I’m surfing the internet, catching up on daily news, tweeting the occasional archi-story or whatever and I come across an article titled “Smaller Modern Homes Mean Less Storage”. At first I was intrigued. But then I finished reading the very first paragraph in which the author states that unless you are a “ruthlessly unsentimental minimalist” eventually you will need more space for your “stuff”. And I have to say I was more than a little insulted by this assertion, or this assumption that minimalism has anything to do with unsentimentality or a cold determination to abandon all personal possessions.
Now, the article seems to be an advertisement for self storage businesses as the rest of the article surmises that you don’t want to move to a larger space, don’t want to get rid of all that “stuff” crammed into boxes in the back of your closet that you haven’t looked at or thought about in a dozen years and CERTAINLY don’t want to take responsibility for all that crap clogging up what little storage you do have, so OBVIOUSLY you need offsite storage that is accessible, secure and well lit….. :-\
What a load of crap. First, minimalism is not a cold and heartless way to live your life, but rather a way to clear out that which is unnecessary so that you can focus on things of real value like family, friends and experiences that will enrich your life. But clearing out “stuff” we make room for what is really important. That tchotchke you’ve been hanging on to since high school to remind yourself of that boyfriend who dumped you for the hot chic but you were just so in love with him so you kept that random piece of belly lint in a box in your attic ever since…..yeah, I’m thinking you don’t need it anymore.
And talking about housing. The average modern home is STILL about 2,200 square feet for a family of 2-4. Just a generation ago the average house was less than 1,500 square feet for a family of 4-5. Our obsession with “stuff” has led to this need for more room for our “stuff”.
A home with more storage space is not a better home it’s just a more expensive one. All that storage costs money and it detracts from the useful spaces that actually serve a purpose, thus making your home larger but not necessarily more functional or enjoyable. By reducing our need for “stuff” we can reduce the size of our homes, reintroduce value and functionality and even save ourselves some money in the process.
When was the last time you took a look in the back of your closets? I’m betting whatever is in there is something you can do without. When you start taking a more critical look at the value of the things we hold on to, you might be surprised by what you can do without and by clearing out you make room for more of life that has real value. More storage is NOT the answer.