Small and Simple

Jennifer Savage essays

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So many people have asked. The answer: small and simple. And like a game of Tetris.That’s what it’s like living in 282 square feet with two kids, two dogs and two grown ups.

We have everything we need, quite literally and very often, at our fingertips.

More answers: Our clothes are in rolling boxes under the bed and couch. Our kitchen counter is a little too cluttered because there isn’t really space for two coffee makers and drying dishes. Our cupboards are a little tight with food having gone from endless space in the farmhouse to two shelves in 282. Our fridge situation is evolving–we have a tiny fridge in the apartment and a full-size fridge outside but that one doesn’t stay very cold in the summer heat so it’s not terribly reliable. Our pantry is outside as is our closet. Our dogs sleep in a doghouse–seven or so square feet all to themselves. Eliza and Lucille’s toys are outside on shelves which are covered from the weather. Our gear and Seth’s tools are stored outside as well, again, covered from the weather and our kayaks are hanging from the rafters on the ally side of our tiny space.

We don’t have a washer or dryer.

The couch is a bed and the table is a work desk. The fence between our converted garage that I’ve been calling an apartment but which is really a separate, tiny house, keeps our dogs gathered and our crap from spilling into the yard. Eliza still has a bow and arrow but she has to stand at one corner of the yard and point it to the other diagonal corner to shoot it. Lucille rode her bike through the house yesterday and while stopping to scratch an itch, parked in the center of the living room (the only room!) and blocked passage for anyone else entering or leaving. The bathroom is as big as a minute. And both girls still like to come in while I’m in the shower. I can’t get out of the shower if they are standing in the bathroom because there is no place to stand. We’ve lost a toothbrush and a tube of lip gloss after they landed in the toilet from the shelves above it. One wrong move and splash.

We clean up one mess before making another because there’s simply not enough space for two messes at once. We lay out our clothes at night when we think of it so we don’t have to fold up the bed to pull out the clothes drawer in the morning or walk outside in search of underwear at 7 a.m. We all sleep in the same room. We grind coffee in the bathroom.

We are three weeks in. And even though we have to move one thing over to pull another down, we are doing it. Any frustration has been met with a resolve to get rid of a few more things and with the overwhelming discovery of just how simple living in a small space can be.

About the Author

Jennifer Savage

Jennifer Savage is a writer and mama of Eliza and Lucille. Lately, she's learning to be a farm girl, again. She writes from her home at the base of the Mission Mountains in Arlee, Montana. She is also one of Mamalode's favorite writers and you can fall in love with her too at .

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