Radical Downsizing

tinykitchen2-sA little over a year ago, my husband and I were living in a 1000-square-foot, 3-bedroom house with a 2-car garage and postage stamp backyard.

Now we’re living in a 390-square-foot, 1-bedroom apartment.

I have to admit: I loved the idea of such a radical downsizing, but wasn’t quite sure how it’d work out in practice. But you know what? So far, we’re functioning perfectly well in about one-third of our former space.

Here are the differences between our former (larger) house and current (tiny) flat:

Former house: 3 bedrooms
Tiny flat: 1 bedroom
Thoughts: Having three bedrooms was a lot of wasted space for us. We turned two of them into offices; however, I rarely used mine, preferring to work (on my laptop) in the living room instead. We’ve found one bedroom to be adequate for our current needs, but may opt for two in the future (the extra could serve as an office/guest room/flex space).

Former house: large, eat-in kitchen
Tiny flat: compact kitchen in corner of living room
Thoughts: I love having an open-plan kitchen, and the lack of space has been a great disincentive to accumulating excess culinary gadgets and appliances.

Former house: full-size refrigerator
Tiny flat: small, dorm-size refrigerator
Thoughts: When we first moved in, I thought the tiny fridge would be a problem – but surprisingly, it hasn’t been an issue at all. We’re a five-minute walk from the grocery store, and have found we prefer spontaneous meal-planning to bulk-buying or stocking up.

Former house: laundry room
Tiny flat: small washer/dryer combo in kitchen cupboard
Thoughts: If the unit worked well, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, it’s a temperamental bugger, and I often resort to hand-washing and air-drying rather than fight with it. I really don’t mind, though – there’s a certain simplicity and mindfulness to it.

Former house: two-car garage, two cars
Tiny flat: no parking space, no car
Thoughts: My husband commutes to work by rail and foot, and we take the train or bus on our weekend jaunts. We heart public transit!

Former house: front and back yards, garden
Tiny flat: public parks, pot of herbs on the windowsill
Thoughts: We miss having a garden (but not mowing the lawn!). For now, we’re content with growing some herbs and frequenting farmers’ markets – but in the future, it would be nice to have a small plot of land.

Former house: basement full of equipment and tools
Tiny flat: shoebox with a handful of small tools (hammer, screwdriver, etc.)
Thoughts: Since we’re living in a rental, we’re not responsible for maintenance and repairs; after owning an old house, that’s been quite a relief!

Former house: two offices
Tiny flat: ziplock bag of supplies in a kitchen drawer
Thoughts: Most of our work is done digitally, so we really don’t need a roomful (or two) of office equipment and supplies. A few envelopes, paperclips, pens, pencils, tape, etc. have been enough.

Former house: two bookshelves full of books
Tiny flat: a handful of books
Thoughts: Ebooks are my minimalist dream come true. If I can’t get something from the library, I purchase the Kindle version. Since another overseas move is likely in our future, I’m determined not to accumulate physical books.

Former house: TV
Tiny flat: no TV
Thoughts: If you own a TV in the UK, you must pay a yearly TV tax. We decided to skip the expense of the TV, cable, and tax by forgoing it altogether. We occasionally watch shows or movies on our laptops (via iTunes).

Former house: attic
Tiny flat: no storage
Thoughts: As I say in my book, stuff expands to fill the space available. Having less storage space makes it much easier to be a minimalist!

Former house: 21 normal-sized windows
Tiny flat: 4 enormous windows
Thoughts: 17 less windows to clean!

Former house: doing repairs and maintenance on the weekends
Tiny flat: traveling and hiking on the weekends
Thoughts: :-)

Overall, I’m really enjoying our tiny-living experience. It’s fascinating to see “how low we can go” and still meet our needs – without many of the things we once considered necessities.

In our consumer society, downsizing is often associated with deprivation. Our experience, however, has been the opposite: living with less has given us an incredible sense of freedom, happiness, and spontaneity.

Have you ever done a radical downsizing (or do you dream of it)? If so, tell us about it in the Comments!

