Living Small

A focus of this week’s reading was on living very minimally in small places. As American’s, we collect a massive amount of stuff during our lives. Some people live in the same home for years, and when it is time to move out, it can be overwhelming how many things are lying around.

I have been thinking a lot about this on a personal level. I have had an extremely mobile life, moving every year or so, and I’ve had to keep my possessions to a minimum. However, I still have many clothes, bags, shoes, kitchen supplies, furniture, books, picture frames, electronics, toiletries, lamps, etc. in my house. I am planning on picking up and moving across the world soon and I can only take a few things. This is going to be a test of priorities and reevaluation for me. I will really have to ask myself what it personal and what is replaceable.  I have a feeling that most things will be replaceable, but it is going to be a huge project.

The idea of a possession cleanse is very refreshing to me. It will allow me to downsize and potentially live in a very small place. A small apartment unit with a low cost in a dense urban area sounds appealing to me.  I was surprised to learn for A-P’s book that outdated zoning codes do not allow for minimally sized unit multifamily housing. I believe we need more housing like this, especially because the highest amount of general Y’ers are graduating college and moving out on their own. They prefer urban, amenity-rich lifestyles, but many will struggle to find jobs because of the weak economy so they cannot pay high rents. Also, the baby boomers are leaving the workforce, and while some have money saved, many lost their retirement savings in this last downturn and will be living on fixed incomes. We need more small unit rental housing for consumer-conscious and money-conscious urbanites that are ok with living in small spaces.


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