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Less stuff, less stress? 

Street Smarts

Most of us sometimes long for the simple life. But would we be happier if we downsized to the bare necessities?

click to enlarge Sam Marsh of the northeast side is a student.

Sam Marsh of the northeast side is a student.

How familiar are you with the "tiny house movement"? Just what I've seen when I've been in Ikea. They have model rooms and ideas for small spaces.

Does downsizing hold any appeal for you? Yeah, I'm all for efficiency. Too many people have rooms they don't even use.

Do you think it's just a passing trend? No. As rent keeps getting higher, people will look for better ways to be more efficient.

Do you think you could live in a place that's only 200 square feet? I think I could do it if all the essentials fit in. But it wouldn't be good for having people over.

click to enlarge Lisa Ludvicek from Kansas City, Missouri, is self-employed.

Lisa Ludvicek from Kansas City, Missouri, is self-employed.

Are you familiar with the "tiny house movement"? I'm not that familiar with it, but I can see how it would be more simple and more environmentally friendly.

Do you know anyone who's drastically downsized their living space? Yes, my sister. She's way into a simplistic, minimalistic lifestyle. I think she sees it as a less stressful life.

Does downsizing hold any appeal for you? I'm not in a very big place right now; I've only got two bedrooms and 1200 square feet.

If you had to downsize, is there anything you couldn't do without? I would have to have a bathtub, and I'd miss my dishwasher.

Do you think you could live in a place that's only 200 square feet? No, but I guess if I didn't have a home I'd be grateful. It's all in your perspective.

click to enlarge Brandy Dansby of Larkspur is a stay-at-home mom.

Brandy Dansby of Larkspur is a stay-at-home mom.

How familiar are you with the "tiny house movement"? Very, and I love it. I watch it a lot on TV and get emails of "tiny house" listings.

Are you planning on downsizing? It's highly unlikely, since we have seven children. But if it were just my husband and I, I'd try it. I think it would be really fun.

What do you think fascinates so many people about small houses? I think it's financially driven, or maybe we're re-evaluating our priorities. It can bring you closer as a family.

What's something that you'd insist on keeping, even in a small house? I'd have to have a nice kitchen, and a refrigerator large enough for an ice maker.

Do you think you could live in a place that's only 200 square feet? Absolutely, even with my husband. I grew up in a small house and I have good memories of it.

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