Living With Less

You may have noticed the picture in my header has changed, this is a picture I took of the lake Wednesday on the way back from the library. While I loved the look of the photo that came with this theme, it wasn’t home, this is. I hope you like it.

Some times the only thing we need are pictures, but in this case I think the numbers tell the story.  Did you know the average consumer who lives to the age of 63 will spend 8.5 years of their lives shopping?  Or that as we age the number of hours we spend maintaining our homes increases?    See what other statistics you didn’t know.

Living With Less: America's Quest for Simplicity

Which statistic did you find most shocking?

36 thoughts on “Living With Less

  1. love your new picture…BEAUTIFUL

    wonder if you ever think of how meaningful the pictures/stories behind them might some day be for your grandchildren?…maybe you could keep stock of your pics/stories on DVD (or something , no idea what is suitable), and someday make copies for all your grandchildren?

    I know that we have no pics from our grandparents, (other family scooped them), and I do feel sad about that.

    • Thank you, Lynn. Yes I have been thinking about putting together yearly books of the kids pictures. I’m sorry you don’t have any pictures of your grandparents, I have quite a few and have given my children some of them.

      • am glad you are going to pass on pictures/memories…

        of course, the time you spend with the grandchildren is the best, and honestly, I am pretty sure not only will they remember it, I bet they will visualize it in their “memory” as a picture…I remember being about four, on the farm, and getting my own baby pup (who grew to be a HUGE dog)…he was carried in to the farm kitchen, in a box with a blanket, and set down in front of me..I can latterly picture it in my mind as clearly as if I was looking at a photo. I am sure it will be the same for your grandchildren.

        • What a sweet memory to have of your grand parents of receiving your own dog, but I’m sure you have many, many more memories of their farm. if I had a farm I don’t think my grandkids would ever go home :-) I do hope they remember the times we spent together and I’m sure they will remember many of them.

    • Thank you, Izabel, we do have to find a way to think ourselves out of this mess we created if for no other reason for the upcoming generations who will end up being the ones to suffer.

  2. Love your new header photo … just beautiful!! My hubz and I were just talking about space and living arrangements … while we don’t think we could live in one of those really tiny houses, we are quite content with a small space. We are much more interested in what’s outside the window … having room for a garden with the right solar orientation and place for our kitty to stretch out in the sun. The truth is that any house is simply walls … it’s what we do with that space that turns it into a home.

    • Small Footprints, I agree wholeheartedly with your view. I want more open space and less indoor space. Even with a family we had a small home and lots of open land, although now my sons are not happy when living too close to their neighbors and need the larger yards.

      And yes, it is what you do with the walls that make it a home. When my one daughter-in-law first saw my apartment, before I moved in, she turned to me and asked if I was sure i wanted to live here. Once moved in, she fell in love with it and couldn’t be more comfortable. All we need is enough space for the activities we need to do indoors, the rest is wasted space, imo.

  3. Unfortunately none of it is shocking as it’s all over the media, but I’m always amazed that people say they “need” at least 2500-3000 square feet to live. My house is 1500 s.f. including the basement (800 s.f. on main level) and we never even go downstairs! I actually rented it out to two people for a while (all of us sharing 1 bathroom) and was just fine (well, except women and bathroom storage space will be a contentious issue til the end of time LOL). For me all I wanted was a big backyard, who cares about the size of the living quarters! These days when they tear a house down, they eat up the whole yard and put a massive house on a normal 50×100 city lot – it’s so weird looking!

    Great infographic!

    • I don’t understand the mentality of wanting a huge house. I get lost on the amount of time it would take to clean and the heating bills. After that I look at the intricate roof on some and think how expensive it will be to replace, and so on. What gets me is the people who “need” a walk in closet larger than my apartment. who needs an entire room for clothes?

      I think it’s great you were able to find people who wanted to rent your basement and shared your bathroom. My boys have purchased homes in the past year, neither one measures 1500 sq ft and while I think their homes are large, I am glad to see they didn’t go any bigger.

      I hate when a cute little cottage is torn down for a massively huge house. The quaint little cottage neighborhood facing the lake here has had most of the cute homes torn down for these huge things that are so fancy. I miss the original cottages.

  4. Love that view of the lake, wow, so nice there… And what statistic did I find shocking… Only 5 hours of Living LIFE!…..Shocking! …. which makes me smile as I type you the next sentence lol, As I have been meaning to call around and comment here all day yesterday, as I kept telling myself I must go on the PC and catch up, But the weather was so so good as it is again here today.. I did some chores that needed doing which led me to more chores I have put off like taking all my net curtains down and cleaning the windows inside and out.. ( just waiting for hubby now with ladder to do outside upstairs! )
    I then went in the garden and sat a while and did some weeding, so when the evening came by I was too brain tired to think so relaxed to some music ..
    The Sun is calling me out again right now.. But not before I catch up with your posts :-)
    Hugs Sue xox

    • Sue, the lake is one of the main reasons I live here, I am lost without water nearby. Isn’t it sad that the average person only has 5 hours of living per day? I work less than that! The posts are here to stay, enjoy the weather instead while you have it. I will definitely understand. :-) I would be lost without books and music so I understand how relaxing that was for you. I can always create activities, whether it’s a stroll through town, or finding weeds to pull, but nothing replaces what I get from books and music. I can change my entire mood with music, which is why I don’t listen to country, it’s too sad or depressing for me and lowers my mood.