{If you’d like to read more about minimalist living, please consider buying my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or subscribing to my RSS feed.}

43 comments to Radical Downsizing

  • Nothing radical – we are actually moving to a bigger place, but I’m determined for less stuff, not more! Just more space and more convenience. Our old dryer is breaking down and we are not buying a new one though. There will be enough space to air dry even towels and sheets I think, plus a communal laundry room, so we can dry them there if they get in the way. We already air dry most of the clothes so it won’t be that big of a change. The most radical thing has been to get rid of majority of our possessions, and living on one 4-day income. To me it makes a lot of sense.

  • John

    I dream of a radical downsizing. My current home isn’t large in any sense, but there are still rooms that hardly see any traffic, it’s too much for me (I detest yard-work and home repairs). I would love to move into a small one room apartment, and just get rid of all the tripe we have collected – to my SO that is a nightmare. Until we can come to a good compromise I’m working on clearing out all of my stuff that I don’t need, mostly boxes of unknown stuff in the basement.

  • JLouise

    Thanks again for sharing your living space with us. This is a terrific opportunity to discover how much space you can successfully live in and how much space you would ideally like to have.

    I think your current space with a small outdoor patio/garden area would be perfect!

  • JET1980

    This is such an inspiration to me. I currently live alone in a three bedroom house and have begun to minimalize my belongings over the last couple of months. It occurred to me one day that I am a single person who has managed to fill an entire 1200 square ft home by myself! It was more than I could bear so I started donating, selling, recycling, and throwing away things I hadn’t used since I moved in 3 years ago. It has been an amazing experience and I plan to continue this process from now on. My floors and table tops are clear, my furniture is more aligned to my needs, and just this past weekend I even traded my gas-guzzling Jeep Wrangler (that I once loved) for a far more economical, cute, practical, money-saving Honda Civic. (Unfortunately, I can’t live without a car in my area–we have NO public transit system.)

    Perhaps one day I will forgo the larger home and move into a more reasonable space as you have done. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

    • Ashley

      A friend of mine is in a similar situation as you, Jet – lives alone in a 3-story, 4-bedroom house that’s FULL of stuff! (But she’s not taking steps like you are to get rid of anything). Good luck, it sounds like you are doing great!

  • Julia

    I’ve recently had to move from my wonderful city centre apartment (513 square feet including a lot of unusable narrow corridor space). The apartment block used to have lots of working residents, but gradually they all moved out as the management company refused to deal with repairs, cleaning of the communal areas and security problems. And then we got some new neighbours who partied all night and slept all day :-(

    Anyway, we have moved to a new apartment which is not that much bigger, but it feels ENORMOUS!!! A spell of living really small is definitely the way to make you downsize your stuff, so now all my possessions fit beautifully in the slightly larger space, with lots of empty drawers and cupboards!

    I love your comment about the tiny fridge, Francine – we Brits think of that as a normal-sized one!!!!! American-style ones are gaining in popularity here, but interestingly the average amount of food Brits throw away is also increasing – apparently around a third of what is bought. I think it’s the big fridges which tempt people to buy more than they know they can eat, combined with attractive packaging and displays in the supermarkets.

  • Meg

    This was a fun post–sounds like you guys may never own a house again! When I did my most recent uncluttering this week, I pretended we were about to move into a 400 sq ft apartment, less than half the space we have now. It was the perfect guideline. Now I’m trying to work up the nerve to get rid of one of our vehicles. Can’t do both, as there are few alternatives.

  • Elizabeth

    I would love to live in a tiny space. My family of four lives in a 950 sq. ft condo. with a balcony. We don’t have a garage or attic. Currently we’re starting to “overflow” with stuff. I had been doing a good job of making sure everything has a place, but I let my guard down over the summer and my bedroom has now become what looks like a garage. My big plans for my semester break this winter are to clear out and find a place for everything we have.

    I’m wondering if anyone ever lives minimally with children. Most blogs and websites I see don’t talk about how to live minimally as a family. And frankly, I think families could really use some advice on this topic. Maybe that can be my project?

