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Old 09-07-2023, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Northern California
4,597 posts, read 2,988,358 times
Reputation: 8349

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This forum focuses on financial frugality, but that's not the only kind.
People who are frugal for ethical reasons might also want to refrain from
taking up more space on the planet than is needed to lead a simple
but comfortable life. We could call that living-space frugality.

How much space do you think is 'enough' for a single person?
Could you live in a "tiny house"? A micro-apartment? A van?

I live in a large studio apartment (but have had to rent a storage unit too...
books are to blame).

 
Old 09-08-2023, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
3,262 posts, read 4,997,171 times
Reputation: 15027
I live in a just-over-900 square feet condo. It works well for me, but I wouldn't want to share this space with another person. I refuse to rent a storage facility. My theory is: if you have to rent a storage facility to house your stuff, you have too much stuff. I'm not a minimalist, but my place is pretty uncluttered.
 
Old 09-08-2023, 05:41 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
22,561 posts, read 47,614,734 times
Reputation: 48148
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon View Post
I refuse to rent a storage facility. My theory is: if you have to rent a storage facility to house your stuff, you have too much stuff. I'm not a minimalist, but my place is pretty uncluttered.
Yep, I totally agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
How much space do you think is 'enough' for a single person?
Could you live in a "tiny house"? A micro-apartment? A van?
I am not a single, so I personally can't answer regarding that.
Being the shortest in the family at just under 6', there is no way we could live in a tiny house or micro apartment.
A van doesn't have a kitchen or bathroom. "living" in that would be an extreme situation.
 
Old 09-08-2023, 07:35 AM
 
24,475 posts, read 10,804,014 times
Reputation: 46746
If you have to rent a storage unit you are taking up too much space just using two locations. Downsizing was our biggest mistake ever.
 
Old 09-08-2023, 07:37 AM
 
Location: The Triad
34,088 posts, read 82,920,234 times
Reputation: 43660
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
This forum focuses on financial frugality, but that's not the only kind.
Nor is mere 'frugality' the reasons some participate. Some are straight up poor.
Quote:
How much space do you think is 'enough' for a single person?
Could you live in a "tiny house"? A micro-apartment? A van?
For a whole host of reasons I don't think the approach should be thought well of;
that the underlying premise of "doing it all alone" is more costly and on many levels.
 
Old 09-08-2023, 07:38 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
32,634 posts, read 47,975,309 times
Reputation: 78367
A big help towards being frugal is to buy in bulk and to cook at home, which means you need storage space and cooking equipment.
 
Old 09-08-2023, 09:44 AM
 
23,588 posts, read 70,358,767 times
Reputation: 49216
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
This forum focuses on financial frugality, but that's not the only kind.
People who are frugal for ethical reasons might also want to refrain from
taking up more space on the planet than is needed to lead a simple
but comfortable life. We could call that living-space frugality.

How much space do you think is 'enough' for a single person?
Could you live in a "tiny house"? A micro-apartment? A van?

I live in a large studio apartment (but have had to rent a storage unit too...
books are to blame).
I have considered ethics and various moralities for many years. The first thing that came to mind when reading this was Diogenes. He lived in a discarded barrel, and had only a bowl for water and food, but when he saw a boy cup his hand to drink water, he threw away the bowl. The classic Greek philosophies were great for exposing extremes.

The idea of constraining personal space because it is somehow good for the planet is, at best, ill-considered.

First, the responsibility for your existence on the planet does not reside with you, but with your parents and the society that encouraged them to bring you into the world. What you do in this existence is your own grand experiment.

Second, to make a claim that reduced personal space will benefit the planet, you have to have data to support it. It is an overly broad claim, discounts and dismisses other factors, and proclaims a unsubstantiated moral high ground.

Third, from a psychological perspective, there is a taint of self-justification; something that always is suspect in claimed moral decisions.

Fourth, personal space may not be a reflection of planetary impact. As an extreme example (but not as extreme as Diogenes), Jimmy Carter lives in a small house in Georgia. His impact on the planet as an individual was huge. Warren Buffet doesn't have a sprawling mansion. Ted Turner's "personal space" is a reserve for bison and huge. A person in prison in solitary confinement utilizes very little space on the planet, and yet the costs of keeping that person can be enormous.

How much space do you think is 'enough' for a single person?

The above is a judgmental question. Any specific answer of space will be flawed and based upon a single individual's experience and do nothing but serve as a source of argument.

Could you live in a "tiny house"? A micro-apartment? A van?


These are more reasonable questions, but again are "loaded" in relation to the ethics posit. The personal space in a van often includes significant parts of the outdoors. A micro-apartment would typically be found in a large city with many amenities. A "tiny-house" is what used to be called a starter home, where the goal is less the housing at the time, but long range goals.

To respond to the concept of how much space is taken on the planet by an individual, one must consider the actions of the individual. Whether one lives in a 50,000 SF home or a 500 SF home, the act of wielding a butter knife to butter toast is the same. Once you understand that single point in time events have only miniscule effects on the planet, you have to look at residual and long term effects.

As far as ethics of how much space is taken on the planet, an individual in a 100,000 SF mansion who does not procreate has less cumulative impact than a couple living in a 5,000 SF space that have the traditional 2.3 kids.

How much space people feel comfortable in is a valid question. Equating that to some ethical consideration suggests that further examination of the Greek philosophers and the subsequent debates might be in order.
 
Old 09-08-2023, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Dayton OH
5,759 posts, read 11,358,171 times
Reputation: 13539
I've lived in a 49 square meter (520 sq ft) apartment for most of the past 3 years. There are a couple of extra square meters on the balcony and a bicycle parking room in the basement, along with a small storage room. It is a perfect size for me, a one person household with an occasional visitor. All rooms have excellent sized windows to let in lots of natural light. The bedroom and living room (with covered balcony) face south, the kitchen and bath face north. There is 200 feet of green space to the north and south with no street running in front of the apartment building, so that also helps to keep it from feeling too crowded, noisy or congested. I hear no noise from neighbors on the sides, above or below (thick concrete walls, ceiling and floors with extra noise barrier insulation).

One big reason I like this size apartment is that it takes me very little time and effort to keep it clean.
 
Old 09-08-2023, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
19,013 posts, read 14,188,739 times
Reputation: 16727
I once drew up a small efficiency suite : 324 sf (18'x18'), that shoehorned a "dymaxion" bathroom module, kitchenette, and bar height counter & stools into the space (and with universal access).
However, I think I can upscale it using capsule / pod styling to cram even more.

Kitchenette => bar counter => Sofa/bed/ futon => Wall mount TV / monitor
|wet wall|
Bathroom
- - - - - -

This is the basic idea of the bar / sofa => TV, with the kitchenette opposite of the bar countertop.
For "capsule" duties, add a loft overhead, for a bunk bed, or storage.



 
Old 09-08-2023, 10:44 AM
 
Location: West Coast U.S.A.
2,910 posts, read 1,357,996 times
Reputation: 3978
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
How much space do you think is 'enough' for a single person?
Could you live in a "tiny house"? A micro-apartment? A van?
I'm impressed and inspired by the people who live happily in their cars or vans and also by Rob Greenfield, who lives an extremely minimal, but very fulfilling life. But that's not for me.

However, I wouldn't mind a tiny house, as long as it isn't cramped and dark. This one is perfect.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR9D7H3AHiw

I would want some land to go along with it though - several acres would be best.
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