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Thread: Smallest Space Lived in Happily

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Smallest Space Lived in Happily

    Quite by accident on Monday I found out my husband was cheating on me. This is not the first time but itís the last. Not only did he put me at risk for STDís but also the virus. Decided considering the situation I would tell him on Xmas eve that my gift is a divorce. I am downsizing to a condo and selling the house. I like security buildings so that narrows the search considerably. I lived in one that was 869 sq ft when I moved here 24 years ago. It was a 2 bedroom 1 bath. Real estate has skyrocketed which is good on the selling side but not so much the buying. So my choices seem to be live in a really nice one with a view of the mountains ( 1 bedroom-532 sq ft) for around 200k or going back to my original situation for the same price. Down side is the ceilings are low and you only have one window in the bedrooms and a slider in the living room. In the first building the floors start on 3 and you have a entire wall of glass in the living room and bedroom so tons of light. Both are desirable locations close to everything. I donít really get many overnight guests anymore and they could get a hotel room. My youngest son said he will sleep on the couch when visiting.

    So what are the pluses and minuses of small living and how did it work out for you? Any advice appreciated. Catherine I know you seem to be happy in your small house. I absolutely donít want a house. The places I have looked at online all have balconies and patios which is important and take 2 small dogs which I intend to write into the purchase contract as well as verify in writing from the association. Besides my real kids my fur kids are most important in my life. Good thing I have been downsizing the past 25 years but if I go into the smaller one it will mean extreme measures although even the bigger one will require it to. What say ye old wise ones)

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    I'm so sorry, TT. I have no advice on the smaller housing as - while I'm prepping for such a move - I'm not there yet.

    Hugs and I hope all goes well in this transitional point in your life.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Thanks Happy.

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    Sorry about your situation. I'd go for the nicer but smaller place. Main challenge is storage. Without a garage, you'll have to store stuff offsite or get rid of it. I've lived happily in 350SF but had some shared garage space for storage. Smallest without storage has been 500-600SF. Largest place was a 3BR house, around 1,100SF, with a double garage. Way too big, much wasted space. I prefer quality over quantity. I'd choose the one with all the windows.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I definitely won’t pay for storage. It will fit or be gone. My previous condo had a closet on the patio but I didn’t use it. Not sure if the nice ones have that. The biggest house I lived in was 2k sq ft with 5 people. Right now 2 in 1400.

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you've ended up in this situation, Terry.

    When my ex and I separated, I moved out of our 3400-square-foot townhome (this was before simple living) to a 500-600-square-foot efficiency apartment (living room, kitchen, dining nook, bathroom, one big closet). There was a storage locker in the basement that was maybe the size of a half bathroom. I had a futon that did double duty as a bed and sofa. I bought one of those wire basket things for use as a dresser. And I spent a lot of time moving one thing to get to another because things got stacked and, sometimes, pushed to the back of whatever storage there was. It worked. The only thing I really didn't like was having to park on the street, particularly during snow emergencies when I had to find another place (typically a couple of blocks away) to park for the night and dig the car out the next morning.

    I loved living there. They had renovated the kitchen so the fridge actually was in the kitchen (saw lots of old apartments where the fridge was wherever they could stuff it, even if it wasn't quite near the kitchen). There was counter space. There were three-wire outlets, and enough of them. The bathroom was big enough and easy to keep warm in winter. The noise level was acceptable. It's in a great neighborhood and it was easy to walk just about any place I wanted to go and not far from work.

    Thing is, I did not want to "cocoon" in my apartment. I didn't want to be so comfortable in my apartment that I never went anywhere besides work. I wanted to meet new people and I knew sure as anything I was not going to meet anyone inside my apartment. So having a very small, easy to clean, relatively inexpensive place that was principally a dorm/place to clean up/store my stuff worked fine for me. I still miss living in that neighborhood but I could not afford to buy what I have here now and I'm not that a big fan of old houses (the primary housing stock in that neighborhood). But, for lots of reasons beyond the wrenching process of divorce, I enjoyed iiving there very much. It was very freeing.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    OMG, I am so very sorry, TT. The 2020 calamities never end.

    In answer to your question, that is a very tough decision. I do fine with 1-2 other people in my 680 sq. ft. (2 others because my son comes up here frequently and since he's been furloughed, he's here almost all the time).

    I would go where your heart sings--so if you love the nice one with the view, go for it. I do have to say I like having 2 bedrooms for practical purposes, but you are the one living there, and as you said, guests will be infrequent, so choose where YOU want to be, especially now. Which environment will nurture your soul?

    To your point about small condos vs small houses, I love the freedom of going outside easily. I have a friend who lives in New York on the 8th floor of a highrise and it's a very small place. I could never do that--take an elevator to a small courtyard.

    So in your case, I think it's important that you have a nice balcony, and a nice view is icing on the cake. Those two things will make the place seem larger.

    Are there storage units in the building? I've found the Pareto Principle to be absolutely true: 80% of the time I use 20% of my belongings, so if you just identify that 20% for you, and just move those things into your condo you'll be fine. I was just thinking the other day how living small TRULY makes you evaluate on a day to day basis the utility of the stuff in it. My house used to be a total mess at Christmas time, with all the people and all the gifts and all the junk and two rooms would wind up junk rooms until February when I would finally deal with the clutter. My house now is one-third the size and this Christmas I marveled at how neat my small house was on Christmas Day, in spite of the guests, the dogs, the wrapping, the gifts, the food, because I deal with stuff more frequently. Things get dumped or donated much more frequently.

    I do not regret living small at all.

    I wish you well in this new stage of your journey... hugs to you.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I have many friends so once we are safe to socialize that need will be filled. I do normally spend a fair amount of time at home since retiring. The bigger condo is by a park with a walking path. The nicer one is downtown close to a park, river walk and all kinds of events, restaurants, etc. I will drive less and just walk out my front door. One has a parking garage and one a car port.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Catherine, the nicer one makes my heart sing. If I go with that one I may have to give up my antique dining room table and chairs. I have had it 40 years and it’s in perfect shape. From the pictures it doesn’t look like it would fit. It’s a 52 in square without the leaves. I figured I could use a card table when I had dinner guests. I eat in the living room watching tv when I am alone anyways. That’s amazing that your small place is neater. When I had my small condo I had 9 people for dinner and it was one of the best thanksgiving ever.

  10. #10
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    So sorry that you are having to deal with this right now.

    As others have said very well, go where your heart sings and needs are best met. From your posts, it is sounding as though the nicer one is calling to you.
    As Cicero said, ďGratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.Ē

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