The other day one of my small house clients expressed concern that their home design doesn’t allow for enough storage. This is a common concern with clients whether the house is 750 sf or 5000 sf. We like our stuff. Obviously people who purposely seek to build a small (under 1000 sf) house are doing so with the intention to live at a smaller scale – on multiple levels. Even so, the smaller the house design gets the more a person’s attachment to “stuff” surfaces.
A common theme in a lot of books and articles about decluttering suggest that we only have in our homes things that we use and that bring us joy. So I asked my client to carry this question into their home: go through each room, look at each object and ask, “do I use this (daily? weekly? monthly?), does it bring me joy?” Marie Kondo (author of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “Spark Joy”) suggests that her clients hold each object in their hands to see if they can feel joy in their bodies when they hold it. Now that’s some serious feng shui. 😉
Now I have my clients do this exercise not because it’s my place to tell them how much stuff to have. I do it because when you make a commitment to live in an 800 sf home, you only have so many square feet to work with. There is no “fluff”. Everything is there on purpose. The more I understand the purpose of the storage (what, why, how often, what size, how much, etc…), the better the design and the utility of that space can be.
In the meantime, these small house projects really have me taking a close look at my own “stuff” – again, on multiple levels. 😉 My home is 1600 sf. I used to think that was small. Now I am doing the same exercises that I have my clients do. It is quite the awakening and very freeing. I encourage you to do the same!