I don’t believe that these must be forsaken to reduce our footprint when choosing a simpler lifestyle. That being said, we have to resize and adjust our thinking how we live. When designing a home, I put myself in the space. How do I want to use it? What will I be doing there? How do I normally move within the space where I live and how would I want to improve on it? I picture myself cooking in the kitchen. Where would I put that cutting board while preparing a meal, place a glass when sitting in the living room, etc. Movement that comes naturally to us should be maintained as much as possible. That is the reason you will see a spacious bathroom in our homes. The bath is a personal space where we relax and recharge our soul. It especially needs to be comfortable and convenient. What makes a house a home for me is a combination of things: colors, lighting, music, mementos, aromas of a favorite meal cooking. These things evoke emotions and rocket me back to that time when…. All these things come together to make my house a home, be that 2,400 sq ft or 240. Now, that doesn’t mean I can keep everything. It means you keep what is most important. You become more selective not restrictive, there is a difference I believe.
I remember watching a TV show once where those featured had accumulated so many “objects” that they could no longer move safely within their home. One of the main hangups was all the baby items from their child that was no longer with them. Every toy, every outfit was still there not being honored in boxes. Some were so tattered or broken and were easy to let go. Others not so much. It was suggested that the most precious of clothes be separated out, just two. These two were made into two pillows that went on her bed as accent pillows. Every day she could feel them and remember in a much better way than storing in a cardboard box.
So in pairing down, what you will “honor” in your home? Taking photos of the treasured items, framing them and decorating your walls is another way. If you make prints all the same size, several photos can be stored inside one picture frame and the photos can be swapped out perhaps by the season. Remember, as long as you have the photos saved in your computer you can always reproduce those memories when you need. Much easier than keeping volumes of old photo albums!
I recently experienced a change in living space when I went through a divorce this year. Making a fresh start made me looked around my home and think: "What do I really want, what is most important to me"? First thing…my cat, IttyBit of course and her handful of prized possessions. (Good thing she’s so finicky when it comes to toys!) Next were what few things I had from my childhood: my Mother’s violin, my baby blanket and 2 dolls. A desk, two book cases and three small boxes of books that are inspirational to me. Next, a wrought iron apron hook shaped like a lobster to remind me of my 24 years in New England. Three exotic looking candle holders that inspire me to travel more. For my clothes, I was brutal. If I hadn’t touched it in a year—out it went. I donated most. Anything stained—tossed, etc. Now all my clothes, purses, and shoes fit in a 4’x2’ closet. I gotta say, while I was tossing things out it very pretty difficult at times. It's surprising how much emotion is tied to “things”. After I pushed through it and saw the quality pieces I kept, it felt REALLY GOOD. Now when I buy something new, something goes out. Hence, not many new purchases!
The rest of my 26 years of possessions went with my “ex”. Let him pay for a moving truck, right?! Remember, the objects do not define us. We are more than what we surround ourselves with. They may enhance the experience but who we are is carried within us and we have that where ever we go, where ever we lay our head, where ever we call “home”. Here's to each and every one of our new beginnings!
Karen DuGuay, COO
Transcend Tiny Homes