Tiny House / Minimalism

April 1, 2016

I moved.  In doing sDiana's new living roomo, I cut 260 square fee of living space and am down to 520 square feet. I guess I now qualify as living tiny, according to The Tiny House Nation television program. I wondered how I’d do with all my bookcases. My living room is my office, with no sofa, but I do have two desk chairs and a small, comfortable reading chair. A few bookcases are serving in other parts of the house for non-book items, which meant that I had to double stack most of my books, but that’s okay.

Additionally, I had to get rid of most of my filing drawers, using bookshelves for the files, instead. It works! Of course, I was forced to go through each and every file, where I found duplication, and obsolete files. It takes time to scale down.  It took me two days, but I now have a spreadsheet of these files and the projects within.

Now that I’ve been here for three months, I can tell that I have more that I want to get rid of.  It’s definitely a process. And I love it.

July 12, 2015

I want to live in a tiny house. Of that, I have no doubt.

My problem: I still have 16 full bookcases.

Still, because in the past month I managed to get rid of one bookcase and over 300 books. Still, because the books left are mostly research books for my writing projects, and with notebooks or my projects spilling into piles on any surface found in my writing corner. I’m still struggling over how I can scale these books and cases down, eliminating more.

The good news toward my desire of tiny living:

  • I got rid of my entertainment center, complete with second TV, DVD player, stereo, woofer, large speakers.
  • I got rid of my queen size sofa bed and sofa table. While it’s still strange to see the sofa in my daughter’s living room, I absolutely love the open space obtained in my living room, which essentially has become, as my daughter calls it with envy, my live-in office.

Yes, I have room now to spread a project on the floor.

Plus, though a downside for a tiny house, I added an exercise bike with a desk that holds my laptop computer. I can write, read, or edit and exercise at the same time.

I went through file drawers and got rid of old papers, school papers, and projects that I’ll never complete. It’s painful to throw away my own writing, but if its usefulness is long gone, what’s the point of keeping it?

What I’m discovering is that clutter in the home equals a cluttered mind.  However, a good library is rewarding. Oh, the conflicts.

January 2, 2015

My fascination with tiny houses over the last year has only intensified. In fact, while I still have no solid idea of where I’ll be in another 3.5 years when I’m thinking about retiring, or what that floor plan will look like, though I have a basic idea, or where my tiny house will be located, I’m moving toward tiny living as I look at my possessions.

When cleaning out, we’re told every item must either have a purpose or that you love it.  I’m discovering that the things I can see, I love (and does have a purpose of inspiration or research). The things I can’t see–in closets, shelves, or drawers, have a purpose, like dishes and clothes.

That said, I do know that I don’t NEED to own everything that I love, and even those items that have a purpose, becomes “is there a simpler way to do that?” or “Do I really need that many?”

One consideration is the transition from working to retirement. I know that when I retire, I’ll be able to dump at least 1/3 of my wardrobe, if not half. Two nights ago, I got rid of 1/3 of my shoes. If they weren’t comfortable the moment I put them on or walked in them, out they went.  I’m getting rid of books; the question becomes: will I really use that for research for a future particular project or teach from it? Out it goes.

While I think it’s great to keep family heirlooms, I’m realizing that I don’t have to be that family member anymore. If I do keep something, now it’s a small something.  Of course, I do have a few furniture pieces that are heirlooms, but I’m using them. I’m sure they’ll get passed on to others, too, when I make the move into that tiny house and can no longer use them.

I’ve lived in a tiny cottage before, and a studio apartment before.  But those were pre-married days, long before I had furniture and books . . . and writing projects. Back then, most everything I owned fit into the back of a pick-up truck.

The biggest issues I have will be books, movies, and my office with all my notebooks of projects. While I’ve made progress with the bookcases, going from all of them being double-stacked (books in front books) to being single-stacked this year, my goal for this coming year: to be rid of enough books that I can actually get rid of at least two bookcases, out of the 17 I currently own.

Realistically, how tiny can I go? I live in a 780 sq. ft. apartment right now. Will it be 400 sq. ft?  200?  No, I won’t be going smaller than 200, but how much bigger will it need to be?

Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’d love to have the help of John Weisbarth and Zach Griffin of Tiny House Nation build my dream tiny home.

A girl can dream.

In the meantime, I’ll continue scaling down. Less is becoming more!

August 4, 2013:

I’ve become fascinated with tiny houses, those built with 200 square feet or less.  Why?

  • A building permit isn’t needed.
  • The house can be built on a trailer and moved easily.
  • The house could be moved and easily set up in either of my daughter’s back yard.

And the real reason?  I’m looking to simplify my life.

Yes, one day I expect to be moving, and as I look around my apartment, I realize that I have too much stuff.  I’m not looking forward to packing 17 double-stacked bookcases, let alone all those pots and pans, those clothes, and more.

So, I’m slowly scaling down and this page will talk about my journey, the sharing of publications, web pages, and other news and information as I find it.

Today, I got rid of my sewing machine.  I’ve used it probably three times in as many years and each time, I was repairing a seam in my pants or pajamas.  So, instead, of a bulky, heavy sewing machine, I bought a small, handheld machine.  Easy to use, easy to store.  What I liked best about getting rid of it is that it went to a cousin, a student in interior design.  I can just imagine the fun projects she’ll create in her new blossoming career.

Once upon a time, I used to sew a lot.  I’ve got a blue-jean patchwork quilt I made from jeans that would have been thrown out.  I’ve made tablecloths, clothes, and earned money from sewing prom dresses and repairing clothes for friends and neighbors who didn’t have a sewing machine.  But sewing for me was in another lifetime.  My life now is centered around academia and writing.

Yesterday, I got rid of my ironing board.  I kept the iron against my better judgement, but the board, well, I’ve used it twice in five years.  The last time I used it was to iron my graduation robe when I earned my master’s degree.  That was yet another lifetime ago.

A few weeks ago, I got rid of the equivalent of two-file drawers worth of papers.  I was able to put the material into a paper-recycling bin at work.  Since I have two full file-draw cabinets, my goal is to get down to only one.  I’ve got more work to do.

Looking around, I’ve got LOTS of work to do.  I do realize, though, it took me a lifetime to get my belongings exactly  where and how I wanted them.  I find it fascinating that now I’m now getting ready to part ways with much of it.   Somehow.  Always and forever a journey.

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