when my dog and i walk our route around the neighbourhood,
the houses that have the strongest tug at my heartstrings,
are the littlest homes on the block.
i slow down for these homes that are no larger than 800 sq ft,
and usually have only one level.
most of them have the same box shape as the little
red houses in the game of monopoly.
this preference of mine
is probably because of my infatuation with the ingalls as a child.
i read the whole series of little house on the prairie books
and watched most of the episodes on tv .
i love the ingall's little cabin in the prairie
especially the attic loft that laura and mary slept in.
(do you remember their pajama kerchiefs?)
i loved how cozy they were in their little cottage,
and how they would walk all the way to school
from the middle of nowhere.
today, with a family of my own, i still feel the same way.
whenever i pass by these little homes,
i ponder what kind of people the home owners might be like.
surely they've been able to simplify their lifestyle and
minimize their material possesions
to be able to function and contain
all their stuff within 800 square feet or less.
did you know that the average home for a family of four
has increased from an
average square footage of 1000 sq.ft. in 1950
to 2,200 sq.ft. in the year 2000.
as our square footage per person more than doubled,
our material possession quadrupled (if not more...)
this is because although most household possessions are not extravagant,
they accumulated over the years, especially as we
moved into larger and larger homes.
each move would result in more rooms to furnish
and bigger closets and storage areas to store our stuff.
as fashion changed, we bought new clothes...
as new technology emerged, we purchased new gadgets...
as big box stores offered unbeatable prices,
we stocked up on loads of food and rolls and rolls of toilet paper.
but these little homes are so compact,
that the most generous closet inside
would only be able to house about twenty pieces of clothing.
(if you include a vacuum cleaner).
these homes are so tiny, that even furniture have to be
scaled down in order to fit through the door.
their home owners wouldn't dare buy a ginormous screen tv
unless they're the type that likes sitting in the front rows of movie theatres.
these little homes solve one of the
biggest problem of our modern society.
by not providing storage space and excessive living areas,
occupants of these homes are forced to
recognise what they need and what they can do with out.
within these little homes, i like to think that
possessions wouldn't have control over lives.
the less we own, the less time we spend
cleaning, polishing, organizing, sorting, repairing,
replacing, maintaining and insuring.
the smaller the house, the less money we have to earn
since the purchase price wouldn't be as high.
also, we would spend less money and energy
to be warmer in the winter or cooler in the summer...
because there is less space to heat or cool down.
yes, the ingalls had it right!!!
compact living is simple living.
it's so inspiring to walk around the neighbourhood and see
numerous examples of people living this lifestyle.