I don’t know if home ownership is for me. So far, I’ve spent my adult life renting. Perhaps it’s the good fortune of having a string of (mostly) great landlords, but my husband and I have been perfectly happy renters. We move every few years, for school or work, and we will for the foreseeable future. It’s part of why we’re downsizing – in addition to my general desire to minify my life, it doesn’t make sense to lug tons of stuff we don’t need across the country with us this fall. Maybe we’ll always rent, but if ever we do build, I think a small home will be just right for us.
Right now we live in a townhouse, and it’s got a lot more space than we need. I’m not sure of the measurements, but it’s got two bedrooms and two and a half baths, and it’s definitely bigger than 1000 square feet. But we used to live in a 400 square foot cabin in Western North Carolina.
It was an early 20th century log cabin with a beautiful view of the mountains and four 10×10 rooms. The cabin is where we spent the first year of our marriage, and it would have been just the right size for us and the pets…if we hadn’t packed it to the gills with stuff. We won’t make that mistake again!
The tiny house movement is a bonafide phenomenon among the minimalism and sustainability blogs, and I’ve been following it with interest. There are blogs devoted entirely to the movement, blogs where the theme features prominently, and small house celebrities like Dee Williams and Jay Shafer. Although I’m impressed with anyone who can make 80 to 90 square feet work for them full time, a house that small wouldn’t make sense for a couple with three cats, a dog, and a desire to maybe expand said family down the road. We would, however, like to cut our living space in half, and there are small houses and apartments aplenty in that size range. Our downsizing plan is to part with enough of our stuff so that we can fit the rest in a studio apartment when we move (and I can’t wait to find out where we’re moving – my husband should start hearing back from graduate programs in March). Hopefully, if we minify enough, we’ll be able to go from >1000 square feet to somewhere more like one of these apartments: