Work Spaces

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My Writing Area

 This week on the Open Book Blog Hop, we're showing off our work spaces.

This chapter of my life finds me existing happily in a small space. I live with and assist my elderly parents. My “living area” in their home is a room that is just a little under 200 square feet. It contains my living room/library; bedroom/office area; dressing room; and closet.

My work space, or office, is in the “bedroom,” which is a seven foot by seven foot area I’ve partitioned off with a curtain. My seventeen inch by forty inch desk does double duty as my nightstand. It holds everything I need--my computer, alarm clock, note book, stapler, pencils and pens.

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When I first contemplated moving in with my parents, I honestly didn’t know how I’d be able to downsize. How could I sell or give away so many of my belonging? All my mementos from my travels, my books, my art? (I use that term loosely.) What about all my clothes? (I might someday need that formal dress I bought seven years ago, though I’ve worn it only once.) And my furniture, lovingly collected hand-me-downs, and finds from antique stores, and auctions? I couldn’t imagine parting with any of it.

I started with trepidation, letting go of only a few items. I found it wasn’t too difficult. So I continued, and it became easier. The more things I let go of, the more I liked it. Soon I was passing on my books, pottery, and wall hangings to others to enjoy. I sold my antique dry bar for nearly the same amount I purchased it for fifteen years ago. Other furniture was given away or sold. Clothes I no longer had room for were donated. Tchotchkes went without a second thought to a friend’s garage sale. As far as collectibles go, I kept only items that bring back special memories, or hold singular meaning for me. I learned to manage my space wisely, and use furniture that can do double duty. I’ve found a place for everything I need. 

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 I’ve done some research. In the U.S. today, there is a growing number of people who live in “tiny houses,” which are defined as dwellings between 100 and 400 square feet. The reasons for living in such a small space are numerous, and make a lot of sense. Tiny houses are more economical to build or buy, and maintain. This means less debt, more self-sufficiency and financial freedom, less environmental impact, and a simpler life. People who embrace the lifestyle mentally separate themselves from conspicuous consumption. They can still buy things, but make intentional choices. Really, how many TV’s do you need when you can watch almost anything on a tablet or laptop? Who needs shelves full of books, if more than enough reading material for a lifetime can be stored on an e-reader?

For me, being free of clutter and unnecessary items is a relief. It’s freeing. I can thoroughly clean my space in an hour. When I’m out shopping, I’m not as tempted to buy more stuff (no matter how cute) because I would have to discard something to make room for the new item. This thought process had led me to truly appreciate the things I already have.

 Do I miss anything? No. I have a few boxes and smaller furniture items stored in a cousin’s basement. A year and a half later, I can’t remember what’s packed away. When I do get around to unpacking, most of the items will probably be recycled, re-gifted, or donated. I don’t need all the stuff. I’m seriously considering moving into my own tiny house in the future. And I’ll stick with my current tiny work space. I’m going to keep living small.

 Where do you work? At home or away? Show me a picture!

Let's hop on over to  Stevie Turner's blog (click the link here)  to check out her work area. And, take a look at Stevie's books (click here) -- they're fantastic!