Dwelling Small // Living Simply

>> 4.24.2013

A lot of what's occupying my mind these days has to do with the home. The physical space. The room we occupy with our bodies + (many) things, too. Lately it's dawned on me that I may not be able to change my habits, as I'll detail below. My habitat, however, is another story entirely.

It's no secret: We have been living in somewhat of a mess over the past couple years.

Stephen is a tidy guy by nature; I function best in chaos. I'm that weird mix of a procrastinator/perfectionist -- thriving on the stress of last-minute to get things done. I've also grown quite fond of starting lots of projects and not finishing them. Of things like pretty clothes (that, surprisingly, you can find in good supply at thrift and Good Will stores) and other conveniences that -- when I take a step back -- seem incredibly frivolous and indulgent.

Unnecessary clutter of our spaces. Unnecessary things to clean and maintain. Unnecessary stress and frustration. Why not get rid of it all and become minimalist? I realize minimalism is either a serious lifestyle shift and/or a huge trend depending on who you're talking to. Whether brought up by true virtue or pure aesthetic, I keep running into posts and pictures of clean, quiet spaces that immediately give me that "Ahhhh" calming feeling.

And today I ran across this gorgeous 560 square foot home, with interior (+ image source) by Jessica Helgerson, and just about choked on my bagel.


To die for, right? You have to see the rest of the tour!

I don't know much about the actual practice of minimalism or if that's even what I want to label this new desire. And I don't really mean in the design sense -- buying expensive trendy items and closely mimicking Scandi decor. I'm talking home/body/soul. Been consulting sources like Zen Habits for the holistic view and looking at blogs like Reading My Tea Leaves for helpful inspiration + tips on living in small spaces.

Ours isn't so tiny, 1200 square feet, though these days I feel in the minority of my peers living in a 1-bathroom home with such a small footprint. Outside a major city, that is. We can't as easily extend our living to neighborhood hot spots and other community centers. And we could likely have two more kids here. You never know.

So, finding a way to use the space we do have in a smarter way is something I'm gunning for. You know, like that third bedroom is another 120 square feet that we've been using all these years for a hoarders-type closet. (As an aside: I've discovered the difference between true hoarding and just being messy is being able to get rid of things/not have attachment issues. Thankfully I can plow through and donate without shedding tears.)

I don't have much else to write today. I'm going to start sharing bits + pieces of our adventures with leaning out the clutter and bringing out the space. It goes much beyond just things for us, though. We're truly looking to simplify our lives and start living in a whole new way.

It sounds so trite, but living with less is r.e.a.l.l.y living with more. We're beginning to see that so clearly it hurts our eyes. Already we've made some major strides in all regards . . . and you can just feel some weight has lifted.

Let the sun shine in! (More soon.)

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