Sunday, May 10, 2009

Simplify

Evan and I are living in a 1913 600 square foot house, with a 60 lb pup. We are looking for a home to buy, which will probably mean being in another smallish house if we want a big yard for growing food. I've always been fascinated by tiny houses -- trolling tinyhouseblog and oogling minihome. These spaces seem so harmonious. My house, on the other hand... we try but clutter is a sneaky thing. It really does feel like there is some kind of switch in our heads, embedded young, that if you have a problem you must buy something to solve it. This habitual view is so ingrained it is easy for marketers to flip the switch, even for those trying to consume less. I went to an eco trade show in Vancouver, and there was a slogan at the entrance that read: "Buying Your Way to a Better World". Yeesh.

It is a constant process, trying to purge objects with no function and find solutions that don't involve buying something new. I find it really challenging to counter that instinctual reaction. It's the same one that causes me to go to the grocery store and buy more groceries because I'm heading home and am not sure what is in the fridge. Which results in beautiful food going bad before we can eat it. Doing better in that department is definitely going to take more awareness and planning. I am so used to instant everything that planning ahead to avoid waste and clutter is stretching a whole set of muscles I didn't know I had.

Fortunately for me, my choices and priorities mean that I will likely be in a small house for the rest of my life. Which is just fine, it will mean less clutter out of necessity. I am really enjoying learning about the Not So Big House approach. In this clip, the author Sarah Susanka talks about the role of home in our lives. Please excuse the mildly annoying intro, what Susanka has to say is worth the wait..

Propeller Sustainability Series, "SHELTER: Part 1" from Alexia Prichard on Vimeo.

3 comments:

meli-mello said...

I saw this post a couple days ago but didn't get the chance to watch the video until now. I hadn't heard of The Not So Big House but am interested in reading more of her work since these are the things the Mister & I think about all the time. Thanks for sharing the video.

nicole said...

Thanks for sharing the video.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Hubby and I are finishing the basement and redoing the yard on our 1100 square foot house. We are sure that this will make our so-called small house more livable. It actually isn't that bad, if you can crawl over the shoes piled by the door, the 4-purpose dining room, and the dog hair that grows exponentially and finds its way into every possible cranny. But we refuse to go anywhere bigger. It isn't perfect, but it works.