    • Thank you, Katherine. While I don’t enjoy winter as it makes getting out very difficult, it’s the little things about this area that keep me here. The lake is one of the biggest reasons I love this area. I grew up along Lake Erie, as a result every time I have moved to an area without a natural lake I feel disconnected.

        • Katherine, that must have been a lovely wedding. I was so spoiled growing up along Lake Erie. It’s beautiful and there is so much to do along the lake. I dreamed for a long time of living in one of the houseboats docked there, but never did.

  5. The new photo is great! I like the infographic too. I do notice that life is easier and simpler with less stuff. Things seem to get done faster and easier, we have more time for each other, there is less stress and we enjoy our lives. We do live in a big house and do have enough stuff to fill it, but mostly its been a very gradual process involving auctions and inheriting our stuff. I think it’s cosy, but mostly I find it stress free that every closet and empty storage space isn’t full of unused stuff. I’ve been ruthless and donate everything that we don’t need. I will keep doing that. I prefer living this way.

    • Thank you, Heidi. I think you and I have benefited from having less stuff as we have problems with our disabilities. Being that I can run out of energy real quick and reaching things is getting harder the last thing I want is a house full of things to clean and pick up. The pictures you’ve shared of your new home are gorgeous, you accomplished exactly what you were going for because I see your rooms as inviting and cozy. Not too stuffy to be comfortable. I do want to curl up in that chair by the wood stove one cold night. :-)

    • Thank you, Live and Learn. I was fortunate that the picture didn’t show their identities as I don’t like to put another person’s picture online without their permission. But the couple in the boat are a retired couple, he fishes from the boat and she rides along with him. They enjoy each others company on their boat but don’t have to both be fishing, I think it’s so sweet.

  6. definitely the ~45 minutes a day shopping. when I was more of a compulsive shopper I always wondered why I couldn’t find time to read. I just plowed through a book in less than a week. That’s why! Very awesome graphic. Thanks for sharing.

    • Zoe, shopping and TV are the worst time zappers I think we have created. While I don’t have a TV or watch regular programming, football season starts tonight. :-) I find I can’t just sit in front of a screen without something to do, so yes I will watch the game tonight, but I plan for those times and make sure I have something productive to do at the same time. It’s funny that once we give up a habit such as shopping or watching TV, trying to do it again feels so strange. You itch to get out and “do” some thing active. What type of books do you read?

      • I wonder. I think the Italians have actually downsized their properties. There are a lot of large empty houses, this may be because it is now very expensive to try and keep them warm.

        There are also a lot of empty houses because when the parent dies the house is passed down the children and they are reluctant to sell or rent the property out.

        When we were looking for a house to rent, we phoned people who we had been told had empty properties, when we called they would say “nooo that was my Grandmothers or Mums house, I couldn’t possibly rent it out” So they sit empty.

        • I don’t understand the mentality to hold on to a relatives property for sentimental reasons and let it just sit there. A house needs people in it. Here, the younger generation doesn’t want the homes their parents lived in, they aren’t in the right neighborhood or too small, etc But they are thrilled to inherit the house so it can be sold and something nicer bought or built. It’s all about the money and what that money can buy.

          While the recession/depression here caused people to put off upgrading to a bigger home for a few years now the trend is to build homes from 4,000 to 6,000 sq ft. I don’t know what they are thinking, I would be very uncomfortable in a home that large and the heating bills, No thank you.

  7. Yet to look at the infographics but the email snippet had me come over to look at the new photo – love it, love the change! You could change it seasonally!

    • And I love the infographic. I took on the boy’s ideas, and now have a bigger place. I’m SO conscious of not expanding into it, and ‘filling’ it but keeping what I had, and still thinning things out one tiny thing at a time… Out of date menus (no longer as local), newspaper snippets I’ve not referred too, old keys, a plastic box I’m not using etc etc etc. I did bring in a pastry brush, whisk and peeler – all from the thrift store, so at least that’s a start, right? I am replacing one that’s gone awol, one that’s plastic and the first I didn’ thave.

      • Sarah, I have to say those little items are minor when it comes to clutter. Are you enjoying the larger space? I would imagine it’s hard not to want to fill the corners of the apartment, I had that problem in my last place. Once I got rid of everything I didn’t need or use my home reflected that of someone who didn’t quite move in yet. It wasn’t a good feeling to me.

    • Thanks, Sarah. I wanted a local picture and this afternoon the little ones stopped to look out on this view, I realized this was exactly what I had wanted. Thankfully the phone took a decent picture. ;-)

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