Our mid-20th century cottage is… cozy. That’s a word realtors use when they want to make 770 square feet sound really great. And honestly? Cozy has a lot to recommend it. I can go from this:
in about 15 minutes, or less if I have help from my minions.
The thing is, we still need to have a certain amount of stuff. Six people, with varying interests and passions and art supply preferences, live here.
Back when I was single, I made it a habit to own only as many possessions as could fit in the vehicle I was driving at the time.
The Suzuki Samarai days were quite minimalist: air mattress, feather bed, quilts, six to ten cartons of books, one suitcase of modern clothes, sewing machine, a carton of stash fabric and supplies, the cast-iron skillet, my laptop (back when they weighed only about 10-12 pounds!) and a little rocking chair from my Great Grandmother.
The Volkswagon Van days were plush: all of the Samarai belongings, plus a small formica diner table and chairs (with chrome! From my other Great Grandma, the one who chewed tobacco and wore cotton print house-dresses all the time), my childhood bed frame, a small side table to hold the plants I killed off on a shockingly regular basis, and a cheapo bookshelf so I could call myself “grown up”, having graduated from stacking the books vertically, in an 18″ high ring-around-the-studio.
Still and all, even the plush version was movable by a single, not-so-strong girl, so I was personally portable, and pretty minimalist with everything except books. My husband should have figured out, when I came to the marriage with the Samarai stuff (the furniture is the hereditary Moving Up set that got passed down through all my siblings… I hope my baby brother (#7) appreciates my sacrifice, because I really, really liked that formica and chrome dinette set) that he’d be building bookcases for most of the rest of his life.
My stuff fit into a tiny corner of the spare bedroom in his place. His very tastefully-decorated place, filled with vintage furniture, framed artwork, and yes, knick-knacks. Manly ones, related to British beer and made of brass, but knick-knacks none-the-less. Possibly even a few tchotchkes. He’s secure that way.
Then we had babies.
So, I’m never going to live in a minimalist space, and I really don’t want to. I like to be comfortable, and I like to have a feeling of abundance; the cottage environment feels best when there’s a home for everything, and everything in its place.
In 770 square feet.
And all of that agitation of electrons and pixels to get you to this link, which has a great system for helping streamline what we don’t necessarily want to eliminate entirely. Living a comfortable, happy life in a relatively small space is made possible only through choices and thinking it through, along these lines:
Rebel against a culture of More is More.