Simple Living, Stress Reduction, and Small Spaces

 

small house living makes you happier
1866 MARTINI WAY Qualicum Beach
Want to be Happier?  
Live in a Small House, or a Tiny Home, and Reduce your Clutter!

This Blog is a little less real estate business and a little more personal – but don’t worry, it’s real estate adjacent, and there is a point to it all!

I have been thinking a lot about simplicity lately.  In my life I have always loved “stuff”. I am sentimental and so everything becomes a keepsake. Family heirlooms and family history and family photos are to be saved above all else. I love to read. Once a book is done, I can’t bear to part with it if it was any good. I love clothes, make-up, shoes, jewelry. I collect things – vintage Barbies, Flower Fairies, dog stuff, horse stuff, and probably more I’m not even thinking about just now.

As a result, my house, despite being large and only containing 2 adults and one very small dog, is pretty crowded.  Not hoarder TV show crowded, but more crowded than it should be.  We can’t park in the garage anyways.

Organizing and Simplifying

I hired a professional organizer (Organize to Optimize) who had previously helped me with workflow and productivity in my Real Estate role to come to my home. So far, we have tackled the kitchen. Without getting rid of anything at all, she freed up a ton of space and the work flow is so much better. Up next are keep-sakes and the garage (aka storage locker).

But, before she comes to help me with the rest of my house, I have tackled my make-up/skin care collection in my master bathroom and now my closet on my own.  I didn’t think I would like to get rid of stuff.  But the freedom from clutter and the ease of finding what I want is powerful. Getting ready each day is easier, less stressful, and quicker. Coming into the spaces I have cleared and organized feels less oppressive.  I have (so far) been much more likely to put things back where they belong, since they actually have a place, and a space.

My New Listing could make you Happier

All of this is happening while juggling a busy real estate career.  In my role as REALTOR® I have the good fortune to have an amazing listing just a few minutes from home. It’s a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom rancher that is 768 square feet with mountain views on a low-maintenance fenced lot.

What strikes me about this home each time I go is a sense of peace, and SPACE.  It’s open plan, and the current owner has decorated it beautifully with just the right amount of “stuff” and no more. I find it to be a sanctuary compared to my crowded and busy looking home. It has lots of storage space (a crawl space and 2 outbuildings) so a person could have places for their things, but also I am amazed by the fact that when I look around, I feel like it has everything I would need.

Why do I have all this “extra stuff” when I can see all I would need in ½ the space that I have?

Tiny Homes and Small House Living

There is such a movement towards Tiny Homes and Small Space Living and anti-consumerism on the rise I have to wonder if all of society is feeling a little overwhelmed with their space and their stuff much like me.  A Globe & Mail article this year said: “Smaller spaces are great spaces. They are cheaper to buy, maintain and clean, as well as being more sustainable, requiring less energy to heat and cool (residential energy use increased 6.5 per cent between 1990 and 2013, according to Natural Resources Canada, a time when house sizes were growing)[1].

This new single-story small house I have listed is all those things!  It’s way under the local average home price, in brand new condition, economical to heat, easy to clean and maintain, and detached so you don’t sacrifice your privacy and autonomy like you would moving to a similarly sized townhouse or condominium.

Another article points out  that “as work expands to fill the time allotted, our useless crap expands to fill the space we give it. Our houses are bigger because we need more space to store our junk, and our junk pile grows because, hey, there’s room for it in the garage. You don’t have to go full KonMari to recognize that this isn’t healthy, and it certainly doesn’t make life better or wallets fuller.”[2]

Refections for a new year

As so often happens at the beginning of a new year, reflection and goal setting is a big part of this month for me – from a business and a personal perspective.  I want to reduce consumption, clear my mind and my physical space to allow for the right amount and type of stuff in, and I want to simplify. We all know the phrase “reduce, re-use, recycle” but my focus this year is on this first, most often ignored part, REDUCE.

So, if you want to see this amazing small space living rancher I have listed, click here, and think about how you can live smaller, and probably happier!

[1]  The Globe and Mail,  Smaller homes could make us happier, Matthew Hague, August 24, 2019https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-design/article-smaller-homes-could-make-us-happier/

[2] The Week, Want to be happier? Live in a small house., August 4, 2017, Bonnie Kristian https://theweek.com/articles/716105/want-happier-live-small-house

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