Monday, May 26, 2014

compact living

when my dog and i walk our route around the neighbourhood, 
the houses that have the strongest tug at my heartstrings, 
are the littlest homes on the block.

i slow down for these homes that are no larger than 800 sq ft,
and usually have only one level.
most of them have the same box shape as the little
red houses in the game of monopoly.

this preference of mine
 is probably because of my infatuation with the ingalls as a child.

i read the whole series of  little house on the prairie books 
and watched most of the episodes on tv .

  i love the ingall's little cabin in the prairie 
especially the attic loft that laura and mary slept in. 
(do you remember their pajama kerchiefs?)

i loved how cozy they were in their little cottage, 
and how they would walk all the way to school 
from the middle of nowhere.

today, with a family of my own,  i still feel the same way.

whenever i pass by these little homes, 
 i ponder what kind of people the home owners might be like.  

surely they've been able to simplify their lifestyle and 
minimize their material possesions
 to be able to function and contain 
all their stuff within 800 square feet or less.

did you know that the average home for a family of four 
has increased from an 
average square footage of 1000 sq.ft. in 1950 
to 2,200 sq.ft. in the year 2000.

as our square footage per person more than doubled, 
our material possession quadrupled (if not more...)

this is because although most household possessions are not extravagant, 
they accumulated over the years, especially as we 
moved into larger and larger homes.
each move would result in more rooms to furnish 
and bigger closets and storage areas to store our stuff.

as fashion changed, we bought new clothes...
as new technology emerged, we purchased new gadgets...
as big box stores offered unbeatable prices, 
we stocked up on loads of food and rolls and rolls of toilet paper.

but these little homes are so compact,
that the most generous closet inside 
would only be able to house about twenty pieces of clothing.
(if you include a vacuum cleaner).

 these homes are so tiny, that even furniture have to be 
scaled down in order to fit through the door.

their home owners wouldn't dare buy a ginormous screen tv
unless they're the type that likes sitting in the front rows of movie theatres.

these little homes solve one of the 
biggest problem of our modern society.

by not providing storage space and excessive living areas, 
occupants of these homes are forced to 
recognise what they need and what they can do with out.

within these little homes, i like to think that 
possessions wouldn't have control over lives.

the less we own, the less time we spend
cleaning, polishing, organizing, sorting, repairing, 
replacing, maintaining and insuring.

the smaller the house, the less money we have to earn
since the purchase price wouldn't be as high.

also, we would spend less money and energy
to be warmer in the winter or cooler in the summer... 
because there is less space to heat or cool down.

yes, the ingalls had it right!!!
compact living is simple living.

it's so inspiring to walk around the neighbourhood and see
numerous examples of people living this lifestyle.



  1. Love all of these little homes, so quaint and cozy. We live in a small home, not quite that small, but small by today's standards...just under 1000 square feet, and we love it for many of the reasons you mentioned. And you are so right, it does force you to really consider what you need and what you don't, and also makes it easy to get rid of stuff or not bring it home at all.

    1. thank you for checking out my blog....we too live in a small's tight but definitely cozy, my husband and i joked that we are the only couple who will probably retire in our starter home!!!

  2. I couldn't agree more! The idea of having less and living more somply has been mullig around in my head for a little while. I love the clever designs of very tiny houses. We're like goldfish- we grow to the size of our bowl!

  3. awww so cute. I also love these cute little houses. I live in London where you just don't get tiny houses, there's either blocks of flats or nice big houses. There's not much in between until you travel a bit further out. I live in a small apartment with my daughter and my boyfriend and I have taken almost 100 bags to charity shops over the last 2 years de-cluttering non stop. I love having fewer possessions but I still find it hard to let go of some things :)

    1. europeans are soooo far ahead in living within compact spaces !!!! like you, i have a bag ready every week for pickup by the charity groups... feels so good to get rid of stuff but with my kids, it's gonna be a continuing battle.


thank you for your kind words... they really do make my day !!!