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Ultralight
1-23-17, 8:24am
Yesterday I helped a friend move from the house he and his wife and two kids live in to a new house on the other side of the city.

The house was massive! I mean massive. There were so many rooms with many labyrinthine hallways and passages and doorways. In every room there was a TV screen, some of which were as tall as a grown man. The basement had a home theater and billiards and a well-stocked full bar. There was dusty exercise equipment about as well.

The home was characterized by the massive amount of gadgets and toys and entertainment devices.

The house they were moving to was a significant up-size as well, so they were going bigger!

They had a huge generator too, in case the power went out. And here in this city, the power rarely goes out and is usually back on within an hour or two.

My friend and his family created a materialistic monster for themselves, and it is a monster they continually feed.

I felt bad for him and his family in so many ways as a result of this. But like a dutiful friend, I helped him move all this stuff he does not need or often use; this stuff he and his wife have to work for, this stuff that detracts from the more important things in life.

This is all to say I relearned the lesson that living simply is best for me.

LDAHL
1-23-17, 10:35am
My wife owns a small cleaning business. She claims that a number of the houses she cleans have rooms that nobody seems to enter except her. I can't understand why anyone would want to work themselves to death for empty space.

catherine
1-23-17, 11:14am
I'm sure there's a psychological thing about needing more and bigger--even though it's been documented that bigger spaces make us feel less safe and less connected from our families--two things that we really want more of, not less.

I'm a big fan of the architect Sarah Susanka who wrote The Not So Big House. Her work is based on "architectural elements such as framed openings (windows, doors or doorways that are framed or nested in certain ways), spatial layering, visual weight, diagonal views, and variations to ceiling height, all of which are intended to let the interior of a house feel comfortable and more spacious. They are tools used to create a subjective feeling of separation and shelteredness, yet interconnection with other parts of the house." (Wikipedia)

It would be great if people would build with an eye towards quality and not quantity, but in too many people's eyes, a symbol of success is how many cars can fit in your garage and how many en suite bedrooms your house has. (My very wealthy college friend has 3 houses--all of them have about 5 bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, and she and her husband are the only people who live in them--and of course, they can only live in one at a time, so that's about 12 extra bedrooms and bathrooms that are not used at any given time).

Tybee
1-23-17, 12:00pm
I love Susannah Susanka's work! Hope to someday really integrate it into my house

Teacher Terry
1-23-17, 4:25pm
What a waste to have space go unused. We use every room in our house. Our previous house had a family room and formal LR and we only used the LR when we had a party. Now when we had kids at home we used both rooms because someone could read in the LR while someone else was watching tv in family room.

bae
1-23-17, 4:40pm
I love Susannah Susanka's work! Hope to someday really integrate it into my house

Same .

Tybee
1-23-17, 5:58pm
Oops, Catherine had her name right, and I had it wrong.
I do like what I thought it was, kind of mellifluous.