There is any number of things I could say our small house taught us but here are some.
This house was sold ” as is” by the nephew of the owner who had died at least 3 yrs before, so it was in a very neglected state. Plus Mr. Clark was 90-something when he died so the house was already neglected due to the fact he was so old and couldn’t do any repairs. The bathroom was pretty much ruined by water damage. We had to gut the tiny bathroom and even the subfloor had to be removed. The prequel to this story is for another post.
It took a very long time for me to understand that this was a very small house and only so much could realistically fit. ( I know, I know, it seems only logical). BUT I didn’t learn this for many years We had moved from a 1500 sq ft house to under 700sq ft. I tried to cram in all our stuff and for years( at least 15) just kept moving stuff around. So the first lesson was the house is a container and the container can only fit what it can fit. It is too small for 2 couches, a piano, a large oak table and on and on. I tried but it really was too much but I still tried. It really wasn’t till I started doing Flylady( around 2010) that I began to understand the relationship between clutter, stuff, collectibles, furniture, and SPACE. What I wanted was a house that worked for me with less stuff, less cleaning, less dusting of collectibles, moving piles of stuff constantly, etc.
Secondly, this is an OLD house and will never have the amenities of a newer house. Our floors creak and the foundation certainly needs some attention. Old houses are harder to keep clean and are always in need of some sort of upkeep that newer houses don’t require. Accepting this house was OLD just helped me get on with the actual living in it.
Thirdly, the layout is really just awful and I’ve had to adjust to this. There is no entry wat to speak of, You come into the kitchen after stepping into what is the front door where Barclay has his desk to one side and on the other is a low metal locker for odds and ends. This room was a porch we enclosed. If we had money, I would have repositioned the front entry in a completely different way. Of course, back then in 1995, with the little money we got from the sale of our house we did redo quite a bit including all the plumbing and electrical. Still, we never changed anything structurally or added on ( like a second bath or bedroom). We just didn’t have the money then nor now.
Four, finally this house taught me to SIMPLIFY everything. Living small is possible if you remove the excess and that is what this house taught me. There’s no question, that if we had money, I would have done remodeling and building but that is not the case so, it’s do what you can with what you’ve got.
If anything, this house taught me to be a minimalist in a way that works for me. It may not be ‘minimalist’ enough for someone else but I’ve pared done to the essentials of what I need and use and love.
There’s more to the story but that’s for another time.