Thursday, September 10, 2009

How much is enough ?

For some time now, I've been enamored with the whole "Small House" movement. Economic forecasts and realities, energy costs, and my own propensity to accumulate stuff all cause me to question the need for a larger home. Perhaps the fact that seven of us grew up in a story and a half home that was pretty tiny by today's standards is adding to the wonder. It was certainly less than 1000 square feet in total, with no basement. By contrast, our present small home for just 4 of us weighs it at about 2200 square feet, if I include the basement and finished attic/loft space. Most folk refer to our place as "small". In addition, I have a 16x24 single garage (384sq ft), and a 10x32 lean-to/carport for additional covered storage. We had two yard sales this past summer, but the clutter is still an issue. 4 vehicles certainly don't help the matter, but hopefully that will soon change.
Like most, I'll need a basis for any real change. I'd like to base it all on the Biblical principle that Godliness with contentment is great gain, but even though I don't consider myself discontent, I do find myself falling short in the Godliness department. Nonetheless, like many others, I must press on. Environmental footprints aside, like Valdy I covet the Simple Life. however, my gadget lust tends to be at war with my desire to simplify and declutter. I read an interesting article recently on the staggering amount of rented storage space that exists. Read up on it here. It's amazing the amount of money that is being spent monthly to store paperback books, furniture etc.
Also, a good article below about down-sizing your household...
When Home Shrinks - NYTimes.com
All interesting stuff, but I need not wait for the next bestseller or guru in order to learn the truth. Jesus revealed the importance of this when he said "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Why did he say "all kinds of greed"? Likely because there indeed ARE "all kinds" of greed; even that kind that comes disguised as "I'm just providing for my family". So, back to my original question; How much is enough? Here's my answer: 500 square feet per person ought to be plenty. of space. That should include your share of everything, maybe except storage space. On that note, I MUST begin to declutter...perhaps I'll record my progress here. How 'bout you?
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