Enough for the new year

Peace-seedsIt seems fashionable to be talking about intentions rather than resolutions, and I’m not fully sure where these ones fit. But here’s a little of where I’m heading in the next year, and some blogs I’m finding inspiring on that front.

While this isn’t about journalism or science, I am posting here because I do think these relate directly to living better with a smaller footprint.

Have more space

And by this I mean, have less stuff. There are a lot of reasons for this, here are two. I pay a substantial chunk of my income toward mortgage on my Vancouver home. It’s a condo, but of ample size, and I want it to feel ample to us. Does x piece of stuff really deserve a square foot in a housing market where each square foot runs $300 to $400? (As much as I like numbers, I don’t actually calculate each belonging’s owed rent, but it is a way to think about it.)

The other reason is less practical, but just as important. When I’m travelling, I really enjoy how everything that makes it in the backpack really deserves to be there. (It fits, looks good, works, whatever.) I’m not going to reduce my belongings to a backpack, but I’d rather feel that way looking around my home.

Lately, I’ve found Vancouver blogger Minimalist Mom inspiring on this topic, and I still think about some lessons learned from the Clean Bin Project people.

Cook more

We already cook, and eat out seldom, but I’d like to have less stress around getting home from work and wondering what’s for dinner…without relying too heavily on packaged/processed food.

This is very much in the zeitgeist now too, from Jamie Oliver’s projects teaching people to cook and improving school food, to a recent book by Laurie David (producer of Inconvenient Truth) on family dinners.

I’m no gourmet chef but lately I’ve been inspired in a few recipes by a friend who is, who writes online at kitchengretchen. She’s a personal chef and a mom in the San Francisco area, and I envy her garden’s growing season (and her skills of course).

I’ll also be checking out Patent and the Pantry, where another friend and journalist, Gwendolyn Richards, writes about food. She’s planning to try a new recipe each week, so maybe I can steal some.

How do you live better with less?

[Update: Reading over, “enough” in the title sounds a little exasperated to me. I mean to take the opposite position; there is enough space to live in, there is enough food and time to cook, there is enough, just make it work.]


  1. It’s rather marmish, but I rely on this idiom with regards to clearing out clutter and the like: “a place for everything, and everything in its place”. Hmm…not only marmish, but a little fascist.

  2. Marmish but true. I’m finding that having room for stuff is making me more likely to put it away (and not waste a Saturday morning doing it). Of course, we’re only two weeks deep into the year, so…

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