I’ll do what I can to prop up the housing industry, but don’t expect too much from me. I’m determined to spend less, not more.
I’m not just planning to downsize. I’m planning to radically downsize. I currently live alone in a 2,600 square-foot home, which is a ludicrously large space for one person. I had two separate flights of company last week, and it was nice to be able to simply turn over the whole upstairs to them. But that’s space I rarely use, but have to heat, maintain and pay for anyway. (Notice I didn’t mention the cooling of that space. I turned on the AC for the visitors, but otherwise my friends Mr. Window and Ms. Breeze are in charge of ventilation.)
Two days ago, I looked at a small home which has been put on the market. (That’s your cue: “How small was it?”) It was so small that if Anna Nicole Smith had ever stepped through the front door, her bosom would have already been leaving through the back. It was so small that Tammy Faye’s makeup case was bigger.
OK, enough with the dead celebrity references. The home was 723 square feet. I know people with porches bigger than that, but it seemed like the perfect size.
You see, I recently had a small-caliber epiphany when I realized that you never own a house as much as it owns you. It owns your time, your attention and your money. It’s needy and self-centered. It takes and takes and takes, and meanwhile you’re supposed to be rapturous with gratitude If the roof doesn’t leak during a light rain.
I’m on a long-term mission to free myself from the bondage and slavery of ownership. Furthermore, I’m not just talking about homes. There are three motor vehicles parked at my house — a car, a truck and a motorcycle. Two of them are going. The lawnmower’s going. At least half my clothes are going. Furniture will be sold. If my children are hanging around and happen to be motionless long enough, I can’t guarantee that they won’t accidentally be sold to the highest bidder.
My operating theory is that the smaller my home, and the fewer things within it, the more my life is returned to me. I’m going to outsource shelter. If I feel the need for more room, I’ll acquire it at the beach on a short-term basis.
Hey, we all end up in a small, tight space anyway. I’m just getting a head start.