Living with less
“I want to live in a tiny house,” my six-year-old daughter declares. “Why so?” I question. “They are small, we can just play all the time instead of cleaning, and I don’t have to go far to find you.” How refreshing the logic of a child can be. Truth is, she is in keeping with the sensibilities of those driving the trend to smaller homes. While the motivations of each person varies, there are certain sentiments that pervade the drive to live with less space.
The choice to live in a smaller home is a quality-of-life choice. Smaller homes represent a type of freedom, a push back fromthe busy, hectic lives many of us lead. A smaller home simplifies one’s life and there is less space to maintain, to furnish and clean. Frankly, you can only have so many possessions in a small home, thus it keeps its occupants in the mindset of “Use it or lose it.” Life is just simpler without all the unnecessary “stuff.”
Smaller homes offer the inhabitants a certain peace of mind in these times of environmental uncertainty. A sense of living responsibly can imbue the small home dwellers, as they have a lighter footprint: fewer materials were used to build their home, less land was developed, there is less space to heat and cool, and there is less space to fill, hence less consumerism.
You know the old adage, “Time is money,” and those who gravitate towards the smaller home would rather have time on their hands and spend less money on their housing. While I amnot ready to move my family in to a tiny house, often these homeowners have no mortgage and a great deal of free time, something definitely to be desired. In a town like Santa Fe, people choose to live here for our high quality of life, yet with it comes high real-estate values. Some people make the choice to live in a smaller home so they can enjoy more of what this town has to offer, choosing experiences over possessions.
As our daughter suggested, small homes offer more intimacy, a certainty in closeness. For better or worse, all must share the cozy space and with that an opportunity arises for participation and involvement with each other that might not arise if you have to wander the halls to find each other.
Living with less doesn’t have to be a downgrade; many who live by this philosophy have the “Quality over quantity” mentality. They experience a home filled with beauty and functionality, where objects have purpose or are cherished. While we Americans have spent decades prizing large homes, small-home dwellers often boast a simpler life, lighter on the environment, easier on the pocketbook, and rich with intimacy. Living with less gets two thumbs up frommy daughter: more time for playing and less time cleaning.
Mark Giorgetti and Leslie Giorgetti are both principals at Palo Santo Designs, a Santa Fe design-build contractor specializing in high-performance homes. Mark serves as president of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders’ Association, and Leslie is an associate broker with Santa Fe Properties. Contact Mark at 505-670-4236, firstname.lastname@example.org and Leslie at 505-670-7578, email@example.com, and visit www.palosantodesigns.com.