Saturday, September 12, 2009

Does size really matter?

My kids were playing in the basement today. Noah decided that he would make a fort to play in. He used a smaller blanket than the picture above and it was perfect for him. Then Morgan came along and decided she wanted to play in the fort as well. The problem was, there wasn't nearly enough room for both of them. In this case, the fix was easy. I grabbed an old comforter and threw it over the chairs for an extra large fort, big enough for both of them and all their stuffed animals.

In our real lives, there aren't always any easy fixes for problems of size. We live in a 1200 sq ft home with a finished attic and unfinished basement. The attic is completely taken up with hubby's computer business, so that takes away a large amount of space for us. The reality is that in our society 1200 sq ft isn't very big. In my world it gets rather tight trying to store all the things I've accumulated in my quest to simplify and green our world.

Just the prospect of storing food can be daunting in a small space. First is the equipment for seed starting. Lights, heat mats, pots, soil and seeds all take up a good amount of space. Then I need to preserve all the wonderful herbs and veggies that I grew. This involves a dehydrator, canning equipment and hundreds of jars, rings and lids. All of this stuff needs a home. In my case that home is my basement. I have shelving on every available wall to have space to store all of my goodies. There also needs to be space for all the great things I buy in bulk.

Then there is all that needs to be recycled. We end up with a lot of paper recycling as a result of hubby's business. Since we throw away relatively little, the recycling needs to have a home until we can get to the transfer station to get rid of it.

All of this takes up space. I feel that it all has a purpose in my home. I like my hundred foot diet very much. It helps us to reduce our impact on the earth and keeps us healthy as well.

Now, I certainly have size envy from time to time. I would like to have a bigger home, although not much bigger. I would definitely like to have a bigger piece of land to garden on. We adapt to what we have. We all do the best that we can with what is given to us. But, yes, size certainly matters. It affects what we do and how we do it. The size of our home, our family, our land and our commute are all major factors in life.

This post is my submission to the APLS September Carnival on "When does size matter?" It is being hosted by Tina this month. Head on over and take a look at all the submissions sometime after the 15th.


kitsapFG said...

We have a 1,400 square foot home which is not much bigger than yours. The saving grace for us is that we have a small shop and a garage which we use for storage of the equipment and seed starting set up. I also have shelves and our big upright freezer in the garage and we keep the bulk purchased foods and frozen items stored in there.

crstn85 said...

This seems a bit like the seemingly contradictory idea that in order to clean up, you need to make a bigger mess first. Similarly, in order to simplify your diet to local, in season food you need to have equipment and even more food around for parts of the year. Nothing is ever truly simple is it?

The Mom said...

kitsap, I wish I had an area for seed starting. Then again, I wish I had more room!

crstn, it is kind of crazy that simplicity is so complicated. It gets easier as I go along though!

Steph @ Greening Families said...

The initial complications of simplicity keep a lot of people from starting. Kudos to you for finding a way to make things work where you are!

Lisa Sharp said...

I hear ya. We are currently living with my in-laws to save on rent, help them fix up the house, and help take care of my MIL who is disabled.

This means we have a bedroom, bathroom (small!), and another bedroom (used as living room, and storage). We share the tiny kitchen. I don't have a lot of room for the things I want to do so I'm dealing until we buy a house. I don't need much space but more than this would be great. Mostly I need a bigger kitchen. :)

The Mom said...

Lisa, you're smart to be saving money now. At least its only temporary. The kitchen is one room that I really wish was bigger as well. I would love more storage and counter space.