My entire adult life has been spent living in small spaces. The place I’m in right now is the largest and tops out at 1000sq. ft. I justify the extra space because it is also where I run my business. Home and office in the same location – it’s simple that way.
The trick to living well in a small space is to make sure every activity is designated a spot to be. That spot will limit the amount of stuff you have to work with when you participate in that activity. Sometimes, eliminating or curtailing an activity is necessary. On the bright side, that will free up some time.
Having exactly what you need right when you need it becomes easier if you have one spot it could be. With less stuff, you automatically have a clear picture of what is and isn’t possible for you to do on the fly.
I can easily host a gathering for 6 but any more than that gets crowded so I can gracefully and gratefully say no to those. This boundary saves time.
Living in a small space requires constant editing and some guidelines for what you will allow to come in in the first place. Tying my consumer decisions to my larger purpose of keeping my life simple and my footprint small makes it much easier to pick longer lasting, more classic things when I shop because they often take up less space. Less time spent considering is more fun.
There is no room for most single purpose items. They stay at the store. On those rare occasions when I need something that I haven’t had the room to store, I have three options. I can borrow one, find another way to accomplish the task, or skip it entirely. Not doing something saves time.
The best part of living small is that there is less to clean. I’ve had a mop for several years it takes up the same amount of space as a Swiffer, but it has the option of a wet or a dry cloth, so only one handle and no trips to the store for the refills. It saves space and time.
A smaller space simply requires a little more thought up front, but the long-term benefits are immense. When asked the best method for simplifying a to do list, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits replied, “use a smaller piece of paper.”