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Housing Simplicity

Crowded House

The other day my friend from Michigan moved her family to this area. Until they get situated with employment and housing they are all staying here.

I must confess that I was concerned about this. Five adults (since Katie is almost 18), two dogs, and two cats living in a 500 square foot one-bedroom house means that we are stacked up like cordwood.

I have learned that it isn’t near as bad as I expected it to be.

For one, we all work together in a spirit of cooperation. While two of the adults have yet to secure employment (one is physically incapable of working), the rest of us are now employed. When schedules match up, my friend insists on driving me to work and picking me up to make my life a bit easier. We come home from work in the evenings to find that the others have prepared meals for the family and tidied up the house.

At night, since I have to keep a somewhat regular sleeping schedule due to my personal health issues (my brain glitches when my sleep schedule is disrupted) I am usually one of the first to go to bed. They move around stealthily that I don’t get disturbed. If one takes a nap in the evenings or is still asleep when I wake up, I give them the same consideration.

We even coordinate bathing schedules so that no one is caught unawares and has to go to the restroom while someone is taking a bath.

This experience has shown me that it truly is possible for a larger number of people to live in harmony in a small home provided you work together. While society tends to frown on such things, living in a small home can not only help families get on their feet after homelessness, it can help them live on less money when needed or desired. Let’s face it: it costs a lot less to live in a small place than it does to live in a big one.

I wanted to share this story because in my books I mentioned that I had reservations about a larger number of people living in really small homes. While I did point out that it has been done in the past, the thought made me nervous. Since then I have learned that it is definitely possible provided that mutual respect and cooperation abound with the family members.

I personally am grateful for the experience.

Have any of you lived in really tight conditions with other people? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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Housing Uncategorized

The Small House Book Has Arrived!

Finally, the day I have been waiting for:  Jay Shafer’s Small House Book  arrived in my mailbox!

I must say, Jay likes his books as small and high-quality as he does his houses!  In the book he gives basic building plans plus a treatise on small house living.  I will describe more when I finish the book.

As I was reading the book. a friend stopped by with a visitor from Hawaii, and she talked about how reasonably priced the Amish are for constructing in this area.  I became amused when she said she didn’t have running water when, after a couple of questions I realised she had a pump pumping her water from a cistern, that she classified “running water” as water from a public utility system!

Ahh, and here I thought I had met another person willing to sacrifice!  Truthfully, I doubt they would have understood the years my “running water” came from a creek, carried in buckets to care for household needs! used