Why I like small spaces

I’m not talking about spelunking, I mean that I live, very happily, in a cabin that is 3 metres long and 1.7 metres wide. Almost exactly 5 square metres or around 50 square feet. I’ve been in houses with dinner tables larger. And I live in this space with my partner, Beans. Two of us in a shed of our own making which, for each of us, has been the most perfect home of our lives so far.

When you live in a small space you invert your spacial relationship with the world. You spend your time outside rather than in, and that was one of the main reasons we did this, to be outside more. To be part of the larger world.
Scott Nathan Gilbertson

We live close to the surface of the world, wrapped up in its texture, not hidden from it. The light and the warmth of the sun draw us out into the world each morning and there we stay until the cold and the dark of the night carries us back inside.

If you own a big house, one way or another, you spend a monumental amount of time just trying to keep that thing afloat. Big houses beget big problems. Big problems require big solutions, usually carried out by professionals, professionals (by definition) want to be paid, paying a professional demands that we ourselves become professionals in something else in order to be paid such that we can afford to then give that money to these other professionals that want money to fix the too big problem with our too big house. Madness.

Small houses suffer small problems. Small problems are often simple, readily understood, and don’t require a professional to fix. And that truth runs deep enough that not only is it easy to fix the problems that arise in a small house, it’s pretty easy to build a small house yourself, for yourself. By building things for yourself you’re not stuck with other people’s assumptions of what a liveable space is. You do it yourself so you can do it exactly as you want.

And to be clear, I’m not saying you should live this way, this is just (a part of) why I choose to live in the way that I do, in the space that I do.