2012: the year of living smaller

A new year is here and I've been thinking lately about my lifestyle. I'm not super materialistic, though I do like nice things. I'm not a pack rat, though I do keep things for sentimental reasons. And I am not messy, although I wish I was more organized. One thing I certainly am, however, is a consumer.

As an interior designer I do a lot of shopping for myself or for others. The nature of my profession calls for people to buy furniture, change paint and fabrics, and otherwise alter their spaces. New design means change. And that's definitely not a bad thing! But it can potentially cause a lot of waste. And that's not what I'm all about.
don't wanna be this person.

I feel responsible, as a designer, to produce design that will last. I will specify green materials and processes where I can. I will keep materials out of the landfill by recommending high quality products that will stand the test of time.  And I will reuse or repurpose products that have already been loved* where appropriate.  As a designer, 2012 brings for me a new commitment to produce truly creative and eco-conscious design.  

I feel responsible, as a human living on planet earth, to take care of the planet.  I think we should nurture nature  and not be selfish with resources.  Plus, I think I am personally happier when I'm taking care of the earth.  When I garden, when I'm out in nature, when I see a beautiful vista.  Happy.  And all of those are brought to you by the letter H.  Ok, joke.  But really, I couldn't do those things if our earth was covered in trash.

So in 2012 I'm giving myself 3 goals to live by, for my personal life as well as my design profession. I'll go into more detail in the next few weeks but here are the basic rules:

1- buy smarter.  here's where i want to be less of a consumer and produce less waste.  i want to cut out my impulsive buying to buy only what i need.  i also want to keep the "buy the highest quality you can afford" mentality.  beautiful (furniture, clothing, accessories, gadgets) that i know will last forever (or at least a long time!).

2- live smaller.  i don't want to be a space hog when i don't need the space.  this doesn't mean that i'll be living an  uber-minimalist lifestyle.  i love the way it looks, but i don't think i could ever live a super-minimalist life.  it's just not my personality.  mostly, this goal is going to entail monthly purges to donate unneeded stuff, scaling back, etc.
704 square foot house.
small and simple
3- more green.  more $$??  sure, hopefully...  but not what this goal is about.  i love plants and i want more of them around me.

Sometime soon I'm going to give each of those rules distinct parameters so I can measure if I am "living smaller" or not...You know...a mental checklist to go through before I buy something.  If you have any good ideas on what could or should go on that checklist, I'm all ears.  Goal #1 is a hard goal to narrow down to a simple checklist.

 Yes, you can expect many posts about these 3 ideas coming up real soon.  I'll post about how I'm doing on my goal of living small and would love to hear your thoughts on the challenge, too!  Maybe this will turn into a huge project of mine and I will change my life.  I do like the idea of living simply...  Maybe it will be easier than I think to live small.  And maybe you will want to join in on this quest?  Any takers?

*I ended up buying a great red poang chair for $40 off craigslist until we save money for a Scandinavian rocker.

all images on pinterest.

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