    • Kira

      We’re a family of four that tries to live in a very small way, though I wouldn’t describe us as minimalist. When we were expecting our first son we joked that he only needed a clean diaper and that he would sleep in a dresser drawer. We weren’t quite so spartan with him as that (probably because we got lots of hand-me-downs), but I went on The Compact after he was born and still don’t purchase new things unless absolutely necessary. Having another kid has probably reduced the average number of belongings per person in our home even further, simply because we can pass clothes and toys on to our younger son rather than purchase anything else, and only the quality things last long enough to be handed down.

  • bea

    Our family of 4 (my husband, myself, and our 2 boys now 9 and 10) moved from a 3000sq ft house to 1100 (+basement)four years ago. Downsizing was the best thing we ever did. We were able to buy a house in a town center, close to amenities. We ride our bikes or walk everywhere. After evaluating every belonging, and letting go of much of them, we found much more time to do things we never thought possible (for myself: trying my hand at soapmaking, candles, papermaking, etc…). We do not have TV anymore either, and prefer reading, playing games, and hiking. We were also able to take our minimalism further and embrace zero waste (I even found time to write a blog about it). Less space for us has meant a happier life with more time. Who does not want that?

  • meagan

    I love that you have that mini washer/dryer set up in your kitchen (even if it doesn’t work all that well)! I’ve never seen a setup like that–is that a British thing? As far as my downsizing story to share, well, last month I moved from a 450 sq ft apt to a 300 sq ft place. It’s the absolute perfect amount of space for me alone and is quite beautiful and luxurious since it was a vacation rental. So even though I have less space (less than my already rather-tiny home), it feels like an upgrade. :)

    • GreyQueen

      Hi Meagan, that IS a British set up. Utility rooms are almost non-existant in the UK and basements are very rare. In terms of appliances, washing machines are front-loading models which fit under your kitchen counter and so are fridges but he more common rig is the fridge-freezer. A full size model f-f is about 6-7 ft feet tall with the top half as the fridge. We also have 3/4 height f-fs for those who have to have the appliance fit under a wall cabinet. The UK is one of the most densely populated places in the world and land, and thus housing, is extremely expensive. And small! We need minimalism but we have a culture of hoarding old stuff! Incidentally, Francine, washer-dryers are notoriously unreliable and if yours is built into a kitchen cabinet (not itself the commonest UK set up, they normally freestand under the kitchen counter) it’ll be a condenser model rather than one which vents it’s steam to the outdoors via a hose; very temperamental beasties.

  • “How incredibly adorable” was my first take on your new, tiny home, Francine. And as a minimalist, it seems that we enjoy smaller things in generally. However, what we don’t take for granted, are our dreams for a big and fulfilled life. And you’re living it, Francine. Kudos. :)

  • susanna eve

    I definitely dream of downsizing. My dh, myself and 2 teens (we have an extra teen living with us just now too) live in a house that used to house my other 3 sons as well. This house was about 1100 sqft when we first moved in, there were 6 of us and I was pregnant at the time. We got rid of our van a year ago and we get around on foot or by bike (my son owns his own car) and are able to borrow a car if we need one. We are caught by the rise in housing prices, we can’t afford to move to a smaller place as we would almost certainly have to pay more for a smaller place in this area which is where we need to stay for a variety of reasons. I am working at getting rid of stuff we no longer use or need. I am almost 3 months into the 10 things a week challenge:)

  • Heather

    Done it…twice…and about to do it again!!! I love the freedom but unfortunately, I sometimes tend to get out of control. This time around though, we are moving towards a different lifestyle. Tv is going….bikes are coming back out…smaller space to maintain (I still like making things cute) : ) , more family time with a balanced dose of a happy career. What I am noticing is quality or quantity is taking over. I am also more focused on the THE goals that make the most sense and are the most important to myself and my family.

