Just the Right Size

My favorite thing in the morning is to sit on the sofa with a cup of coffee and look out the French doors at blue skies and palm trees. The sofa has enough room for everybody – there’s no need for additional seating.

Perhaps the best thing Brett and I learned on our travels was that we could get along in a very small space and with very little. We learned we didn’t need a fancy place either: a comfortable bed, decent kitchen equipment, good WiFi connection, and a location that allowed us to easily get out and around to explore, and we were good to go. 

Before we set off on our travels, during our four years on Kaua’i, we had also discovered we didn’t need as many things as we had once thought we did, and by the time we departed we were more than ready to let most of our possessions pass on to others. Traveling full-time only reinforced the enjoyment of having less, and we embraced a more minimalist lifestyle.

And then along came Covid-19 and the end of our Big Adventure. We returned to Kaua’i, found a place to live, and needed to acquire things once again. It’s not how we expected things to turn out, but in the past few months, we’ve managed to put together a home that will allow us to live simply and comfortably, in a small space that’s just the right size for the two of us.

We have only three pieces of furniture in the bedroom: a comfortable bed and two nightstands. This is the first time in our 41-year marriage that we have had matching nightstands and lamps! The lamps have USB ports – very useful!

The small size of our apartment has guided our purchases this time around. Everything we’ve bought since we arrived back is not only useful and used regularly, but was chosen not to overwhelm the space.

We’re not quite there yet when it comes to having everything we need, but our stored items will fill the remaining gaps once they arrive. I can’t wait to have my cookware, knives, and utensils to work with again, and the dishes we’ve collected in Japan over the years. I can’t wait to have our art hanging on the walls, and my jubako out again, the one collection I held onto.

Our kitchen is small but mighty! There’s room for everything, and the small sink has turned out to be less of a problem than we imagined.

Although we have only around 500 sq. feet of indoor living space these days, we’re not minimalists by any stretch. We’re not feeling the least crowded either. Big mirrors were strategically placed throughout the apartment by the landlord – they give a feeling of spaciousness, as do the French doors at the front of the apartment and big windows throughout. The deck and backyard also make the whole living area seem bigger than it is. There is a surprising amount of closet space and storage area in the apartment as well. The massive bathroom, chandelier and all, has turned out to be an amazing luxury and also makes the apartment feel larger.

It’s all exactly what we hoped for this time around – a small footprint, but just the right size for us.

21 thoughts on “Just the Right Size

  1. I’m so glad to read this! Yes, living simply is wonderful and better for your health! Less to worry with, clean, fret over, etc. We went from 2400 sq. ft. to 1264 sq. ft. to around 600 sq. ft. here and don’t even feel like we’re missing out on anything! Especially with facing health issues, less is so much better.

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    1. The apartment we found is wonderful – just perfect for the two of us. And with less stuff, even with YaYu here it’s not too crowded. We learned when we were here before that less is definitely more – we sure don’t feel like we’re missing anything either.

      We love it here down on the south side BTW. It’s much cooler than we expected, and we catch all the breeze coming up through the Lawai Valley. We’re just 15 minutes away from Lihue too, so it’s convenient. It’s more affordable down here as well, or at least it seems that way.

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      1. Wow! That’s good to hear that it’s more affordable. Interesting about the cooler temperature, too. Hmmmm. You got me thinking!! Joy

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      2. It’s cooler because it’s so breezy, at least where we are. We were up in Lihue today and couldn’t get over how much warmer it was there (more humid, too).

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      3. That’s great for you!! I worried that it might be warmer knowing how you don’t do well with heat and humidity. Sounds like everything has fallen into place. . . . . . like it should!!

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  2. I read a term that may apply. Enoughism. You say you’re not minimalists. Maybe you practise enoughism? I’m trying to get to that.

    I love the bedside lamp with USB ports! Good idea!

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    1. I like that word: enoughism. When we traveled, outside of gifts we bought for others, our rule was if we got something new for ourselves, something else had to go. One in, one out. It’s what we’re trying to practice here how.

      The USB lamps were a smart purchase. My phone charges every night while I sleep, and my Kindle can easily charge while I read (before the plug was always halfway across the room, or I needed to also plug in my computer). I wondered if it would seem too much like being in a hotel with the USB outlets in the lamp, but it doesn’t at all.

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      1. I used to call Brett the “King of the Packrats” – he never threw anything away. But once he started downsizing to get ready for our move to Hawaii, he caught the bug and is a changed man. He’s more of a minimalist than I am these days!

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  3. It’s a really cute apartment and I love the yard. Looks about perfect!

    We bought bedside reading lamps last year that have USB ports…what a great idea! I had to get used to completely silencing my phone and convince DH to do the same, though. If I heard a text land, I had a hard time not looking at it and then I was awake! And DH had a weather spotter alert for a while when he was still doing search and rescue. Those will stop your heart at 3AM. 😂

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    1. We still pinch ourselves that we got this place – it’s not perfect, but pretty close. And what a change from our former landlord!

      I get a soft notification for phone calls and messages only at night – even with earplugs they usually wake me, but it’s nothing jarring, and easy to check without completely waking me. The girls all know not to call in the middle of the night unless it’s a real emergency, and for that I do want to wake up!

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    1. Thanks, Helen! I plan to put up pictures one of these days after we get all our stuff and get it put away and arranged.

      P.S. It’s not very peaceful right now – the wind is howling, with gusts up to 25 mph!!

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    1. I love blue and white too, especially from Japan. In our last home we mixed up the colors, but for this one I wanted to go back to more blue, and it goes well with gray.

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  4. I love the pillow covers in your bedroom. Did you make them? or is a fabric to buy? Your apartment is really very nice. Oh.BTW, I did find on eBay some of the Sound Collection dishes with a cat face. I guess they are kinda hard to find. Sound Collection is a ceramic dish line from Japan.

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    1. The navy & white pillow cases are from Walmart! The small throw pillow in the middle is one we found at the shop where we bought our dining table – it’s an allover coral pattern.

      I will look on eBay to find out which dishes you mean. Cat motifs are very popular on dishes in Japan!

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    1. Fingers crossed for 2021!

      We feel very lucky we found this place. Even with our upstairs neighbors back and clomping around upstairs, it’s still pretty wonderful.

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