I live in a small house. By big city standards (and the Small House Movement), my 1800 square feet might be considered huge. But, by the standards of my community our home is relatively small. Regardless of the size, my home is perfect for me and my daughter, Maggie, the occasional evening babysitting for my new granddaughter, and a rotating cast of overnight guests.
However, earlier this year, where it once seemed the perfect size, my little house began to seem small. It felt that we were bursting at the seams; my life felt disorganized and it seemed I could never keep up with the constant tasks of washing clothes, feeding our (75 pound and growing) poodle, and the endless dishes to be washed. So, I started cleaning house. This process is still going on today and is executed with the ”William Morris Test”: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
So, my house began to feel bigger again. Slowly, piles of well-loved things (stuff) have been finding their way to the curb, the local thrift store, other friends, and, in some cases I am sorry to say, the landfill. But I must say that IT FEELS GOOD. Lighter. Cleaner. More room to think. Those are the quips that come to mind.
The more I thought about it over the last months, I realized that there is a strong desire in me to homestead. The books that land on my studio table have mostly been about making things for oneself, sustainable buildings, cooking, growing. I found myself obsessing over internet sites and images with little cabins, big views, and strong viewpoints. When looking at our Pinterest Boards, I realized that my “Landscape + Architecture” board was mainly small houses. When looking at my library, I saw books like Mini House and Small Houses. In fact, all of the houses I loved were perfect for homesteading.
That’s when I realized that I AM homesteading… in the city: growing vegetables, slowly transforming our small home into the perfect sanctuary, utilizing the space that I HAVE to the utmost. Don’t get me wrong, I still dream of a farm with horses, dogs, and chickens; however, I realized that my dream is a small one: small, beautiful, crafted, filled with useful AND beautiful things.