  • Heather

    I forgot to add…my own personal ultimate goal is when I turn 50, I plan of selling EVERYTHING and I mean everything…packing up some clothes and going to do volunteer work here in the US…being able to travel freely and visit the country and help others. It’s been a dream for a long time and each day I strive to reach it but I am not quite there. But I shall keep working at it. : )

  • Thanks for posting this, I liked the comparisons and the picture of your tiny functional kitchen!

  • sky2evan

    i second francine’s post & the site in general.

    after minimalizing (less than 200 total items), i voluntarily downsized from a 1200 2-BR to a 300sq ft studio. lots of space. helps to have a great view + higher ceilings.

    the benefits & experience of minimalizing are beyond words, but francine has done a pretty good job of attempting to describe it!

  • Thanks for another wonderful look into your new space. I’m with you on the Ebooks being a dream come true. Books do take up a lot of space and are usually a hassle when moving time comes around. I am slowing downsizing on books and look forward to owning a few books as I did when I lived in Brooklyn. Minimalism is such freedom! Congrats on all you’ve done and thank you for continually sharing :)

    • Tessa Hill

      I agree, Dawn Michelle! Downsizing the books has led to upsizing the reading! Why? I downloaded the Kindle app to my computer, as Francine suggested, so I can read ebooks (particularly the free ones) and I use the Library more. I don’t even remember the titles of all those books I donated to the Library. Why did I keep so many of them for so many years? Minimizing is invigorating!

      Also, I agree with JLouise’s suggestion that your perfect space would seem to include a small patio or garden area. A community garden is also an idea.

      Have minimized the rest of the house, I’m now working on digitizing our office. I’ve downloaded all our products’ User Manuals and Financial Statements online as .pdfs, now scanning files from the filing cabinets. Photos are next! Paperless is the goal. Thanks for being so inspirational, Francine!

  • Calen

    Thanks for another great post! I love seeing photos of your tiny, minimalist apartment and reading about the benefits of downsizing.
    I’m living vicariously through the photos of your uncluttered, white apartment since for now, I’m stuck in a rental that my landlords thought would be fun to plaster with three different kinds of colorful wallpaper in each room.

  • Love this!! I moved from 1041 square foot condo to a 650 square foot 1 bedroom apartment. I am still not 100% out of boxes, but feel I have all that I need so not overly compelled to unpack other than to get the unsightly sea of brown out of my living room!

  • DMSx2

    Great post! Me and my wife downsized from a 3 bedroom place over two years ago. We now live in a 2 bedroom apartment with open plan kitchen/lounge and love it!

    The new place is modern and so much cheaper to rent and heat etc (we are on the top floor and heat rises, it’s almost November and around 22 degrees with no heating on!).

    It’s very true that ‘stuff expands to fill the space available’, minimal storage space really helps to keep clutter down.

    Relatives were sure that we must have money problems when we downsized, some people don’t seem to understand that just because you can have something, it doesn’t mean you want it.

    Keep up the great blog!

  • Deb

    Loved reading all the comments. You all have inspired me to get started.

  • Smiley

    My husband and I moved 2000 miles from the midwest to the Pacific NW 8 years ago along with the contents of a 60 x 80 foot mobile home in a 24 foot Uhaul –
    into an 11 x 39 (429 sq foot apartment) – no room for the washer/dryer (We later sold them)and a lot of our stuff lived in storage for 2 years but taught us exactly what we “needed” to be comfortable. We had a dorm size refrigerator and I found that small Take Along square storage containers all the same size were wonderful for putting leftovers in and that because they were small and stackable could fit a ton of stuff in the frig. One easily holds a can of veggies or enough soup for the 2 of us, leftovers, a sandwich, etc. I still use them and when they need replaced – will try to find more. The only thing I notice about using a full size refrigerator & the smaller one.. is that I have more freezer space than just room for orange juice, ice cubes, and ice cream. I keep the refrigerator set up the same whether large or small and find the difference there is I just spread stuff out more.

    Then we moved into an almost 600 square foot apt., had a bit more room to play with 2 grandchildren, got rid of a bunch of stuff that had been stored, and got a smaller storage unit.

