William Morris at age 53, just a few years older than I am.

I’ve been thinking a lot about space lately. Specifically, space in my home.

I have a history of having too many things for the space I inhabit. This goes back to childhood, especially teenagehood. I love the saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place,” but I’ve never had enough room for everything to have a place. Some things just… sit there. In the way. Nowhere specific to go.

Because I hold onto things.

Why I hold onto things is another topic for another time or another post. But we are going to have to move at some point in the not-quite-immediate future, so how much space we will need and what exactly we own has been on my mind.

We currently live in a sufficiently sized house for a family of four, if that family of four has few to no hobbies and works/schools outside the house. We’ve always schooled in the house, and Rory and I work at home, and Rory and I have one or two too many hobbies, so the storage space we haven’t isn’t quite sufficient.

When we next move, how much space we will need has been on my mind, since we don’t know where we will be or how many kids will be living with us.

Eventually, though, it’ll just be Rory and me living in a space. How much room will we need?

1. We both work at home.

Since we both work at home, we need more space than someone who only works outside of the house. For the past six years, this has meant our “offices” were in the middle of the living room, since it’s the only room with enough space.

I used to think I wouldn’t want my own office because I’d want to be available to everyone while I worked. The past many years, plus the pandemic, has shown me otherwise. I long to have my own office, with a door that shuts, and a window opening up to nature. It doesn’t have to be a big office. It just needs to be mine and mine alone, and have a lot of natural light. Rory feels the same way for his work space.

2. We both want less space to take care of.

We hate cleaning and tidying. We don’t need a large living room, and are happy with a small bedroom. And we’d love to save money with lower heating and cooling costs.

3. I want to own fewer things.

The amount of things I have feels oppressive. Yes, I realize it’s my own doing. Some things are easy to part with. But others, less so. And still others I’d be happy to part with if one of the kids wanted them.

So, I’ve been channeling my inner Marie Kondo with a couple of her nuggets of wisdom, plus that of William Morris.

Marie Kondo: Has this item done its service? Does this spark joy?

William Morris: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

Marie Kondo’s second inspiration fits well with William Morris’s. If I pick up an item and it has guilt or obligation attached to it, and nothing else, normally I would have held onto it. But those are the types of items I’m trying to let go.

I also channel the words and sentiments of my own mom, who would and does encourage me to get rid of things that were weighing me down. Often her words (or the kinds of words she would say) are the most helpful, as I’ve often held onto things because they were procured at a time when she didn’t have any money, and made sure we were taken care of anyway.

Thanks, Mom, for living inside my head, even when you’re 100 miles away. You’re good company. <3

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