Buried in my Subconscious

red-48966_640I happened upon a copy of Little House on a Small Planet at the library Monday.  I’m not too far in to it yet, but I realized that I knew what I wanted subconsciously in a new home, before I even found it.  I’ve lived here a year and a half and never realized this was buried in my subconscious waiting to be found.

Early on in the book it was mentioned that those that embrace the small home do so because of an experience they previously had.   I stopped and thought about this for a few minutes.  I grew up in a small home, I never liked large spaces and lived in smaller homes while raising my children.

Can you be  happy with four children in a two bedroom house? Some can see what they found as a bonus here

Whenever I saw a larger home my first thoughts were always something about security.  I would have thoughts about how long it would take when returning home to go through each room to make sure no one had broken in.  Or how lonely it must feel in that huge house, how families must not spend much time together, or how many rooms were hardly ever used.

So what experience did I have that made me want to live in a small studio apartment. A place where I no longer had a dedicated bedroom?

My purging began one day when I was tired of cleaning, as I was dusting I got angry and began to pack up the things I didn’t love to get rid of, the result I found was to be living in a  home that was practically empty when I was through.  It was logical that I would move into something smaller. Right?

cactus-50622_640I kept trying to think what might have made me want a studio, then I realized right in the middle of my purge I took a mini vacation. My son was getting married, since his soon-to-be wife was from Arizona and they lived in Pennsylvania they decided to get married in Arizona for her.  A friend who was going out for the wedding suggested we stay on for a short vacation.  Sounded good to me.

The cost of a hotel room for two weeks is something I didn’t want to think about, but my son, gotta love him, wanted to help those out who traveled and made a special deal with a Value Place to get a discount for his guests.   We paid $146 per week for our stay.   Rather than try to detail the room here’s a link that will show you the room we rented. Yes, this was a negotiated price based on having a certain number of rooms rented for the occasion, and it was off-season.

Our room differed slightly from the image you see there. Our table was round, yet small, we didn’t have burners to cook on, just the microwave.  But those are small differences.  The beds were very simple, a plywood frame with a piece of plywood topped with a mattress, there were cubbies under the bed for storing laundry baskets to hold your clothes.

Why small homes work and find some decorating inspiration here too.

The building was very secure, with a key card needed to enter the hallways leading to the rooms,  people were living there for all kinds of reasons.  Security was key for some single women who relocated to Arizona for work and the price was cheaper than renting an apartment in the area.


While there I had plenty of time to let my mind wander, which will often end up redecorating a space I’m visiting.  This was no different. We had company in our room frequently and I kept thinking other than I didn’t like the open shelf for hanging clothes, and the plastic mini blinds, and wanting to paint the space,  I could easily live here.  My friend thought I was crazy.  She asked me where I would go if I wanted to escape the one room. I told her I’d go outside, which I did often any way.

12 ways small house can improve your life

Returning home I continued to get rid of things that no longer fit me, and began my search for a new home.  I had totally forgotten the feeling I had on vacation and was still looking to find a smaller one bedroom apartment when I stumbled on the place I now live.  I had made a list of all the things I didn’t have in my current apartment.  The things I was missing were due to location, I was too far out. The other was a disconnect from nature.


When I first called about seeing this apartment and was told there were no stoves or ability to hook them up and that this was  a one room studio, I first didn’t view it. After some thought I realized this had every thing else I was looking for and decided to look any way.

Still waiting for winter
Still waiting for winter

If I was willing to live without a stove or a separate bedroom I could have the location of my dreams with all the nature I craved.  I rented it on the spot.  My home doesn’t have the clean uncluttered feel of that vacation room and that’s okay too as I have more living to do  here than I did there.

It’s funny, the layout is different, the kitchen is part of the main room where in the Value Place room the kitchen was part of the entry.  I think I would have liked that better, but this works.

Maybe it’s true, we need to experience small living for a short time to appreciate what it can be like.  My subconscious new and told me this was home.






  1. I lived for a year in a tiny apartment. I do mean tiny. It was ok, but I still needed a bit more space. I wouldn’t want a huge home, like you I think its a lonely place. But I do need a bit more space then that apartment gave me. I’m a bit claustrophobic. But you know, if you have found a place that suits you so well and you are happy, that is all that matters.


      • well at the time I lived in the tiny apartment I was single. In between marriages. ha! It was probably as big as you are living in now. I am very adaptable though and can manage to live just about anywhere. Just not always as happy about it. 😉


        • I guess I should have said I would have to try it and see. I just can’t picture something that small when I have company over a lot. The main drawback for me is the loft beds in most. I wouldn’t be able to climb up there so I would have to incorporate a sleeping area into my main living space. I would need lots of light in any place I was in, that was one of my biggest problems in my last home, not enough light.


          • Yes, I would have strongly preferred to build THO on one level but building codes here are insane.
            In a perfect world I would have build 300 square feet out of straw bale with a lot of windows. All hand detailed with exposed timber frames. This is an illegal building here. What a pity.


          • I hadn’t realized your home is illegal, is it the size? I too wanted to build out of straw bale or even an earthship, my boys and I designed an actual earthship and had help lined up for us, but then could never find land any where near us that would allow us to build it.


          • No, THO is legal, the house that I hoped to build is not legal because here we must build either 108 square feet or under… OR… 1000 square feet and over. Nothing in between.


          • I’m glad to hear it’s not your current house that is illegal. The zoning laws here are crazy too. It’s part small community, part cottage community around the lake and part university. The cottages are mostly being redone into huge things around the lake, and the university seems to influence the town into trying to get everyone to build huge here. You can still find a couple smaller cottages, but they are grand fathered in and no new ones can be built.


          • I love those small cottage properties. We have places like this up here too.

            Have you ever gotten inside one of the earthship homes? I have seen plenty on-line but never in person. My former HS art teacher built one and invited me to see it, so I think I will make a point to see it next summer. His is a huge one though some 2400 square feet… Not really something that would interest me.


          • No unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to see inside one, I did see a few from a distance when I was in New Mexico but didn’t have the time to get to know anyone well enough to ask to see inside. I’d love to hear about the inside from your point of view if you do visit one. I wouldn’t want a huge one either.


    • It’s funny when I walked into the apartment with my son and his wife to show the furniture that came with the apartment was in the middle of the room, it looked so tiny, then as I moved things around it felt much larger. My daughter-in-law was upset at first that I rented this, then when she visited after I had moved in she loved it.


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