I was reading this article in the New York Times today, and as with anything I see about small spaces and simple living, it really appealed to me. I have always loved small spaces, even when I was a kid and I surrounded my top bunk with a blanket hung from the ceiling so I could have a cave. I've almost always had the smallest bedroom in the house growing up, and in my apartments since I have moved out. I feel more peaceful in a small area I guess. But eventually my belongings have increased and the ability to keep things small has decreased, but not with any flair. At least when I had very small apartments I could afford to have the nice storage and the tricks that go with making it livable. But now I feel like I have so much stuff scattered around that it isn't soothing or a good place to come home too. I don't feel the inviting calm my old places had, I just feel a receptacle for STUFF.
Part of my affinity for small places came after my first apartment was broken into. I moved into a smaller place that was in a much safer location, but the best thing was that I could hear what was going on in the kitchen when I was in the bedroom. Everything was small and compact, and the apartment was old so it had a lot of character, but I knew what was going on around me. When I moved here I looked at houses for a while but they were just too big. I've never wanted a palatial space, just somewhere big enough to keep me and my belongings in some sort of organized chaos. The smaller the place, the more comfortable I am (and the less stuff I have, the more comfortable I am), as long as I'm not knocking things over.
One of my favorite books: Not So Big House. It is all about how to create a smaller home that utilizes space efficiently. Then you can build a smaller house that is made of finer materials and ingenious design features (a Quiet Room, a centralized location for thermostat, lighting, and security systems, storage spaces tucked into areas you wouldn't think to use). I would love a house like that- one made with thought and not just some huge mansion that doesn't bring people closer together, but forces them to spread out just because of the shear size of the thing.
So maybe my project this weekend will be to find a way to make things work better around my apartment, so I feel like I'm living in a home instead of a box. For as little money as possible.