    From there we moved into a 60 x 80 foot 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom mobile home. 1 bedroom we used for a bedroom but 1 bedroom was a toy/craft room and the other was an office. Our “dream” has been to buy and live in a travel trailer when hubby retires to travel the U.S. and what we found living in a larger space.. is that we started filling it with more stuff.. and reached the point where we asked ourselves – WHY? Are these things helping us reach our longterm goals? The answer was no.. So after staying there for about 2 1/2 weeks our landlord had an apartment open up with about 400 square feet and we asked if we could move into it, instead. He thought we were nuts.. but when he & our neighbors saw how comfortable and cozy we were – changed their minds. We have a queen size bed, 2 night stands, and full dresser with mirror in the bedroom. Plus it had a double closet plus a spare closet we used for pantry/and storage of vacuum, etc. A loveseat, rocking chair, a footstool that has storage inside, 1 end table, tv stand and 2 really tall bookcases in the living room. Hubby’s small desk went into the kitchen area and our dining room table was behind the couch – with no wall between. (All of this stuff had been in the 1st apt. also) An open area with Kitchen having tile and living room area was carpeted. The small kitchen had a full size stove & frig, small dishwasher, and enough cupboards and counters. Sears sells a small washer (holds a full set of queen size sheets, pillowcases, and 2 towels) that connected to the kitchen faucet plus we were able to get a Sears small dryer that runs on 110 instead of 220 and both just fit in the space between the counter & wall and sitting next to the dryer with enough room to open the dryer door, was hubby’s small desk. Plus we had sleepovers with 3 grandchildren in that home and would probably still be there except

    our landlord told us it was a buyer’s market about a year ago.. and hubby started looking at places to buy.. so we ended up purchasing an almost 700 square foot 1 bedroom condo and it works out well for us. Cheaper than renting. When the loveseat needed replacing at our last home, we replaced it with an Ikea loveseat that makes into a queensize bed – so we have space for guests to sleep when they come. There was a huge closet and a smaller one in the bedroom.. so we took the closet doors off the smaller closet & the loveseat fits in that space quite well. Plus we bought another small desk that sits besides hubby’s for my laptop since he frequently needs help with business paperworks and this works better for us, got a larger couch & rocking recliner. It is not “minimalist” but is cozy and comfortable and “big enough.” Although I have room for a full size washer and dryer.. My mini ones work just fine and are big enough for the 2 of us.

    My husband likes dvd’s but they take up a lot of space when in their cases. We have found that Office Depot carries pages that fit into a regular size notebook that that holds 6 dvd’s per side and it saves a lot of space with 1 notebook rather than a ton of cases.

    Hubby & I have found that bigger for us is not better. I enjoy this website immensely. We recently took a flight back to the midwest and was determined to carry “just enough” and nothing more than we could carry on nor fit in my backpack and his bag. It was one of the best trips ever not having “too much stuff” and when it was time to pack up.. was so much easier.. not to mention not having to wait at baggage carousels for luggage plus we watched luggage handlers bounce each and every suitcase from just above waist high onto the ramp before it loaded into the plane.

    I’m not ready yet to move into an 8 x 22 foot travel trailer (many years ago we lived in one for 2 1/2 years & loved it) but I am encouraged by this site that we can definitely get by with less and encouraged that there are others who think “smaller is better.” Before something comes in our home.. we ask what is it replacing? If not replacing something, then why do we need it? Keeps me from going to garage sales and getting stuff from Craigslist. :) It was once said.. If I have an empty space, I’ll fill it.. so knowing my tendency.. am doing quite well and am quite cozy and comfortable.

  • Tim Wilcock

    Lots of good stuff but I don’t fully agree re the TV tax. Firstly it is not a TV tax but pays for the BBC – the best TV service in the world and I have seen many. It also funds radio. If you choose to watch TV, it is a payment that saves watching all the inane ads (worth it in itself). Secondly, and best for minimalists, most of the TV and the radio is available via the net for nothing, in radios case much via podcast. I have yet to see any service which comes anywhere close in other countries. So you cannot compare US and UK TV as you did in a previous post.

