A couple of years ago I spent a month in Japan. Much of that I was based in Tokyo, in a serviced apartment that was just over 200 sq/ft. It was incredibly well-designed, modern and lovely. Space there is limited, they build up, not out. The people are busy and work harder than I’ve ever seen people work. They do it without complaining and are the most gracious hosts you can fathom. They are happy with the spaces they have. Sure, some of them live a bit more luxuriously than others, boasting spacious homes both ancient and modern. On the whole, though, much of my time was spent sharing little space with one or more people. I came home to my ‘ty tut’ , (tiny house in Welsh), finding it roomy and magnificent in comparison.
As a society, we need to carefully consider the impact our homes are having on our environment. What is the carbon footprint of a 3000 sq/ft. home? What can you do to reduce the impact of the home you live in, or the home you might build or buy? What choices are available? I think we are just starting to see the upswing in knowledge, awareness and availability. New, sustainable, healthy choices are making waves, they are becoming more affordable and competitively priced. There is a considerable number of options today that there wasn’t even five years ago. These are exciting times for people that are passionately trying to lead the way in this movement. In this same breath, it is also incredibly important to properly educate ourselves, (and our clients, friends, families, colleagues, etc.), creating product awareness.
Many of us spend a lot of time at home, have large families, busy jobs and lives, and have moved into bigger and bigger spaces as society, life, necessity dictated it was necessary. Having started my own business and working from home, I am finding I have reached a point where I think I have outgrown my space. It has served it’s purpose but now that I need a permanent office set-up and proper storage, I am exploring my options. The possibility of building a sustainable, solar-ready, super energy-efficient, affordable house with Ecological Homes, is right in front of me. If the stars align this would be the most favoured option for myself and for Ecological Homes, obviously. If the universe decides it is not the right time, then hopefully I will find someone to sell my house to that will appreciate it for what it is, and move on to find something still small, still responsible, but better suited to my needs right now. Either option is full of hope and excitement.
Lessons from living small:
- I have learned how much space I don’t need.
- I have learned that I like not having ‘stuff’.
- I have learned how to be even more organized.
- I have learned that there is nothing better than a well thought-out, well-designed space.
- You learn how to best use a space by living in it.
- The stuff I do have, however, demands storage. A place for everything and everything in it’s place.
- It takes a lot less time to maintain a smaller home.
- It is definitely more cost effective.
- It has afforded me certain lifestyle choices that I otherwise may not have been able to afford. (i.e.: travel)
- I have learned that I enjoy sharing my space with the people I love. I never want to live somewhere where everyone in my family or life has hundreds of square feet to themselves, all the time, so they never have to cross paths. Personal space is very important, but I think it is healthy to nurture the relationships with the people you make a home with, in your home.
I will keep everyone posted on the very exciting possibility with Ecological Homes. Otherwise…my beautiful, tiny house downtown will be going on the market. Know anyone that might be looking?