Do you ever find yourself muttering under your breath that this house is just too small, when faced with yet another pile of things that you can’t find a proper home for?
As Peter Walsh, the Australian anti-clutter man says:
You only have the space you have.
I have read two of his books and they are very good (see my recommended reads page for all my favourite books). The quote above has stayed with me because it is so simple, yet so fundamentally true.
In the past, I was guilty of keeping things that were earmarked for the vague and far off day when we would live in a bigger house. How crazy is that? First of all, I didn’t have any intention of moving in the near future. And secondly, if the day did come when I could suddenly buy a bigger house, presumably I would also be able to stretch to buying whatever it is was that was being stored, right?
You may say that it doesn’t make economic sense to get rid of something you might have to re-buy, but for most things this is just the I might need it someday excuse in disguise.
The cost in terms of energy, money, space and time, to store things “just in case” is really not worth it.
Live In The Now
If you keep something because you might need it in your bigger house (the bigger house you aren’t looking for and you can’t currently afford), and then you never actually get around to moving into that bigger house, what have you done? You have taken up space in your existing house that you could have used for something else (or nothing!) all the time you were living there.
Also, how many of us are guilty of procrastinating about doing or not doing something “until we move to a bigger house”. I sometimes find myself thinking this way about our garden because it’s tiny.
I catch myself thinking,
Oh well there’s no point investing energy in the garden, because one day we’ll have a bigger garden and I should save it for then.
Which is kind of stupid – again as I have no plans to move in the immediate future. But also because by doing this I am not accepting my own living situation for what it is. I am not embracing my current reality.
Really Small Houses
If you want to put the size of your house in perspective, take a look at some tiny houses. I was first introduced to the idea of a tiny house by Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens (although she and her partner are now moving into an apartment and using the tiny house for holidays only). Tiny House Talk is the place to go for lots more information. There isn’t an equivalent for the UK, but we do have some companies that are now supplying tiny houses, such as this one.
Now you’ve had a look around a tiny house, go back to your house and see it with fresh eyes. TONS of space, right?
So why does it feel like there isn’t?
Could it be all the stuff you’ve packed into it?
There is an easy, free and accessible way that you can make your house feel more spacious:
Live with less.
If you can’t bear to part with anything, try packing it away in the loft. Have your very own packing party. Get used to, and enjoy the feeling of living with more space and more freedom from your things.
Your house is not too small.
But, maybe your collection of things is too big.
- Do you know the actual square footage of where you live? Work it out and see how it compares to tiny house living.
- Do you remember how big your house or flat felt when it was empty, on the day you moved in?
- Try changing your perspective and being grateful for the size of the house/flat you have.
- Imagine you are going to downsize to a smaller place. What would you prioritise? What would have to go? Are you keeping things you really don’t need – in this house, or the next?