Everything is smaller here: smaller sink, smaller refrigerator, and yes, smaller washing machine. But, there’s something truly refreshing about the simplicity. You work with what you’ve got. You take advantage of every nook and cranny. Constrained to 320 SF, you physically cannot accumulate a ton of things.
As someone who has recently made a significant move and who has put most of her belongings in storage, the accumulation of things has been on my mind a great deal. A few days before Chris and I left Tallahassee, I watched with horror as our dear friends helped us carry box after box of our stuff to the U-haul – stuff that had been stowed so unassumingly in the closets and drawers and cabinets of our two-bedroom apartment but that, when revealed en masse, was an embarrassing testament to what two people could accumulate in only a few years. I was dumbfounded and admittedly ashamed. But I know we’re not alone in this. I know that living simply is not something to which our modern American culture necessarily aspires.
The French aren’t perfect either, no. Nor is the retired American woman that is renting us this apartment. But there’s something so freeing in stepping away from your things, renouncing your dependence upon them, and, even for a short while, living in a little space that has been so carefully and intentionally filled.