How much space does a human need to be able to live and thrive? If we take a look in the direction of third world countries people live in very confined spaces with little to no comfort at all. At the other end of this spectrum we have the mansions that stand on huge estates, getting the mail from the beginning of the driveway is a ten minute drive. Going to the toilet requires deciding which one to use this time.
So, what is enough room and what is to much? I don’t think it’s about the number square feet, you have but more centered on what is available in the living space. An advantage of small living is that you’re limited in the amount of things you can own. The 100-items challenge I wrote about earlier would almost be vital to keeping a tidy home. Yes, I see this as an advantage. I’m a minimalist after all.
As a college student most of us experience living in tight quarters, but after college it’s off to a good job, getting a nice house and sometimes having so much space we don’t know what to do with it all. The typical Dutch house has a living room, kitchen and toilet downstairs and three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. There might even be a converted attic on top of it all. Converted to bedroom, office or something else. All this space can be rented to a single person. Just imagine that, 3-4 bedrooms for one. Do we actually need all this? Such a waste of space. And what’s worse, we end up filling all those rooms with stuff just so it doesn’t feel so empty. That’s where things go wrong. We feel the need to have all those rooms, to have all those things we stuffed in every room.
But what do we really need?
- A bed
- A desk/table and chair
- A toilet
- A shower
- A kitchen
- A place to store our 100 items
All those things an be found in even the tightest living quarters. Think of mobile homes, ship’s cabins, trailers. If we leave out the kitchen we can even add the hotel room to our list.
What are the implications of all this? If we realize that we don’t actually need all that room we can live smaller and much more mobile. I found a few great examples of small living that I would like to share with you:
The Micro Compact home
The rotor house (Click the picture and be amazed)
And if you don’t mind living in something that resembles a garbage truck
All these homes are tiny but have everything I mentioned in the list. The rotor house isn’t mobile but has the most room. The Micro Compact can even be airlifted, the garbage truck.. ..well it’s a truck. Do we need more? Living in a small home does mean you have to change your mindset about what a home actually is. And with kids it’s not a good idea but if you’re alone or there is just the two of you it’s very doable. You might even start to like this way of living.
Take a look around when you’re home and wonder. How much space do you have and do you really need it all? I know living so small isn’t for everyone. Few people would be happy in the small places I just showed you, but it’s something I’d like to offer you so you can think about it. Really go take a look around in your home and wonder if you really need it all. I’d like to hear about your findings.
Not only your home offer ways to implement minimalism, there are more places to minimalize. Over the next few weeks I want to write more articles on this subject and try and show you why I like minimalism so much and what the effects of it are on our mental state and piece of mind.
If you liked this article you might also like living on a small footprint, minimalist living: the Japan edition or One step to creating a minimalist home
Looking for even more on minimalism? Try this guide to developing a simplistic lifestyle that allows you to finally do the things you love. This is an action plan to get you where you want to be.