Once, Tammy Strobel and her husband were living a normal middle-class lifestyle: driving two cars, commuting long distances, and living well beyond their means. Now they are living the voluntary downsizing; or smart-sizing; dream. In this book Strobel combines research on well-being with numerous real-world examples to offer practical inspiration. Her fresh take on our things, our work, and our relationships spells out micro-actions that anyone can take to step into a life that’s more conscious and connected, sustainable and sustaining, heartfelt and happy.
This cheerful handbook offers the emotional and practical lessons Strobel learned while radically downsizing her living space, disposing of most of her possessions, and simplifying her lifestyle. Through her RowdyKittens blog, Strobel and her husband have shared their transition from a generous two-bedroom apartment in 2004 to the TV-free, refrigerator-free, 128-square-foot house-on-wheels parked in a corner of a friend s Portland, Ore., yard. She makes a persuasive argument for simplification and is careful to offer advice not only to Small Living movement radicals but to anyone looking to right-size their life. Social relationships, she argues, should be both the core of personal satisfaction and a way to share resources. Additionally, Strobel urges budgeting for experiences rather than objects and finding ways to spend less time commuting and working just to pay for unnecessary goods. A list of micro-actions that anyone can do like the 100 Thing Challenge or the one in, one out rule is offered to aid in re-evaluating one s relationship with space and ownership. Although her personal choices may seem extreme, the environmental politics and magnitude of change Strobel asks of her reader is distinctly moderate, making this a practical book even for those who only want to live a little bit lighter.