  • miss minimalist

    Thanks so much for the great comments – I love that downsizing is embraced so positively around here. :)

    I’m not sure if the washer/dryer combo is uniquely British, but I saw it in just about every flat I looked at. I imagine it’s pretty common throughout Europe. I’d love to know if anyone has one that works well (ie, I don’t know if the problem is with my unit or the concept in general).

  • […] that’s my challenge to you. It’s a big one, but it pays big rewards. Sometimes the drastic moves are the most […]

  • What a lovely flat! I

    live and work from home in a studio flat – not sure of the square footage but I have a main room, separate hall, tiny kitchen and narrow bathroom with full size bath and shower. My bed folds up into a cupboard which runs along one wall, with office stuff/books (could be de-cluttered) in the middle section and clothes/shoes the other end. My desk is a side table with a MacBook Pro and phone/headset. My dinning area is under the window, my couch on the inside wall facing my cube shelf/storage unit (I have quite a few books) and no TV. The flat is in an art deco block overlooking the sea.

    I downsized from a rented 1-bed and really thought it would be a problem working and living essentially in one room, but 4 years later I still love it.

    I think the combo washer/dryers just don’t work. I have a separate dryer but it takes up kitchen counter space (luckily I’m not a big cook).

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  • Maurs

    The washer dryer combo has been around for nearly 20 yrs now (I think). We have them in Ireland too. Mostly in rented accomadation. It’s considered a tempermental appliance. Most of us just buy a washing machine and dry our clothes on clothes horses/drying rack’s. Because drying clothes this way is so common we have heaps of different styles of clothes dryers. I have a pair of little ones that hook onto our radiator. Handy for ‘smalls’.

  • […] a terrible packer. Nina Yau and Francine Jay I ain’t. I grossly overestimate what I’ll need, and often convince myself that packing […]

  • Abby

    The first place that my husband and I lived in together was 12×12 plus a small kitchen and bathroom. That, it turns out, was a bit too small. My main issue was the loft bed; it turns out I can’t sleep well in loft beds.

    Now, by virtue of a tight rental market where you take what you can get, we’re living in a flat much bigger than we’ve ever had – three bedrooms and a living room. I know that by many standards this is small, and for us I think it could be the perfect size long term. We currently each have a (nearly empty) office, which is quite nice since we both do a lot of work at home. I could easily see having a small family here.

    We’re both committed to keeping our housing footprint small, and it has been interesting to experiment with seeing just how much space we need. I could do tiny in the short term, but in the long term I think I like a bit more breathing room.

    Our place is mostly empty, and I love the space and the ability to host guests comfortably, work quietly alone, etc. Most of the time we’re in the same room as each other, but I like the flexibility of this space.

    And right now, thanks to mould in half the house, we’re sleeping in the living room!

  • I really enjoyed reading this post.We have a plan! Retirement is planned for 55 for us, which I hit first. The plan is to seriously downsize in terms of property & belongings. We currently have a 4 bed Victorian house and look to reduce to 2 bed with space for an office area for computer & books.

    Retirement is probable, we want to be able to make a decision, not be forced financially to remain working. I will remain doing some Locum work within my profession otherwise, I can not retain professional registration & hubby is the same.

    We then plan to purchase a small property as above & live here in the UK for around 6 months (with work as above) then spend the rest of the time overseas with family.

    Well, that is the plan, so we need to wait & see if there any changes, after all, we bought a 4 bedroom house for a family, that we in fact do not have.

  • […] that’s my challenge to you. It’s a big one, but it pays big rewards. Sometimes the drastic moves are the most […]

  • Marianne Chandler

    I found your site last year as I was in need of some wardrobe help. My health has suffered, and I needed help to make getting dressed with a baby easier. Well, my health is better, but I’m in need of more help: Downsizing our 5 bedroom family home into a two bedroom flat we will be living in after our gigantic relocation from Seattle to London.

