‘He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have’-Socrates
Mine and Nathan’s lifestyle does not require us to have a house. We don’t have children and are either working away or traveling. In the past I have had times of frustration but there is a lot more that small spaces has taught me than the depressing necessity of tidiness (something that does not come naturally to me). For me, having a small space gives the impression of escape, change and in a weird way freedom. It takes me five minutes to clean and tidy my little box and I know exactly where everything is. There is no room to fill it with commodities and new clothes and necessities have to be chosen with care. I can only keep what really matters resulting in a place I cherish tremendously. I don’t sleep as well anywhere than I do in my box (apart from a moving car). It’s where I write, harvest new ideas and replenish after hectic events or busy spells.
In the absence of possessions and commodities seems to come mental clarity and ease of mind. Lack of distractions, more time outside, more money to spend on travel, food and wine. My own small space becomes so vast to me when it offers complete solitude to the murmur of the outside world.
There are few demands from a small space; just a few logs to keep it warm, one flower in a vase and a scented candle can transform the space so readily. Old trinkets, books, unwanted clothes have to be sorted through and recycled or given away which becomes a ritual of mental cleansing. As your world becomes smaller and more simple you love it and appreciate it so much more.
Since living in such a small space and astonished by the positive effects it has had I’ve realised it reflects, so profoundly, in every area of life. Just last night I was discussing with a close friend, how as we get older and our time becomes more precious, you have to chose more carefully who you invest your time in. Your close friends dwindle in numbers but the bonds deepen as they survive the challenges life presents . As we grow and change we shred old relationships that no longer share common ground but gain new ones that are more akin.
In keeping life small and simple we constantly have to question the value and need of all that surrounds us, both physically and mentally, and become accustomed to recycling or detaching from what we no longer have space for. This process provides precious room for what we know we truly need. It enables, or more so demands, that we know and reflect on ourselves and where we are in life, therefore productively evaluating what we no longer need. With excess space it is easy to hoard and clutter our lives with that which no longer serves a purpose and consequently drains us of energy. It now makes perfect sense to me why just moving furniture around, a good spring clean or taking a bag of clothes I no longer wear to a charity shop leaves me feeling surprisingly refreshed on more than just a material level.