Less Means More Living In Smaller Spaces.

Someone posted this link to me today regarding how someone downsized their life. The fact is in the last 50 years Americans (and no doubt many other nations) now occupy more than 3 times the amount of space they did before. Add to that the rising number of “drive in storage facilities” that are cropping up as a new industry its time to stop.

Now for me its something I realised years ago as although I had a nice Victorian house and garden in the winter I froze and in the summer the long garden was impossible to maintain.

But looking at it another way the ceilings were too high and I never used the sitting room, the kitchen was used for less than an hour a day and generally as a family of 3 at that time we could have lived in a space 3 times smaller and been financially better off. The electric bill would be cheaper, cost of rent and the amount of gas consumed in the winter time.

On a social front instead of my daughter sitting in her room unsocially it would mean the family have to function together in the same space creating a much more social environment. It would also mean having one good TV instead of 3 TV sets in different rooms.

But why stop there, I used to remember my ex buying clothes for specific parties that would never see the light of day again. Wouldn’t it make more sense to hire or buy something that would be timeless and expensive to wear to more events instead?

In today’s way of thinking I am permanently de-cluttering my life as every time I look at something I wonder if I really need it. When I go back to the UK shortly I will be arriving in the UK pretty much with just the clothes on my back as a suitcase in the UK is all my possessions I need there for work. Literally while working I can live in a small bedroom. I generally eat out due to the type of work I do so no kitchen is required, I wash my clothes daily so could use a launderette if the facilities weren’t at the place I rent etc.

It does away with the general cost of living in the UK which when I assess it cost me £1,500 a month previously with the Victorian house compared to £500 a month all inclusive for my new way of life financially I am saving at £1,000 a month. With the current economic climate its going to be much more of a saving.

So does container living make sense? I think its a case of accepting the fact we have to live smaller and shipping containers give fixed dimensions you can work with. It can also teach people to limit what they waste which in turn reduces personal debt. Question is can we live without container living, as simply it redefines life and moves away from consumerism to realistic financial living.

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beautiful home located in Shimasaki, Kyushu Island, Japan.

Anderson Architecture + Nishiyama Architects, built this Japanese home although not made from shipping containers i thought it was an important find worth posting. The first thing is the use of natural materials that could brighten up any container home with things like solid or plywood ceilings with an added beam affect. The next was the layout of the structure as you can see it would fit in with using shipping containers very easily side by side or even better create a span across a few containers to allow maximum space with the least amount of material waste. The blend of natural woods, metal and white paint also give an airy feel to the property to give it a much wanted feeling of space.

 beautiful home located in Shimasaki, Kyushu island, Japan - shipping container ideas beautiful home located in Shimasaki, Kyushu island, Japan - shipping container ideas beautiful home located in Shimasaki, Kyushu island, Japan - shipping container ideas

Shipping container converted to trailer park home / caravan

shipping container home

It wasn’t an insult to say its built more of a trailer type home because in reality that is what they look like. At the same time in the UK the caravans on a site can be expensive due to their location. They are functional and practical as well as utilizing the space people need rather than space people want. It reminds me of my home back in the UK when I would wander across the dining room to get to the kitchen or go upstairs and I ask myself the question how often did we use the dining room and how often was it utilized fully? Answer rarely it was a room that was expensive to heat with high ceilings and large floor area yet we never used it. This is a practical example of why the container type homes work as people use the space they have and use it the best they can.

The container above is located in Hawaii which is a location that suffers with excess shipping containers giving cheap pods to work from. This is unit has an office and apartment featuring office space, kitchen, bath and bedroom.  The addition of T-111 siding and a flat roof improves the durability of the unit and enhances its appearance.

Source

Elegant 2 container house 2 x 40ft on a warehouse

 This design was done by Maziar Behrooz Architecture and its something more in the line of what I am looking for in a home. The container house forms up the upper level while the traditional methods of concrete keep the lower level or underground level out of sight as well as cool which would work well in the Philippines. But at the same time the high ceilings open up the building to help cool it as well as its natural woodland cover.

Maziar Behrooz Architecture shipping container home 

shipping container home stairwellshipping container home exteriorshipping container home high ceilings

Its partly why I think once we start developing homes ourselves they will sell as simply these sort of designs here in the Philippines are few and far between. Marketing to the modern younger aged buyers these types of places are fantastic in modern design.