“Put Your Life on a Diet”

October 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm | Posted in Nonfiction | 5 Comments

Check out the subtitle of Gregory Paul Johnson’s book.  Put Your Life on a Diet: Lessons Learned from Living in 140 Square Feet.  Can you believe it?  Evidently Johnson has spent the last few years living in a tiny little house he built and put on a trailer.  It doesn’t have a kitchen or bathroom – Johnson’s idea is to “outsource” most functions of his house and keep his living expenses so low that he can afford to work part-time.  It’s insulated like a regular house, and he built it for only $15,000.  In my area, where the cheapest house you can find is still nearly $200,000, this sounds mighty appealing.

I’m enchanted by stories like this, because I’m a natural ascetic.  Granted, I’d sooner give up a bed than a bathroom, but I do succeed in living in only 600 square feet myself, and I think it’s the biggest place I’ve ever lived on my own.  I could go down to 300 in a snap.  My dream a few years ago was to live in a tree house.  Now that I’ve read Johnson’s book, I want to copy him and park my little mini house in the library parking lot.

Here’s a picture of Johnson’s house.  And more tiny houses (with bathrooms).  Aren’t they cute?

Okay, readers, where do you stand on the spectrum?  Would you rather have minimalism and freedom, or a palace with everything that entails?  Or somewhere in between?  Do you think you have enough room now, or do you think you have too much stuff?

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5 Comments »

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  1. Thanks for this thoughtful post about my book.

    Gregory

  2. Those little houses are really cool. If I didn’t insist on living with over 400 books, and was still single, maybe I could do it.

  3. That’s one of my secrets. I have one bookshelf, and when it’s full, it’s full. If I want any more books, something has to go. One in, one out. (Of course I have another one just for cookbooks, and that would be a little harder to downsize).

  4. I thought I was living tiny in Dorm Sweet Dorm! I don’t know if I could be happy without a bathroom, but I don’t mind small.

  5. Actually, when my husband and I first got married we lived in a one-room basement apartment, sharing the bathroom in the hall w/other tenants. It was crazy. Very claustrophobic. But also the place was very crummy, dirty, bathrooms really foul. If it had been cleaner, I might have found it charming. I shudder just remembering those first four months.


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