Three years ago, I moved from a 2,400 square foot house to a 2,000 square foot house. When I packed up, I hauled a basement full of boxes and stuff off to the landfill. I never touched 99.9% of what I stored in the basement for the five years I lived there. Not once.

Last year, I sold that 2,000 square foot house and moved to a 1,300 square foot rental with my partner near downtown Denver and I'm still swimming in stuff. I have two storage lockers full of boxes I haven't opened since the move. My spare bedroom has boxes and boxes of stuff I don't need. I get anxious whenever I walk into this room. I never wear 80% of my wardrobe. Same goes for the stuff in my kitchen. We're paying $24,000 a year to store stuff we don't need.

I usually travel a quarter of the year and we're about to split time between the Denver condo and the Midwest for six months or more. And I'm about to embark on a new career right outside of Denver, which brings much excitement but lots of unknowns.

In all of these life changes, I'm realizing that the physical stuff I've been hauling from place to place is only weighing me down.

And I want out!

I want out of buying more and more stuff for the sake of materialism. I want out of storing stuff. I want the time and money to focus on what truly matters.


I've considered moving into a much smaller rental. I hate the thought of paying someone else's mortgage.

I've looked at buying another home, but Denver real estate prices are absurd!

I've considered a 160 square foot tiny home. This seems way too tiny for two people and a dog. I don't know how couples, let along families, move into these things. Plus something about living in a vehicle on wheels doesn't appeal to me.

And I've always had a dream of buying property in Northern Michigan and installing a few smaller buildings on it, all connected by a common deck.

Doing research and looking at the options, a bolt of genius (or perhaps insanity) hit me:

What if we could buy or build a 320 square foot shipping container home in the Denver area, live in it for 2-3 years while life transitions play themselves out, and then buy a real home and move the container home to Michigan as the beginning of a vacation complex.

A decent container home will run $30-50,000, so 2-3 years of rent in the Denver area. Plus, I'd have to find a place to put it (buy or lease land), which will likely be difficult with local zoning laws.

And the biggest question is, can two people properly downsize to 320 square feet of space?

The jury is still out.

Photo by Poteet Architects.