home design

the Not So Big House: how big is not so big?…a confessional

Once upon a time, when I had four children living with me (which wasn’t long ago, since one of them is playing at my feet and the others are at youth group…), I imagined myself stealing away from the world in a desolate North American, off-grid location with all four homeschooled kiddos and hospital-working husband living in a 600 sq ft space. No running water and electricity required. I’d have an axe. We’d forage for herbs. We’d get a hunting license and probably eat squirrel. We’d learn to fish. My husband would drive an hour into a small town hospital…somewhere.

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Stop laughing. I was serious.

Might I add the only weekend we have ever camped together was in a cabin, with running water. We had a propane burner to cook hot dogs, which took an hour. Hot dogs! An hour!

When others talk about camping, I know what they’re talking about it, because we did it when I was a kid. A lot. And it was fun. Except that I discovered as an adult, it’s a LOT OF WORK. Too much work for hot dogs. So I’ve resigned myself to a Super 8 when I think of ‘roughing it’. And yes, I know how that reveals the comfort I travel in. (I can deal with discomfort; I’ve spent a handful of months in Africa.) But I don’t rough it when I am on first world soil.

My idealism continues to wane as I age. It makes it a little less fun in my head, but I am no longer nuts enough to think I could survive in a teeny cabin with adolescent daughters. As you can imagine, it’s not the provisions I’d be worried about. Rather, our sanity.

And so therein lies my confessional. I aspire to a tiny home, resplendent with Not So Big House features. The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka has a lot to offer. But when you come for coffee, you’ll be disappointed by my ‘not so big house’ square footage when you learn it’s bigger than my previous house.

4 thoughts on “the Not So Big House: how big is not so big?…a confessional

  1. I hear you! I had many of the same dreams, and though I have found ways to realize parts of them, once the kids started hitting adolescence we needed more space and more separation of space. I think if we lived somewhere that the outdoors could more easily be part of our living space year-round, and if our adolescents’ interests were more suited to the outdoors, smaller homes would work. Right now I’ve got two teens and a tween coding Python on a big flat-screen TV, cozied up in front of a wood stove in the living room of our log house in the forest. A weird juxtaposition, quite representative of the hippie/geek tension in our lives.


    • A wood stove in the living room of a log house in a forest…coding…sounds divine, and definitely homeschool juxtaposition;) Hippie/geek tension, hilarious. We follow our interests and they can’t be stereotyped. We are who we are. I guess it means we lead distinctly interesting lives.


  2. Pingback: build the house | capturing the charmed life

  3. Pingback: taking stock: your past year in review & planning for your new year ahead | capturing the charmed life

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