368 square feet.
That’s how big our apartment is. I actually broke out E’s tape measure and went to town yesterday, measuring each room wall to wall and adding it all up. He just laughed and tried to stay out of my way while he reheated the rice and curry I’d left for him on the stove. I got a strong desire to measure everything up so while clicking through photos of Tiny Homes – you know, those Pinterest-perfect images of the tiny homes on wheels that are apparently all the rage across North America nowadays. The types of tiny homes that make everyone want to throw out the hoards of crap they’ve acquired over the years and fit their lives inside the modern-day equivalent of an RV. You too could have an ocean view bedroom! All you have to do is drive it there.
Most of these are actually smaller than our current apartment, but, much to my chagrin, are actually much better designed. Loft bedrooms, under-stair storage and fold-down dining tables actually look like they provide a much better living space than we currently enjoy. Tiny homes and minimalism are the type of life I’d love to live, if it weren’t so unrealistic.
However, I don’t mind living in such a small space right now. It’s what we can afford, and it’s all we really need for the two of us right now. It’s also allowing me to turn away all the “helpful” things people want to give us. It’s amazing, when you are just starting out, how much people actually want to give. The generosity is utterly humbling and we couldn’t be more grateful – which is what makes it hard to say no. No, we don’t need that glass crystal bowl. No, we don’t actually need olive oil pourers. No, we don’t need a custom made pottery sugar bowl. While I always appreciate the gesture, I think my face betrays my extreme anxiety about where we are going to place these things. When it’s just something someone would get rid of anyways, but thought they’d ask if we wanted it, I just say no. It’s much harder when someone buys gifts just for you. My bridal shower was an anxiety-inducing gift-filled party for me. Toaster ovens, towels, and baking sheets are now sitting at my mother’s house, just waiting for the day when we move into a larger house and actually want to add these to our lives. As it stands, it’s too much for me right now. You know what we need? Money.
We need the freedom of having our student loans paid off. We need cash for the hypothetical plot of mountain view waterfront land where we can plop our imaginary tiny house. We need money for the cross-country (or international!) move we would like to make one day, which itself seems more unlikely each day that we live here. What we don’t need is a new mixing bowl.
With extra cash, we might have the freedom to live this minimalist, travel-filled life I’m always dreaming of. After all, if I can’t pretend to be a minimalist in 368 square feet, when and where can I?