Simplicity Reveries: Living Small…Sort Of

While I have not been productive with the decluttering process, I have made a big step in downsizing. It may not seem like a lot to some people especially those who live a studio apartment. However, to someone who’s lived in a great deal of square footage and/or a recovering hoarder, this is a monumental accomplishment.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been having horrible evenings. I considered myself lucky if I could get 3 disjointed hours of sleep. There are many reasons for my lack of sleep. Most of them had to do with the house itself. The lack of proper foundation has led to a lifetime of instability for the house structure and an open invitation to creatures to nest under it.

Unfortunately, before I bought the house out of foreclosure as is, creatures had ripped up the underbelly to stay warm under the master bedroom and bath. I had tried to find a company to repair it but had no luck plus the crappy install of house made the search worse. There’s a 10 foot deep ditch at the center where the old single wide mobile home use to have its foundation. Typically this would be filled in or expanded on for a new house but the previous owners opted not to do this thus making future repairs difficult.

Right now, there’s a creature nesting under where the bed sits. It gave birth two weeks ago. Creatures also found their way back into the roof in spite of the repairs to it. Their primary nest is over the bed. It is also monsoon season which means the house shifts whenever it rains and all the smells from under the house seep up through to master bedroom and bathroom since the barrier is gone. Between the noise and odor, I could no longer sleep in that room. Factor in the hotter than the rest of the house in summer and colder in the winter problem, it was logical to move my bed elsewhere.

The bed is in the family room now along with my desk and my 3 piece living room set. The family room is about 400 square feet or so. It reminds me of a floor plan for a studio apartment. If I downsized my oversized living room furniture and got rid of the massive impractical built-in TV cabinet, I could easily see a bathroom and kitchen also fitting the space comfortably. There is plenty of space for all of my downsized possessions and all of the critical furniture to make it a practical live/work space. Realizing that I could definitely live in a space that small with all my possessions was shocking.

Considering how much clutter I had in November 2011, I have made huge strides in the decluttering process. I have always known it was a lot but kept focusing on the mountain still to tackle. This transition of space has made me look at my accomplishment with new eyes. Yes, I have a lot remaining but moving to small space isn’t as crazy as it once seemed. This transition is also letting me experience what it is like to have my whole life in close proximity. Looking at floor plans and imagining what it might be like is vastly different than living it.

I moved the bed into the family room Tuesday night and, since then, I have been sleeping well when I make the effort to go to sleep at a decent time. (For the record, 12 inch thick memory foam mattresses are a giant pain in the ass for one person to move.) I am prone to distraction so I often stay up too late. I do keep waking up earlier than I like. The family room’s windows face east and the sunrise keeps waking me up. I did put up blackout curtains but they cannot fully combat the onslaught of light brought by the sunrise.

The other space complication I have is the temptation of staying in bed to write, check email, and the like. It is immensely tempting but I am trying my best to have designated areas for each task thus leaving the bed only for sleeping and the occasional reading of books.

I am sure I will get use to the room’s quirks soon. Anubis, my feline overlord, is perplexed and amused by the change. Although, he frequently uses the bed as a place to play even when I am sleeping. Hopefully, he’ll get use to the change and see that area as being no different from the original location of the bed. The guinea pigs haven’t adjusted to the change either. They hear me turn over in bed in the morning and they start to wheek for breakfast even though it is 6am. Eventually, they silence and we all go back to sleep for a little longer.

While the new quirks are a tad bit annoying, they are better than the other ones so I am glad I made this change.

This coming week will have me at home more often so I hope to finish cleaning up the family room so I can start moving the possessions being kept into the space and make it my official home inside the house. Once I get the back rooms cleaned out, they will be shut off except for the bathroom as it is the closest one to the family room. The other (currently) functional bathroom is at the opposite end of the house.

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting ever closer for the decluttering process. I’d still like to move but that is a very distant dream right now as I have other things – like paying off all my debts – to tackle first.

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