mini living

cozy entry minimal


when i say i’m a minimalist . . .

usually people immediately get a mental picture of how they think i live.


a white cube. nothing in it.  nothing of beauty to look upon. hard edges. cold.


and for the die hard purists living it  . . . i suppose that might be true.

and truth to tell . . . there’s a part of me that is intrigued and delighted with that.


but never on a day to day basis.   i love comfort!  and color!  and beauty!

i must ALWAYS have beauty.


the little cottage i used to own was once very monastic.

but still there was a sense of beauty and serenity and light.


and now my 525 square feet that i call the wren house also has that beauty.

yet it’s far from looking monastic in here.


recently in my tiny wren house i’ve done even more uncluttering.

i was keeping some plastic storage boxes in the closet.

i only have one closet.


even the marine asks  ” tam! what is there left to get rid of ??? “


the answer . . .


there always seems to be something i don’t really need or ever use.

it’s amazing how that is.  but it’s true.  at least for me it is.


warmth with wood


one of my favorite bedroom pictures above.

you saw it before in a post . . . pre ~ hacker ~ robot!

what more is needed pray tell?


you might say right along with the marine . . .

what has a life long minimalist got to get rid of?


why would i think i need to get rid of even more?


well . . . it hit home again last week.

twice as a matter of fact last week.

and once again just yesterday afternoon.


the loud screaming of the tornado sirens heard in my city.

warning us of a tornado overhead or coming toward us.


we all know what to do by now.  it’s absolutely routine if you live here very long.


this beauty

courtesy:bobbypane channel9news storm chaser


this beauty.  they truly are beautiful.  deadly so.  and this one was a baby one.


that one passed to the south of us and destroyed homes in its path yesterday.

and managed to eventually kill two people in different towns . . .

before it was through.

and it was only an F2 or early F3 they think.


below . . .

her home.

her things.


what WERE her things.


A woman looks over damage along County Road 1680 east of Indian Meridian Rd. after a tornado damaged property, destroyed homes and killed one person west of Wynnewood, Okla., in rural Gavin County, Monday, May 9, 2016. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

A woman looks over damage along County Road 1680 east of Indian Meridian Rd. after a tornado damaged property, destroyed homes and killed one person west of Wynnewood, Okla., in rural Gavin County, Monday, May 9, 2016. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman


it just drove home to me again something relevant to all of our lives

here . . . or anywhere . . .  and always.


whatever part of the world in which we live . . .

whatever we have could ALL be gone tomorrow.

it’s not wise to get overly attached to THINGS!  it just isn’t!


especially now that natural disasters seem to becoming more and more

prevalent.  just ask the people fleeing the horrendous fires in canada.


it will definitely put things into perspective for you



it’s wonderful to have a house full of beautiful things if that’s what you like.

but the more you’re attached to what you have . . .

and the more things you have to be attached to  . . .

and so many of all those things you feel you just can’t ever live without . . .

the more devastating is your sense of loss if you lose them.


you see people sifting through piles of rubble trying to find certain stuff that was

everything to them.  and it’s long gone.  it’s a sad but simple fact of life . . .

NOTHING is forever.  much less material things.  beautiful though they were.


all we truly have is what is kept in our hearts.  our minds.  our memory.


it’s not in dust covered knick knacks and boxes and boxes of things stored

everywhere . . .

and never looked upon unless you move!  or die!


and then when you do die . . .  somebody else who loved you and misses you

has to look upon it and figure out what to do with it.  they don’t want it.

they have their OWN stuff!  LOLOL!


it’s all sorta like a hamster wheel old bean . . .  isn’t it?

most people’s lives nowadays.

always runnin’ for those things!  or runnin’ to pay for those things.


bruce lee


i just simplify and let the sunlight and the fresh clean air

roam about this space and these walls in my tiny wren house.

i even like hearing all those words.

it’s all good.  it just simply is.  and it makes me calm.  and joyous.


it FEELS so spacious in here in spite of its tiny size.   and it is.

because there is so little in it.  just the right amount.  LAGOM!

just living the authentic empty cup life i live.


not the one i wish i lived.  or that i might live someday.


the one i DO live!  finally!!   right now!


i used to be so bad about not doing that old bean.

i had lived a certain way with bob.

that ended. my life changed.

but i was still thinking i lived or had to live that same way.

it took me seemingly forever to even be able to cook for ONE!


a huge difference right there old bean.  to make that discovery for yourself.

it took me a good many years after bob died to discover that truth for myself.


to live my authentic life!


and now the little wren house closet is empty enough that come that next

tornado again . . . and it will come

because this is spring in oklahoma . . . and that’s how it is . . .


i can just put on my bicycle helmet

and get the satchel with my prescription meds and my important papers

and one change of clothing

and my tooth brush!  LOL





the peculiar thing about this light way of living  . . .

once you try it and decide to live simply with just enough of what matters

and only what is useful and really truly beautiful to you . . .

