Friday, September 25, 2015


Knowing how much to eliminate depends on the amount of living space you are going to downsize. Before we moved into our current house, the wife, kids and I lived in 200 square feet per person and besides sharing one bathroom we didn't have many problems in this space. From experience, less space promotes more outdoors living. The tiny house movement as a general rule cites about 100 square feet per person while the 80/20 rule suggests that we'd be limited to 480 square feet. Starting with a base of 200 square feet per person plus a standard square footage for bath room(s) and kitchen, we came up with 480 square feet as the base. We also wanted a master bedroom/bath which added another 288 sq ft which gave us a total of 768 square feet.  This equals about 33% of our current house and as we use less than half of our house it seems pretty close.  This is how we came to a 2/3 or 66% reduction in belongings.

"As you simplity your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness." Henry David Thoreau

Monday, September 14, 2015

The beginning

Starting at the beginning; after our adventure in the brewing business ended in 2014 we took notice of all the stuff we had accumulated in the 10 years since moving into our current house. We then re-evaluated our priorities and it was clear that we wanted/needed more time and money to travel and spend with family.  Since it's a lot easier to spend less than to make more money while holding on to the finite amount of time left, we decided to downsize the size and cost of our housing.

The first step of preparing for a 2/3 reduction in square footage is a 2/3 reduction in stuff.  After reading Richard Koch's book Living the 80/20 way(which is Pareto's Principle applied to one's life), it became clearer the steps on the path.

1. Identify the 20% of stuff, say clothes, that we use 80% of the time and set aside to keep.
2. Evaluate the remaining 80% that gets used only 20% of the time.
3. Wash, Rinse and Repeat

We've found that it's a gradual process that has to be repeated over and over, each time you will eliminate a little bit more.   It's not realistic to complete this in a day or days, as seen on TV, but weeks if not months.  After all it took in most cases years to accumulate it all.

"Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful." John Maeda