200 Square Feet of Love.

Before our move, one of my biggest concerns was the inevitable downsizing of our living space. Our house, while no mansion by any stretch of the imagination, was still large for two people. Of the 1700 square feet of available space, we used only the kitchen, the bedroom, and the family room in the basement. Occasionally, we would eat dinner or watch TV in the brown room. Other than that, the other rooms remained pretty much untouched. I remember worrying about the possibility of not having a yard, which is funny when I think that the number of times that I actually made use of that yard totalled less than 20, tops, in the 2.5 years we lived in the house. Still, the point was that the space was available. If Kurt was watching something that I wasn't interested in, I had two other tv-equipped rooms that I could choose to remove myself to, or I could go into the living room and read on my much-missed "chair.5". We could be together when we wanted to be together, and when we wanted time alone, it was an option. Generally, we enjoy each other's company and end up doing stuff together, but there are always those times when it's nice to be alone. The size of the house was one of the main selling features. And with all of the stuff we had (neatly) crammed into it, we technically needed that space, even if we didn't use it.

We knew before moving here that we could realistically afford a certain amount for rent each month, and that the certain amount would probably not land us anything larger than a one-bedroom, or a small two-bedroom apartment in a shoddy area. We know that we lucked out in both neighborhood and quality, and I realize that our apartment is fairly large compared to other one-bedroom apartments on the island, if not most other places. This does not void the fact that it still is, just like every other one-bedroom apartment, essentially two rooms in total. There is the bedroom...and then there's the rest of the apartment. I don't count the laundry room or the bathrooms because I don't feel as though they contribute to a high enough percentage to the "rooms we spend a lot of time in" quotient. Except maybe in the morning, when the bathroom is obviously THE place to be to get ready for work. When we're home, and awake, we're in the main room, and pretty much only in one half of it until we find ourselves a proper dining room set. Counting the kitchen floor space, I would guess that we now spend most of this time in a space that totals about 200 square feet, tops. Yikes.

Or not.

Living in smaller quarters, even if it's only been 3 months, has won me over. We are forced to downsize our lives in a lot of different ways, which ultimately makes everything just that much more manageable.

For instance, there's no point to purchasing a vaccuum for the apartment, so we have a Swiffer. Total amount of time spent to clean the floors in our old house was approximately an hour. Total amount of time here is approximately 10 minutes.

I can't escape the laundry because our laundry room is right next to the kitchen, which, in turn, is right next to everything else. When I start it, it gets finished within hours...as opposed to the days I could ignore it or complete it on an as-needed basis at home.

When I'm trying to tell Kurt something, I don't need to yell it down the stairwell. There is no stairwell. He's usually within 10 feet of me, so I can speak like a normal person.

Limited floor space encourages a tidy house. When I am finished with my exercise ball or yoga mat, they go right back into the closet. Furniture stays where it should because that is where it fits. Stuff strewn about the coffee table is immediately noticeable, so it gets immediately picked up.

We now share one bathroom, since our second bathroom consists of only a toilet and (literally) the tiniest sink ever. It's cute, but I don't even think that you could fit both hands into it. My bathroom real estate has downsized from one full counter (the house has two full bathrooms - one was mine, and one was his), to just a tiny bit more than half of a counter. I'm a girl, after all. I have more stuff. And all of this stuff now HAS to stay neatly put away in the cabinet or drawers, or it will have the unfortunate experience of mixing with all of his boy things.

Of course, there are downsides to sharing a small space with someone. First of all, it's imperative that you like each other. Luckily, we do, so this is mostly not a problem. We end up spending the vast majority of our time together, even if we're on separate couches, doing separate things on our separate laptops. But, sometimes, "me" time is important, and it is a little harder to come by in close quarters. However, not impossible. Just remember that the other person is probably feeling the same way and may welcome the chance to get the hell away from you for awhile. Obviously, feelings like that would be totally foreign to Kurt, but I do grant him respite occasionally. Not everyone enjoys a 5 hour BBC Pride & Prejudice marathon. Sad, but true.

All in all, it's working very well. The more I get used to it, the more I think that it suits us. I'm not thinking that we'll be putting a downpayment on a ridiculously overpriced 450 square foot Victoria condo anytime soon, but I can see us living smaller long-term. It would obviously be different if we had kids, but since that's not the plan anytime in the near future, I'm enjoying my Swiffer.

However, if someone offered me a 3000 square-foot beach-front home on Gonzales Bay, I would probably take it.


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