you will find . . .  it’s amazingly addictive!    cindi has discovered that!

it just feels SO GOOD to give things away!  to others who might need it!

to lighten your load!


you’ll find that  . . . more and more . . .  you want to live with even less.

it’s such fun to clear out!

to give to others!

to make room for the light and the fresh air to roam through!


good grief.  shall i use just ONE MORE exclamation point?  LOLOL!

it’s a party!  a mini living party old bean!

but heck. you know me so well by now.

you KNOW i can’t help but find it fun and i just love to talk about it.

that’s all.  i appreciate your kindness in humoring me for these posts.

i just have to do them!


it’s all part of the incredible lightness of being.

of leaving a small quiet footprint on this planet.


it’s the remarkable art of mini living.

after all.

it will always be your LIFE and those LIVES you love that really count the most.

we all know . . .   it’s never EVER the things.


til soon old bean!

til soon.


  1. I just ordered a new computer, a Mac mini. It’s 7.7 inches ) square and 1.4 inches tall. I can use my old monitor, keyboards and mouse, so I’m a happy camper. 🙂

  2. such an inspiring post becasue this is how I live,
    we lived in a small apartment after we sold our house and moved into town, then we moved to this apartment,, its one room bigger than the other one but still small, but I have said since we came here its just right,, all we need, I am the worst and decluttering, I could live with so much less than my husband but I mustn’t force my way on him,, he is slowly slowly getting it,, he understands my way of thinking,, I know he does, you have such a gift you do sweet lady,,

    • tammy j

      I know! you love it too!
      I’ve found that most men seem to usually fall under the rule …
      “i might need this!”
      I was lucky that bob was really pretty much into it too in most every way.
      except … when he took on an ‘interest!’
      like photography. then he turned our garage into a dark room! with that necessary stuff everywhere. LOLOL.
      then his fly tying phase for his own fly fishing and all of his friends and all the supplies for that!
      but he was so adorable… i didn’t mind! as i know you don’t!
      and you’re so right… you can never force anybody into it!!!
      love and hugs to you my laurie. XOXOXO♥

  3. Linda Sand

    I wonder what Dave would say if I asked him about his box of sentimental items disappearing in a tornado? He doesn’t pack them in his bugout bag and he only looks at them when we move so how important is it to keep them?

  4. First, the bedroom photo.
    What more is needed?
    Three things at least. – A fan, a dog and a cat.
    I lent my sister a book on decluttering. We talked about it on the drive out to the garden nursery.
    Why are there so many books on the topic?
    Why do WE need a book?
    Why does she hang on to stuff? She thinks maybe she’s trying recreate her childhood.
    Why do I hang onto stuff? I couldn’t help wonder if it’s because our Dad got rid of EVERYTHING.
    Got rid of all my mom’s stuff, got rid of our pets, sold my toys and art projects at a garage sale…
    Maybe that’s why!?
    Maybe because my Mom was a packrat?
    She would say she kept everything because she once lost everything in a house fire.
    Who knows.
    All I know NOW is, it’s too much. I need to breathe. And if I think I will need it later, then I’m not trusting The Universe to provide for what I need.
    And… it feels good to give it away to someone who needs it.
    It’s all circular anyway. What you give you receive.
    Karma, Generosity, Gratitude
    So many reasons.
    and finally… I hate to think of you in your bike helmet. I wish you had an underground safehouse. Or better yet. Lived elsewhere.
    But glad you at least have that helmet.
    (sorry, that this comment turned into a book!)

    • tammy j

      I love your books! you know that!
      and you brought up something so interesting. i’m sure there are ALWAYS reasons why
      we’re one or the other. one who collects. and one who chooses not to.

      you know my childhood was spent moving every single year. we HAD to keep things to a minimum.
      can you imagine packing up a household every year with the kind of ‘stuff’ most people hold onto?
      it would be exhausting. our dad encouraged (LOL! that’s one word for it!) us to keep it spare.
      I actually LIKED it. i always looked at my room (when i finally had my own room!)
      as a room on a ship! i don’t know why. ship shape and bristol fashion!
      you’re absolutely right about that bedroom! a dog AND a kitty ON the bed! LOLOL.
      AND a fan.
      it’s 10pm as i write this and still in the 80’s here. i had to finally turn on the A/C.
      ok… now i’m writing my own book here! but P.S. … but no worries about the helmet and the twisters.
      i feel like i would survive an F2 or even an F3. but if it comes an F5 i’ll bail from here.
      i have also come to decide … if it’s my time it’s my time. and the next adventure is going to be
      a FANTASTIC one! XOXOXOXO♥ so either way. it’s cool.

