The challenge of simply living simply

Condos in Vancouver are getting smaller and smaller which brings to mind the question of living efficiently in a small space. If you’ve got a 500 sq ft. condo, you may find it difficult to find a place for all your things, particularly if you’ve moved from a larger rented property. So maybe you look around at all your things and think “how much of this stuff do I really need?”

..Which is probably a very good question.

What do you really need to live? A bowl, a spoon, and the clothes on your back.. Perhaps a bag of rice to eat, a pot to cook it in and a library card. Now that’s living lean! Living like this could make your 500 feet of floorspace absolutely palatial, and if you ever went bankrupt (god forbid!) you could fit all your stuff into a shopping cart.

But wait.. you’re going to need a cloth to clean your dish, and place to put it while you’re not using it.. maybe even a second dish for when you have a vistor, and you might as well get a couple of chairs to sit in.. Suddenly you find yourself at Ikea, pressed into a sweaty throng of unhappy shoppers trying to figure out if the billy shelf was supposed to be in aisle 7 or 8.

Oh, right.. and you’re going to need a car to get to ikea, and you’ll need a place to put the car while your not using it, cause it sure as hell isn’t fitting into your apartment. You’ll probably also need one of those little pine-tree air fresheners to clear out the smell of particle-board glue after you’ve driven those Ikea shelves home.

See how this happens? Modern life is a snowball of accumulation, once we have the stuff we need we find things we want and pretty soon you’re renting a storage locker in Burnaby to store your overflow.

Anybody else find this to be a problem? How are you dealing with the ‘stuff’ issue? Do you have too much? Not enough? or juuuuust right?

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Michael Randallbard

"How are you dealing with the 'stuff' issue?"This is easy if you're Lebanese, simply find an Israeli living in Vancouver and the rest is easy.


"We live in an age of abundance, you don't have to live in a cave with a bowl and a spoon. Jeesh. get a job."Anon obviously you're living in the past you dont get a job, you get a second mortgage and get at some of your millions now!


You all sound like a bunch of grumpy monks. We live in an age of abundance, you don't have to live in a cave with a bowl and a spoon. Jeesh. get a job.


I have a bit too much stuff, but that doesn't seem to stop me from getting more. I've noticed that I get much better about getting rid of things that I don't really need or want as I get older.This is good, because space is definately at a premium around here.

the pope

I think you've got something there csb!A car can sleep a family of four, and a system of hoses could take care of plumbing issues. Some cars now have DVD players and surround sound, I think you've just got to drop in some granite dashboards and these things will sell themselves!And if you need anything from your storage locker out in the suburbs you're already in the car!


csb -We're supposed to be thinking in terms of 'densification' to make Vancouver more 'liveable'. Don't you think 150 Sq feet is a bit wasteful?Think of how much more efficient your project would be if the cars were compacted first!


I don't need to ever buy anything, I just use the stuff that anonymous throws away.


I'm currently applying to city council to develop a new condo project which will be "Dual-Purpose Garage-Condo", each around 150 square feet using the new Jameson elevator scheme to hoist tenants and/or vehicles into each unit. You could fit a murphy bed in there but why bother when you can sleep in your car and save on the electricity. Enjoy your sunset views from the comfort of your car 20 stories in the sky! This project will be marketed by Bob Rennie.


As soon as I've used something I throw it away. This keeps my personal space tidy, but can get very expensive.