobile.

It's very trendy at the moment so there's lots of info about it all over tv and the internet, etc.

Here's just one (of many) Facebook pages dedicated to them.

And other sites:

While most seem to be on the extremely small side of things, some tiny homes are as big as 500-600 square feet.

My first home was 827 square feet.  Lived there as a family of four, so not sure how 600 qualifies as tiny.  I guess it's all relative.  They say the average home in America is 2300 square feet.  To me, that's ginormous... and that's just the average.  That means a good portion of these houses are 4000, 6000, 8000 square feet.


I can see why people want to downsize.  Maybe some are learning, however, that a true "tiny home" was too much of a change for them.  After watching a couple of the tv shows on tiny homes, I know it's not for me.  And the thing is, at one time I could have thought it'd be up my alley.

I can easily see how there are many like me... who thought, "Hey, what a great idea.  I can do this!"  Ah, the bane of being an idealist.

That being said, while I can't see myself ever by choice living in a tiny home, I can fully embrace the idea of downsizing.... my stuff.

My kids and I have had some living conditions that could be similar to some of the things a tiny home owner has to deal with.  For over a year I had no bedroom, but opened a sleeper sofa every night and closed it back up every morning.  There were also a couple of years where I slept on the couch and my daughter slept on the floor of the living room.  I spent three years sleeping in a cot in my workshop too.  I currently cook (fabulous meals so I'm told) using 2 on/off burners and a toaster oven.  These are the kinds of things you do out of necessity and they are generally temporary.  I have no desire to make a sofa bed every day for the rest of my life or to sleep on a living room sofa.

So that's part of my reasoning for not wanting to consider a tiny house.  One of the other reasons is that I run a business and with that comes "stuff".  I can't "downsize" my workshop.  Well, I can, and I have been, but there's still going to be a lot of stuff... and continually more and more stuff.  It's a business.

Also, I like to entertain.  I want friends over... I want family to stay the night, etc.  That is SOOOO hard to do in a tiny home.

So my plan is to go through my current living conditions and "downsize" my stuff.  I want a clean, clutter-free living environment and I want to be able to find anything I need within seconds.

Follow along with me as I begin.

I'm starting in the bedroom because that's where my computer is (yes, I still use a desktop for 99% of my computing).  A couple months ago I bought a high end surge protector because I live in a rural area and when we get storms, we sometimes lose electricity and/or have brown-outs and none of that is good for my computer.

But that surge protector has been sitting on my couch waiting... waiting... waiting.  I can't GET to my computer plug.  Ugh!

And so it begins.

If I get up the nerve to let you see before pictures, I'll post them when I get to the after pictures.    You see... I run out of time... and then I put things down and say I'll deal with it later.  but later doesn't come because I'm still pressed for time.  It just goes on and builds up.  And while it's not dirty or dangerous, it's clutter and inconvenient.

So let's do one issue at a time.

This is a good example of how my thought processes get me in to trouble. The cotton robe on the left is the one I use every time I take a shower.  The one on the right is similar if not nearly identical, but I don't need two... I can only use one at a time, right?

But then my brain says things like, "But what if you have company and they need to borrow a bathrobe?"

Oh seriously?!  I'm supposed to store a bathrobe indefinitely on the off chance that someone may someday say, "Hey, do you happen to have a spare bathrobe I can borrow after my shower?"

Then I argue, "But it's 100% cotton and really good quality.  You can't just throw that away."

Wrong. I need to learn to get rid of things that serve me no purpose EVEN IF THEY ARE GOOD QUALITY.

The blue thing in the middle... I guess that would be referred to as a housecoat.  How often do I use it?  Hm.... If I'm running around in my pajamas (which is often) I could put it on if I'm cold.  but I could also put on a sweater (and I have several of those).

Does the housecoat serve an important role?  I don't think so.  And it's butt ugly.

Remember that rule we've all heard? If you haven't used it in six months, you don't need it.

I'm sure I haven't worn that housecoat since last year.

How about if I put BOTH of those things in a box and put the box away for a year?  Then if I don't need either of them, I can get rid of the contents of the box after a year.

But I think I'd rather make a decision now and not store a box of stuff for a year.

Okay, they both go.  I'm trying to downsize.

Oh, two comments regarding that photo... the walls were NOT my choice.  I inherited them and just haven't gotten around to doing something to cover-up/remove the wall paneling.  Also, hooks... are awesome!  I need more hooks and shelves everywhere.

1 comment:

  1. oh I could definitely weed out a ton of "bathrobes" in my home...but...I might be a packrat. And the "what if I have company who needs a bathrobe" question always makes me keep the extras :) You are setting a good example, Laura!