  5. I love your pictures, and how you live. The white walls and sunlight. Our place is similar. We have a small condo-half the top floor of a multi-family house- with white walls and green plants everywhere. From my window, facing north, I can write, watch the students walk to school or the U, from the south, the people going to work or shopping at the mall, and to the west, watch the fields as they grow, and are harvested. Our furniture is functional. it exists because it holds something, a few clothes, books, music. Our biggest problem is the small trinkets- a stone or a shell from places that are important to us, the small things given by family as presents. Books from my dad, now passed over, each thing means something. And is a reminder, but still, they are things only. Love what and how you write, Tammy. It means something.

    • tammy j

      thank you. from a writer like yourself it means much to me.

      but I have to be careful.
      I love the simple uncluttered life so much that I start sounding like I’m speaking from a PULPIT! and that’s never my intention.

      so many wonderful windows you have! windows are important to me.
      I have two french doors and only one large window. that’s where my favorite chair is.
      on my best kind of day . . . with rain . . . or even snow . . . i’m especially there!

      and books are something I don’t get rid of. I sometimes have to weed them out a bit.
      but there will ALWAYS be books! they’re my friends.

  6. I had to stop – sorting/sifting – but will back on that treadmill probably early-mid June (when I’ve recovered from this frenetic art time)!

  7. 525 Sq Ft Wren House is not something to be sneezed at for a single person. And you are right, there is always something that you can do without.

  8. Tam, I have not watched the news and didn’t know about the tornado. Yes, these tragedies do make us put things into perspective.

    We downsized so much when we moved, left 13 pieces of large furniture at home and enough books to fill up the two biggest bookcases, etc. And we feel that we are practically minimalists here simply because we are floating around in this huge house.

    But, I must be thinking ahead to our search for a 2 bedroom bungalow because that will require major purging. So as I go about my work during the day I am constantly thinking, What do I use every day, what is most important to me?

    Your pictures are more and more appealing to me. Lots of white around me sounds serene. Who knows, maybe I’ll get there yet.

    As always, charmingly written!

    • tammy j

      you are such a sweetheart.
      you could literally be a hoarder and I would still love you!
      but i’m glad you aren’t!!! LOLOL.
      but seriously. it truly IS nicer to live small! especially I think as we get older.
      I don’t know why exactly. but it just feels so good! ♥

  9. Hello my luvvy, 😉

    I think you would like where I am now. Very minimal and serene.

    As we get older we typically like less clutter because we realize things aren’t important. It just leaves behind more stuff for our family to go through when we are gone. Lots of people never really get to that point though. As they get older they collect more and more crap. And yes, I’m telling it like it is. :/

    • tammy j

      hello stranger! I’ve been missing you!
      I used to devour books on asian living. regardless of whichever area …
      it seems to have the underlying theme of simplicity. or it DID.
      hoping it hasn’t become totally westernized!
      can’t wait for the pictures!
      and tell it sister!!! XOXO♥

  10. Those tornado sirens much be scary to hear… I’m sure you get used to it, in a way… I get shivers thinking about it! How horrible the destruction of tornadoes an other natural disasters. We can’t take it with us, is a good saying, I think. Stuff does not equal who we really are. The less attachments we have, the easier it seems to be able to love more. 🙂 LOVE that bedroom image–so pure, so serene, so open, so beautiful. There is always something that can be let go for to let in more of that OPEN-ness… LOVED this one, dear Tammy! 🙂 ((LOVE & BIG HUGS))

    • tammy j

      thanks tracy!
      I know how you love simple and clean and clear.
      you live it too.
      those tornado sirens sound just like what you hear in the old world war II movies where people had to take shelter in London in the blitz. it makes me think of that when I hear them. can you imagine bombs instead of tornadoes? oh my!!! horrible.
      and on a happier note…
      have a wonderful weekend dear girl of the north!

  11. I was halfway through reading and then was called to come upstairs for dinner – i’ll have to come back later. I like what I’ve read so far and I have often thought of getting rid of more and more – because if something happened and i had to leave my house fast…well – then I wouldn’t miss the things I lost.

    • tammy j

      it’s amazing how many things we wouldn’t really miss.
      it’s so nice to have you back! xo

      • so i came back and read more slowly and really enjoyed the post but sorry to read about the tornados – but alas – every state, all of us,, have something to deal with weather wise. I remember back in 2003 I had my big house and also we owned a cabin in the mountains (same mountains but we sold that house also) but we had one huge forest fire that was not only threatening my house but also the cabin – after that – I haven’t worried too much about stuff (although i have way too much stuff still). If we move again i will weed out a lot more – and move again we might – ..after about three years in one place (ever since I sold the house in was in for 30 years) I start wanting a new experience. We’ve been looking at houses farther up the mountain but so far nothing in the range we want to pay ..but it will be even smaller than we are here. So enjoy this post of yours.

        • tammy j

          I also get that urge to move! too many years of doing it I guess.
          and to me…
          there are MANY worst disasters than a tornado.
          the mind just boggles at them! fire the worst. or maybe flood. oh my!

  12. I just donated half my closet this weekend. Clothes I never wore? Out! Why did I hang on to them for so long?

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