This post is about what we want as a home against what we need. Recently I bought a house. I already lived in this house before I bought as a tenant. When the house came on the market I had first option so I buy it. A few years ago (5 or 6) I would never had bought this house, because I always had this sure feeling that, when I buy a house, it would be something twice as big as this one. My house is about 100 square meters – 3 nice bedrooms, a living room, a laundry room, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and my home office – and the total land space we have is about 250 square meters. I thought I wanted a bigger house because I was completely sure would need it.
Then came the question ~ need it for what? To store my stuff, that’s what I would need it for. Then I started to declutter. I did a lot of decluttering. I had kids. More decluttering. And suddenly I was not really sure I would need all that space I dreamed of. Then something weird, really weird happened to me a year ago. I was walking along a quiet street, thinking about decluttering, and Colleen’s blog and all that stuff I let go and how good I felt. Then I saw this lovely little house ~ must have been 50 square meters at most ~ and I looked at it very pleased and thought ~ “What a lovely little house, I would like to have a small house like this and not have so MUCH STUFF”.
That was when I appreciated that I did not have to live in a huge house to be happy. That the house I currently lived in as a tenant had an excellent location and a nice enough size. It hit me, finally, that I didn’t need more space, but less stuff. In January 2012 I decided to start decluttering more because I would look for smaller houses to buy, cheaper and better located than the mammoths I previously coveted. And to my bafflement, in February 2012, my house, the one I started to like so much, the one I was currently living in came on the market. The questions I askedhad to be answered were:
- How does a 20 square meter backyard versus a 50 square meter backyard makes you happier or makes a home better?
- I have in my house three bedrooms and two bathrooms. They are enough for my family and it is quite comfortable. Do I need more?
…by April I was its proud and happy owner.
It is funny, but the first thing I did do, as soon as I signed the contract, was start decluttering. There’s years of holding back stuff because I would have to give it back to the owner. Yes, the “lovely” former owner left her stuff here. And happily I now freeing up space. Things that were kept “in case of moving” are gone. Things that originally belonged to the house, but are useless now, are gone. And I also decided I have too much storage space in the house, so I am thinking of decluttering wardrobes and other such storage units. Make them smaller, with less stuff, so I can manage things better.
A big yard isn’t necessary. If a person wants to spend time playing with their children they will regardless. A park near your house or a public soccer field is a great place to play if there isn’t enough room for all activities in a little backyard.
If you want to have a nice house you don’t have to have a huge house to impress anyone. Because nobody cares. Or as they say, people who care about the size of your house don’t matter, and people who matter, don’t really care.
So what I want most to say is that I learned a valuable lesson at 365 lessthings….
I have to be, not to have. I don’t have to own stuff to be. I don’t have to have the biggest house in the family to be. To be I just have to value feelings instead of stuff. I have stuff to make my life easier, I don’t have stuff to worship it.
Thanks for the wonderful lessons you have shared.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something made from fibre.
Today’s Declutter Item
This item fits in with todays mini mission being that it is an oil painting on canvas. We went a little crazy on “Back Art” at one point but now that we are minimising some of the not so great ones have to go.
Eco Tip for the Day
Try growing plants from seeds or clippings rather than buying seedling in plastic pots at the nursery.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast