Once upon a time I dreamed of living in a huge house like some of my friends had growing up. A house with a bedroom for each person, an office for each adult, plenty of bathrooms and a rec room in the basement in addition to living rooms. When I was small we had a basement large enough to ride bikes in and two playrooms for the children. Sometimes I drive through my mother’s town, or through other neighborhood around where we live and I think about what we could do with all that space. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a room just for toys? Or enough counter space for everything we want to have at arms reach?
Occasionally we rent a house for travel (it can be cheaper and much easier than staying in a hotel) and we revel in all the space and lack of clutter. It’s amazing. We are always re-inspired to get rid of stuff and clear out clutter. It’s a good reminder of what is possible.
However, it’s green to live in a small space. Smaller houses use less energy to heat and cool. You’re less likely to leave a light on in a room you see frequently than one that’s out of sight on a 3rd floor or in a basement. Buying fewer things is green because you use fewer resources. If you have no where to put something, you’re less likely to buy it just because it’s there or inexpensive. We have a rule that if you’re going to buy something you need to know where you’re going to put it first.
If you can’t find what you need, when you need it, you have too much stuff. When you live in a small house, you have to stay organized so that you can find things when you need them. Neither Jon nor I are naturally organized people. For some people being neat and figuring out where things should go is easy. We’re not like that. We’ve worked hard at organizing things, and even though it’s not always pretty, it’s good to be organized.
What do you do to keep organized?
Our living smaller series:
- Fitting In A Small House
- Living Smaller – Organizing Small Cables
- Living Smaller – Go Vertical
- Living Smaller – What To Do With Clothes You Don’t Wear
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