Finding a New (Just Right) Home

How much space does one human need? What about one human and a cat? What if you adopt two cats, what then? (I might like cats) This post talks about space. Minimalism in your space, which can also lead to savings in your bill, more traveling, and a happier life. Seems dramatic? Maybe, but it’s all true. 


What does a human need?

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A king sized bed is the only thing that keeps us in the same bed at night. For us, needed.

According to engineering toolbox humans need from 100 – 400 square feet of space to be comfortable in an apartment. If I were to talk to the people behind that site I would be surprised if they were not minimalist. In today’s society, I would have expected a number more like 500 – 1000 square feet. That’s not to say 100 – 400 is not doable, on the contrary. MadMan and I live in a place that’s about 800 sqft with a dog and a cat as well. We find it doable though we would like a yard and maybe a wood shop or garden.

Let’s look at what kind of spaces are out there.


What kinds of spaces are there?

How much space you need will vary depending on what you do and who is with you. It will also change based on your part of life, your job, and your personality.

Tiny Homes

Anywhere from 100 to 500 feet and can be on wheels. These homes are great for single people and can be made to fit a couple or even a couple with a child. Cats will fair alright in these homes, though they can be a bit on the smaller side for their exploration needs. Small dogs will be just fine, though bigger dogs can lack the space they need.

Studios

Anywhere from 300 to 700 square feet and maybe even bigger. They often are one open room with space for the couch, eating and sleeping with no real separation of walls. These are great for single people and couples alike. Think again about the requirements of your (if you have any) pets, though these can be better than tiny homes.

One and Two bedroom apartments

Vary in size from smaller than a studio to larger than a house. These often are great for two room mates, couples, and people with children or animals.

Larger apartments, town homes, and homes

As varied as fish in the sea, and a whole different post. These larger apartment and homes are great for people who want independence and the ability to fix things on their own, in the case of the homes and town homes. They are great for families or many room mates sharing a space.


Getting into Picking…

First, let’s look at what having less space can do. Then we can talk about what and were you can afford, what you have, and what you don’t need.

Downsizing Pros:

  • Lower carbon foot print
  • Lower monthly rent payment sometimes
  • Lower bills (most if not all of the time)
  • Less time cleaning
  • More time to spend out enjoying what you love to do

Downsizing Cons:

  • Less room to host parties
  • Less room for pets to live and play
  • Less space for toys and stuff (this might not be such a bad thing)
  • More time around each other (some people like their alone time)

What can you afford?

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An older shot of the main room in our place. About the size of some whole studios in our area but half the cost.

It’s important to know what you can afford where you can live. In our town, one bedrooms are cheaper than studios (no idea why) and it’s hard to find an affordable apartment to begin with. To make matters worse, less than 15% of all houses are less than 300,000 with an even smaller number being affordable to first time buyers.

Knowing this means we need to search hard for a one bedroom apartment and not give it up when we find it. We won’t be able to downsize further until we move to a new place and we won’t be able to buy a home for years to come, maybe even after we have children.

When you are looking for a new place, do lots of research on your area. What can you afford, what is the area like, how high do prices jump a year, what are the utilizes like and more. Keep that in mind when you look at the size you need and the location you desire.

What do you have?

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We don’t need a second sink, we do need a place for MadCat’s stuff.

When looking at where you want to live, you must also look at what you have. You will have a hard time in a one bedroom apartment with three children and two cats. You will have a hard time living in a two bedroom home with five beds, three TVs, and an assortment of coffee tables, end tables, dinging tables, and kitchen tables.

Think about what you have (the living and non living things) and where it will fit. We have gone through an unbelievable amount of furniture and decorations in the past three years. The TV in the above photo was given to us, we don’t have that lamp anymore, and almost everything in the photo is in another place. Yet, throughout the year, the main theme is getting rid of stuff. Yet, also think about what you don’t need. 

What can you get rid of?

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Many of the things in this photo have since left the house.

When we thought about what we needed a few months back, we realized how much we didn’t need. I talk about it a lot on this site. We took about ten truck loads of stuff to Goodwill over the past year. How was all that in the house? No idea.

What I do know is that there is a lot more room in our house that we don’t use and we would be able to downsize with ease now.

Something that might help with this for you is minimalism. Having only what adds true value to your life. Keep the nice car, the books or the video games if you like them and get rid of the other stuff that you never touch. You might find that you need less space when all is said and done.

Too big… Too Small… Just Right…

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Closet.

In summary, while there are many sizes, styles, and types of places to live there is usually just one style and type that is perfect for you. Take a look at many sizes and try to visualize what will go in each.

Try to go smaller, live with less and you will live more.

Get something you can afford, include the bills when looking at price. Look at the area and it’s safety, schools, and walk-ability. Look at the prices of the food and other things to do around.

Lastly, make sure all the other living creatures/humans/small humans will be happy in the new place too.


What is your right size?
Have you downsized before?

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