It was around the bend of a new 2012, that our 665 square foot cabin began to take shape. Wood, glass, and steel slowly brought those poured-over plans straight up off the paper and stood them up solid. It really was happening for us, this big idea of small!
But, how does one prepare, exactly, for this small sort of living? Moving from much space to little has to require some sort of intention and adjustment, right? And must you let go of one way of life in order to receive another? Was it possible, really, to have everything you needed and nothing you didn’t? The answer to these questions and more, we were finding out each and every day, because, in anticipation of living in 665 square feet small, we chose to live even smaller.
Two hundred square feet. Five people. Seven months. A little camper down by the river, where we lived while waiting for our cabin to be built, where we fed our neighbors carrots across the fence and saw those orange-red sunrises in the east. Remember those blue velvet skies? I do. I remember stepping out the camper door that night, and snapping that shot.
It all felt a bit pioneer-ish, really, living in a box on wheels, doing something that few choose to do. But if we wanted to learn this living small, we’d come to the right place. A week’s worth of clothes for everyone (I imagined us going on a seven-day trip - what would we pack?), a warm bed for each (three of which were laid out every night, then put away every morning), hot biscuits instead of fresh bread, and quicker showers, if you wanted them hot. It was like living in a three-dimensional puzzle where everything had a place - even the Lego models hanging from the ceiling, and the art drawings on the wall. There were boy toys, Mama knitting, and Daddy books - but only the favorites. And? There was a pond to run around when the sanity indicator began to slide toward crazy.
The camper schooled us quickly in living small, in living efficiently, in living respectfully. It certainly wasn’t our forever home, but it was a way to get where we were going.
When we moved the last of our things out of the camper and into the cabin on that early summer day, a deep knowing came along with them:
When you pare down to less, you may just find that you’ve come out with more.
The print you see there? It’s one of my favorites. Found here.
Update: You may follow the story on to Part 6 here.