Sustainability in Action: The Small House Movement

Photo via Tumbleweed Houses

It’s no secret that consuming tons of stuff isn’t a sustainable way for us all to live on this planet. Yet Americans tend to fill up their houses and garages with piles of things they may not need, and then rent storage units for the overflow. All that stuff takes energy to create and transport and has to go somewhere when it’s discarded. And the bigger and bigger houses, garages, and storage facilities we use to keep all of it take their tolls on the environment as well. A new movement is emerging in response to this ever-expanding appetite for stuff and the space to put it. It’s … [More]

Make the most of a small kitchen

Photo via

  I recently moved into a new apartment that has a kitchen with about half the storage space—and floor space—as my previous one. For days, I was stuck unable to unpack several boxes because I simply had nowhere to store the gear inside. The kitchen has the distinction of being one of the most heavily used rooms in the house as well as usually one of the smallest. All that kitchen usage requires a lot of equipment. What can you do if your kitchen simply won’t accommodate yours? Here are a few ideas, all of which I am putting to good use in my own tiny galley. These … [More]

How To Find Your House-hunting “Sweet Spot”

Couple outside new home

I recently went house-hunting and discovered that it is very difficult to resist the pull of appealing elements that ultimately don’t matter to me that much. Ooh, is that a cedar-lined closet? Did you say the coffee shop is only a two-minute walk? Quickly, I realized I needed a little mental discipline in my search. Though we’d all love to be able to afford any house we want, the fact of the matter is most of us are priced out of a good chunk of our local markets. Sadly, we can’t all have the mansion on the hill, or even the three-bedroom in the nice neighborhood. Or maybe … [More]

Families Surviving by Living Together

If you’ve ever seen a movie that’s set back in the 1800s, chances are you’ve noticed a few differences compared to how we live today. Yes, they travel by horse-drawn carriage, and the clothes are more labor intensive, but there’s also one that I find the most interesting of all: the living arrangements. In those giant Victorian homes, it’s as though there is no end to the amount of people living in a single house. Extended family members, friends, a traveling guest who just never left. They all seemed to find the richest relative and stay put. In recent times though, it seems many have taken this practice … [More]