I've always felt there was value in living an uncluttered life, so when I heard about Seattle's microhousing trend several years ago (e.g. the 150 square foot apartments offered by Calhoun Properties and the similar units offered by Footprint) the idea immediately appealed to me. Earlier this year I moved into one, and would have the following advice for anyone else planning to do so:
- If you can, pick a building within walking or cycling distance of your employer. This allows additional life simplification, in the same spirit as the rest of your decluttering.
- Replace physical books, CDs, and movies with digital versions, when possible.
- Replace your computer printer with a multifunction device that will perform duplex scanning through a sheet feeder (the Brother DCP-8150DN is a great example). Then, go through all of your paper files, scanning and discarding as much as possible. Note that in the case of instruction manuals you can usually download a PDF copy through the support section of that products's web site, so in those cases you wouldn't even need to bother scanning.
- Get free of your car, somehow. One option might be permanently parking it on private property somewhere out of town, switching its insurance policy to "storage only" (which Geico may offer for as little as $50/year), and then no longer bothering to renew its tabs.
- Note that most microhousing units come with a microwave and small refrigerator/freezer, so those are two other items you typically don't need to bother keeping.
- If you're an Amazon customer, then look into whether there's an Amazon Locker near your new apartment which you can use for deliveries; this obviously gets around any frustrating situations where a FedEx or UPS delivery signature is repeatedly required while you're not around.
- Particularly if your new apartment includes free high-speed internet, look into whether you can "cut the cord" by replacing your usual cable television bill with any of the popular internet streaming services.