7/30/11: smallnesses

In the July 25th issue of The New Yorker, there is an article by Alec Wilkinson titled, Let’s Get Small, about an as-yet undersized movement to build and live in tiny homes, which look a lot like dollhouses (as opposed to trailers) but are built on trailer platforms (in part to escape having to comply with housing codes, but also to park, for example, on the street if need be). These homes are quite petite, typically less than 14o square feet (about the size of a small bedroom), designed to use space efficiently, but also to discourage acquisition and encourage spending time outdoors.

Having just returned from a book sale at the Pierce County Library with a passel of used books, I asked myself how I’m doing with the let’s get small campaign that I launched about a year ago, the goals being to: downsize and learn to live on less income; get rid of things I don’t need and don’t use; stop acquiring stuff I don’t need and don’t use; tidy up, thin out, and organize my personal papers and pictures; and, burn my journals, which requires reading through them first. (I really should lose some weight while I’m at it.)  I would sum up my progress as small but slightly better than tiny.

  • I have always been fond of small (cozy) spaces, and feel somewhat overwhelmed in the large house I have rented in Tacoma where I moved to for the job-that-wasn’t. Some day I’ll move to a smaller, less expensive space. Meanwhile, before I moved, I gave away stuff I didn’t need (a bed, chest of drawers, chairs, kitchen stuff, the television and DVD player).
  • I have been going through my journals, transcribing anything that I feel is worth keeping into computer files. It’s a painful task that I anticipate will take more than a year to complete.
  • I have also slowly been going through pictures and papers, and making scrapbookish collages. I’ve thrown out (recycled, that is) a considerable amount of paper dreck, so this is a plus.
  • I have a Kindle now, so that should reduce the number of books I need to have in paper, although that doesn’t work for poetry books which don’t read very well on that platform.
  • I’m acquiring more slowly than usual, although I can’t kick the habit entirely (hence the used books).

Just checking in with myself. Still working on it. 

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