Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.
– Graeme Hill, LifeEdited
Six months ago we started living closer to our values and moved from a big house in the suburbs to a narrow 75 square metre workers cottage that shared a wall with our neighbours on both sides, just a few streets back from the beach.
Our families thought we were mad to downsize just as we were expecting the pitter patter of more little feet, but the way we saw it we were gaining so much with a more walkable bayside suburb, a tighter community and a smaller cost of living and environmental footprint.
In a lot of ways the move had been inspired by Canadian environmentalist Graeme Hill who I had been following for years, and today our lives are completely different… all the better for knowing Graeme.
We walk and cycle more often, we’re tighter with our neighbours – given that their front door is literally 5 metres away from ours, and Ol can now scoot with reckless abandon as there are few driveways to worry about and there is little traffic around.
On weekends, rather than mowing the lawns and cleaning the house we might take the boys to the beach, or to the park to kick the soccer ball, or down to the pub for an early dinner, where it’s likely we will run into another local family that we know from Ol’s kindergarten or who we might have met out the front of our tiny house whilst drawing trains on the pavement in chalk.
We have truly traded ‘stuff’ for community and by living in a smaller house we’re out more often, choosing experiences over ownership, and memories over things.