Living, More or Less

vandelaySometimes I can’t resist an overly-cute headline that’s more tricky than informative.

I’m also fond of backing into my points 🙂

So, my wife and I are rapidly approaching two full years living downtown in the loft we joking call Vandelay. It seems like a good time to process the experience a bit (more). I’m going to do that over a short series of posts in the coming days.

By way of teasing the series, I’ll say upfront: Best. Move. Ever.

That’s not to say there haven’t been problems and challenges. Some of the posts I have in mind will be about these problems and challenges. I do not offer them to be negative (a huge freaking sin in Springfield — often learned the hard way), instead I offer them as ways to think about the movement into the urban core. More people are on their way.

My primary motivation for moving downtown, like my primary motivation to walk and ride a bicycle for basic transportation, was to live greener, to lessen my impact on finite resources, to lessen my carbon footprint. To follow a path — a trace — to a very different future.

I live with less. When you shrink the stuff that accumulates in 2,700-square-foot suburban home into an 1,100-square-foot loft you necessarily get rid of lots of stuff. I do not have a storage unit. That stuff is out of my life. Gone. I didn’t realize how much of a burden all that stuff was until it was gone.

We live on one third the energy. We generate one bag of trash per week. We own one car and five bicycles.

I’ll spare you the less-is-more cliche because it ain’t that simple.

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Comments 5

  1. eleanor fred keese wrote:

    we. miss. you. both. terribly.

    Posted 18 Apr 2015 at 9:28 am
  2. Andy Cline wrote:

    Thanks, Eleanor … we’ll get together again soon in the old ‘hood. Still like sitting out in a yard 😉

    Posted 18 Apr 2015 at 9:52 am
  3. khal spencer wrote:

    My wife convinced us to buy a retirement home, i.e., “what will I do when I grow up?”, in Santa Fe that is about 1250 sq foot, about half the size of our place in Bomb Town. I am going to have to study your notes about how to part with stuff. Anyone have any use for undergrad texts, circa 1972-75, in physics, chemistry, geology, and math?

    Posted 18 Apr 2015 at 10:42 am
  4. Andy Cline wrote:

    Khal… The books were tough. I moved as many as I could to my office. Many others we sold or donated. The Kindle was made for loft living 😉

    Posted 18 Apr 2015 at 2:54 pm
  5. Steve A wrote:

    In Ocean Shores, with no urban core, we get trash pickup once a month. I keep most of my books at the library.

    Posted 18 Apr 2015 at 7:14 pm