    It’s quite the undertaking, but thankfully I remembered your site. I am definitely reenergized and ready to keep on reducing!! I’m exhausted. I feel like my possessions have imprisoned me. My hubby even thought about turning the job down because this was to much. But you inspired me, and I knew we could do it. Three months to go!!

    The family heirlooms are the hardest, but taking the hard line stance of, “Am I really ever going to use this, more then a handful of times in my life?”. I’ve had to make difficult decisions, but in the end, logic wins out! Going for walks helps to!

  • Carol L. Davison

    Dear Miss Minimalist,
    Having lived in Italy and Korea, I know the beauty of minimalism. In
    Korea entire families live in a 14 foot square room. They sleep on a
    bed that folds into a couch. They sit on the floor and eat off of a
    coffee table height table.
    Their closets are 2 x 3 so obviously they have less stuff
    including clothing.
    Because the streets are dirty, they leave their shoes just inside
    the home’s door to keep things clean. (This works in the states too
    because it keeps your home cleaner, less chemically polluted, and
    saves carpets, floor cleaning and dust. It also faciliates babies crawling on clean floors.)
    I learned that I had no right to inflict “my chemicals” on others
    in December 2000 when my co-worker asked me to not stand near here
    because my perfume gave her a sick headache. That was the last time I
    wore any.
    I’m glad I did because now I have severe asthma and have to avoid
    perfume, floor cleaning chemicals, plug in and spray air freshners,
    cigarette smoke, microwave popcorn fumes, teflon pan fumes, fried food
    fumes, cats and disel exhaust.
    I am amazed that people consider these things necesary for their
    lives and my breathing an option!
    Also as a person with respiratory problems, the minimizalist home
    will probably be cleaner because there is less stuff for dust to
    settle on.
    Keep up the good work!

  • Tina

    I always find something good on your site. I just went to 2 rummage sales to get supplies for a preschool and 2 friends who asked for different things. They pay me back. I get rid of at least 5 things a week and haven’t bought anything new except underwear in years. Minimalism is a process and I like your idea of living like a butterfly and making the smallest impact. We raised 3 kids in about 1500 sq ft. Then we retired in our fifties and bought a 2 bedroom condo. We have a small TV. Small dining room table and folding chairs. Both the dining room and kitchen table and chairs came from house sales. I think if people wait they can get what they need second hand.

  • balooga

    I dream of down sizing in our tiny two bedroom. I just don’t know where to start. Plus my boyfriend is a pack rat I am not sure how he would feel if I got rid of stuff

  • Tina

    We get rid of a bag or two every week to Goodwill, and a big bag to recycle each week also. I think we could live with 1 bedroom and then someone says they are coming to visit for a week and it is nice to have a second bedroom and bath.

  • Tina

    We had 15 people over in August, 15 people over in October, and 10 people over the other day. As much as I could go smaller, I think 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms is best. My kids also reminded me of the time my nephew called from O’Hare airport late at night and needed a place to sleep so we put him up in the spare bedroom. We don’t have a lot of furniture or Knick knacks, but we do have space for folding chairs and tables. The closets are all 1/2 empty and there are empty drawers for visitors. More will go when my Mom’s stuff leaves. We live smaller than any of our friends or relatives, they all have huge places, at least 3 bedrooms up to 5 bedrooms.

  • Tina

    We have steadily gotten rid of more stuff. 3 bags to Goodwill this week. Another 2 bags are going to a craft swap. I am looking for 1 item I would like to have. All my craft supplies are second hand. We passed on some ratty chairs to my daughter and got 2 new ones at Ikea. I can’t remember the last time we bought furniture. Many bags of books have gone to the library, we need more empty space. One thing I do collect is houseplants. They make the winter go faster.

  • Tina

    Still watching people our age– I am 68, DH is 70– buy huge homes when they are empty- nesters. I don’t understand it. I recycle and give away mountains of stuff every week. We need less of everything as we get older. We haven’t used our furnace in 17 years because we live in a 4th floor condo that faces south.

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