Less is More: Sharing as a Catalyst for Downsizing

I still remember that bright crisp spring day we had the outdoor auction sale to help Mom downsize from her country home and move into an apartment in town. Dad passed away the year before and Mom’s deteriorating health made it impossible for her to stay in the home where she and Dad spent their last years together. In the days leading up to the sale we had “cleaned house” and filled several large disposal bins with “things” destined for the landfill. How did they accumulate all this stuff, I mused.

Now, several decades later, my wife and I are asking the same question of us. We have accumulated a lot of “things”. Our contemporary culture sometimes refers to them as “toys” as in the saying “he who dies with the most toys wins”. Well things (or toys) cost a lot of money to acquire, they cost money to repair, and to store, and to insure from theft. We become invested both financially and psychologically in possessions that complicate and add stress to our lives and that some would argue begin to own us instead of us owning them.

Cohousing and specifically Prairie Spruce Commons offers a better way based on our principle of sharing. By sharing each household no longer requires its own lawn mower, its own snow blower, or its own array of mechanical and wood working power tools. No longer does any household require its own specialized kitchen appliances (such as a food dehydrator or meat grinder, or meat slicer). And no longer does any household require its own specialized office equipment (such as a large format or large throughput computer printer or laminator or paper shredder). All of these “things” and more can be available as common amenities for our community members to share. And having fewer personal possessions translates into less consumption and offers a wide array of environmental and cost benefits.

Now, imagine living in a community where members not only share some possessions but also come together and share the work effort often associated with those possessions. At Prairie Spruce Commons we come together and share our time and talent within our community as well as outside of our community. Won’t you come and share along with us?  We guarantee your snow blower is going to miss you. 

Dave