We just did a renovation that cost us little, as in virtually nothing — and increased the size of our home significantly.
As a moderationist, I enjoy following several minimalists for inspiration. It’s the same way you might keep tabs on a favorite athlete, one who inspires you, even though you have no plans ever to do an Iron Man.
It’s by studying the extremes that the middle path can be made even more satisfying.
After three years in our current home we underwent a massive reorg of several key rooms, combining, condensing, repurposing.
I gave up a (large) (quiet) home office to be squeezed into a space in my wife’s art studio. We thrive in each other’s company when we’re in creation mode, so it made sense. It’s a better view. Better light. It’s cozy, all I need.
In the process we gave away some furniture pieces . . . and all we paid for was a little re-wiring and labor help. It was done in a day.
Then my son and I went away for almost a week on a road trip. My wife pillaged our closets and drawers, in a controlled frenzy of offloading those things that no longer served us.
Upon our return I disgorged to Goodwill a minivan packed so thoroughly that only space for the driver remained. If you tucked your arms in. And kept your head lowered.
On a roll now, we continue to sift through and dispose of what is no longer needed.
Our home grew not one inch, but it feels as though we added another room — specifically a media room, where games both online and offline can be played, where books can be read, where puzzles can be stitched together, where relaxation can be had.
All we did was sit down and re-think how we used our space:
- What did we really want from our home spaces?
- What could be combined?
- How could we use what we had?
You needn’t do this for the entirety of a home. You can do it for a drawer . . . You can do it for the space atop your desk . . .
The spaciousness you’ll feel is real. And you will luxuriate in it daily.
(Also there is this: An almost unsurpassable joy in knowing neglected items and furniture are now being enjoyed by others.)
Click here for the occasional creative soul letter.