Back when we were first married, Clay and I would watch House Hunters in our 700 sq. ft. apartment in Sackets Harbor, New York and dream about living in a 2500+ sq. ft. house complete with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Now almost 10 years later, we watch Tiny House Nation in our 2500 sq. ft. home (with granite countertops, but only one stainless steel appliance) and dream of living in a smaller house. The irony is not lost on us.
I’ll admit that living in a 300 sq. ft. home doesn’t appeal to us at this point in our lives but running as fast as we can away from the overconsumption and must-have attitude that has such a stronghold on middle class is a priority. After all, we’re living in a time when choosing to purchase a new car with cloth seats instead of leather can be viewed as making do with less. Which is quite laughable. And sort of sickening.
We’re set to move next summer and have our hearts set on a smaller house next time around. Not tiny house small, but at least 1000-1500 sq. ft. less than what we have now. Our house is just too damn big for our family of four. During daylight hours, we’re all in the same room at least 88% of the time and to be honest, the amount of time we actually spend inside our home is minimal. What is sad is that when I mention wanting only a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom ranch home next time around to some people, their reactions vary between horror and pity. It’s hard to believe we’re living during a time in our country when a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom home under 2000 sq. ft. is considered small.
Throughout our daily life, we’re taught that less is more. I am absolutely guilty of uttering these words while justifying the need for a new gadget that will “like totally make life easier” in the aisles of Target (why is it that I am incapable of walking out of Target without spending at least $30?). My goal for this upcoming school year is to focus on my wants vs. needs, especially when it comes to tangible items, things if you will. We have close to 3000 sq. ft. worth of stuff in our home. It is just too much stuff. If someone were to challenge me to write down everything single item in our possession, I’d likely fail miserably and only be able to recall 20% or so of what we own. Unacceptable.
Famed 19th century English architect and designer William Morris famously wrote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” By doing an inventory of every single item in our home and determining whether it is useful or beautiful or neither, I hope to scale down our worldly treasures and return to a more simple existence, or at least one that can fit in a 1500 sq. ft. house. Shouldn’t be too hard, right?