Thursday, April 26, 2012

Micro Living

To jump straight into it, in a conversation with a friend, it occurred to me that I don't actually need all the "stuff" in my house or life. Most of it I don't touch on a daily basis. Some of it I've even forgotten I have!

I was thinking of just selling a lot of it. Who needs it? It's taking up space, it's just crap I'll have to move around, and a lot of it just gets in the way.

The next logical step in my mind was "why do I need such a big house with so much space for more stuff?" Our house is actually not that big at all; approx. 935 sq ft. not including the basement. We have a lot of stuff stored in the basement, too.

When thinking of the house, I think of what the next place we'll buy and live in will be like. We have a very good idea of where we want to be, but it's really out of our present price range. I've got to squirrel away a lot more money and stop doing so many improvements on the house we've got now to put down on a house in the ideal living place.

And then, after a long day at work and reading my blogs, a thought occurred to me while staring at cabin porn: we don't need to buy a bigger house. Hell, we don't even really need 900 square feet! We could survive, just us two, very nicely and very affordably in a cabin in the woods. (The photo at the left inspired the idea of our living there)

I don't think Chris is the kind of guy who would want to give up amenities like running water and modern heat, but after watching a documentary about Les Stroud making an off-the-grid home for his family in Canada from the skeleton of a barn, I get inspired.

Of course to most people, my family included, this is just some hippie commune bullshit. Oh, sure, you're going to sell your house and run off into the woods to lead a "simple life." Well, yeah. Don't you think it's about time we all did?

We could live on a small piece of wild land in the place we want to be. We could have that land to live on and cultivate, and while it would be a definite challenge, so is living in the world we all think we need to be a part of.... high mortgages, acquisition of more stuff, fast food, commutes, pollution, and minimum contact with nature. It's overwhelming!

I'm an idealist, though. I get teary-eyed just thinking about doing it. I just don't think I'm brave enough. I don't know if it's fair to drag my husband (and eventually, my kids) into it. I wish I could try it, risk free, for a year. Just to see if it's something I could actually do. Realistically. How amazing and how proud I'd be if I could manage!

Do you day dream about giving it all up for a small chunk of land in a place of your choice? Do you wish for simpler living?


Kate! said...

I love love love small houses! We're actually leaving a three bedroom house to move into a little loft apartment - and I can't wait! I think it's really horrible that people feel as though they need to live in a large house filled with a ton of crap. We've been downsizing and donating a lot of our possessions to Goodwill. Like you said - I forgot about a bunch of the things that I own!

Here's a link to one of my favorite sites. I love looking at house plans, and these tiny well thought out designs make me fall in love every time I look at them.


Danielle McCauley said...

Kate! Glad you came by! Good for you guys, moving into a loft. So much less maintenance, too!

Thanks for the link - going to check it out now!

Michelle said...

When I was a kid one of my favourite TV shows was a 1970s British comedy called 'The Good Life', about a couple that give up the rat race and turn their suburban back yard into a mini-farm to become self-sufficient. I think it probably helped inspired me to want a back yard full of productive plants and some chooks (I don't think we'll be getting pigs though!).
It's a shame how the more money people earn the more 'stuff' they want, and the bigger your house is, the more 'stuff' you want to fill it.
The older I get the more I understand that life is short and you need to embrace what is important to you. I've recently dropped from 5 to 4 days of work a week which has meant a lower income, but I love having every Wednesday at home to live a 'good life'.

Karen E said...

I'm working through all my stuff and drastically downsizing so I can someday build a tiny home. Not so into having the land yet, I still have to figure out where I want to live long-term. When you really start paying attention, you quickly realize how little of your stuff you actually use. My goal (on my blog) is to find at least one thing a day to get rid of. Most days, it's more than one. =) Have you looked for a rental in the area you want to be? That might be the way to go if you aren't yet sure.