We are preparing to add one person to our 650-square foot condo in the city. Already, two humans, a dog and cat reside there. My husband and I have done a lot of work over the years to keep this space usable and relaxing. We try not to bring in items that we don’t need. Instead, we spend money on experiences—or food—which takes little space at all. However, it is a constant battle to minimize our stuff.
Thankfully, my husband excels at creating space hacks (our closets resemble the game Tetris) with many space-saving ideas and collapsible furniture. Regularly we review our possessions and edit when possible. It helps us stay organized and helps us work with what we have.
Since our pregnancy began, friends and family have asked us if we will leave our current space in the city. Granted, we know that babies don’t need a lot of room at the beginning, but acquaintances regularly caution us with, “Just wait! Children need a lot more space as they get older.”
So we won’t be surprised if we have to move to a bigger space in a couple of years. However, there is something satisfying about limiting our space and stuff. For example, our daughter won’t be able to have 9 million toys. Maybe that will encourage her to focus on the toys she truly loves. Maybe she will appreciate experiences over “stuff” too.
[bctt tweet=”There is something satisfying about limiting our space and stuff.” username=”womenoftheelca”]
We also have been listening to podcasts on the subject of minimalism and simplifying one’s life and abandoning an overly consumptive lifestyle. Still, I reflect on a popular article in Cafe from years ago called, “Just one tunic” written by Sarah Scherschligt.
She writes: “The accumulation of stuff easily masks who we are and clouds our ability to shine God’s love into the world. With less stuff, we discover more of ourselves to love and to offer.”
She also shares why it’s good for our relationships with others and the planet when we own less stuff.
Are you living a minimalist lifestyle? And with kids? I’d love to hear what you have learned and what you could share with others about living with less.
Elizabeth McBride, director for intergenerational programs and editor of Cafe, will welcome her first human child into their small space any day now. She is hopeful that her daughter will like it as much as she and her husband do. They live in Chicago.