As you may know, because I have been non-stop talking about it since I made my 2017 resolutions, the biggest goal that myself and my family have this year is to simplify. Simplify, simplify, simplify….
There are many reasons for this, but a big one for the ENTIRE family is because we have finally decided to make a big change into a small home sometime very soon! I am super excited! Tiny home living has been on my list of ultimate goals since the day I heard it was a thing!
Over the past couple years, we have had fairly small houses. The biggest being about 1000 sq ft. and the smallest about 400 sq. ft. Currently we are at about 650 sq ft. We have had big and small areas for bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms. We have been technically already been living in “tiny” homes, at least compared to most Americans, and that has given us a bit of an insight to what it will be like moving into a house on wheels.
Why move to an even smaller home? You ask, wondering what kind of mad woman would move her family of five into a uber small space…
The answer is simple, no really… To live SIMPLY..
There is something so wonderful about living in a small space with your family, and keeping your possessions to only the things that you truly need and love. At least, that is what I hear, and expect. Not to mention the difference in cost of living, the experience of something new, and the fact that when you put a family into a small space and take away their usual distractions (even temporarily) it kinda forces that good ole family time.
Now, I know, it will be a serious adjustment, and it may not work the way that we expect, but we have a little confidence and I would like to believe it is because we have been mentally preparing ourselves for this for a little while now*Ahem… 2 years*. Adjusting to little things here and there and making bigger changes slowly throughout our day-to-day life. *Translated to me obsessively bugging my husband to “go tiny” and slowly getting rid of all of the junk we hoarded for no reason while he was at work*
I think that “going tiny” requires a very large mentality change, especially with a family. The things that I used to want involved many acres of land, a large farmhouse with a kitchen the size of my current house and things… just things, lots of nice things. I think this is a pretty typical dream in America. But why? Why a big house? I have difficulty cleaning my house now… Why so much land? If I cannot keep my house clean I cannot imagine the state so many acres would be in, and I don’t really want to farm. Maybe garden but not farm, all that land could be used for so many better things. And things, why things? More things to clean, more things to organize and store, more things to forget about, more things to distract you from living. I’m good.
Obviously those dreams have long since changed and now all I can think about is living tiny and traveling wherever wheels can take me. With the hubby on board, those dreams are now shared and closer than ever! Like a couple of months, if that!
I wanted to share, in a series of posts, our experiences in this little adventure, and also share some tips and tricks of things that we learn along the way. With the kick-off being tips about preparing for something as drastic as this.
Honestly, if moving into a small space with your family is on your list of to-dos, you probably are already “there” mentally. Non-the-less, it needs to be said.
With plans for tiny living, we should be living tiny anyways, Minimalist that is. Minimalism is a mentality, and something that I am personally re-learning. When I hear the word “minimalism” I see white walls and furniture, perfectly place pillows and simple abstract art on walls and shelves, all nicely put together for an Instagram photo or two.
I have come to realize that for those things become more of a reality, the mentality comes first. You stop spending money on tons of stuff that you really don’t need and later on you will have saved money for stuff you really like, need and want. Nicer things. By keeping your clothes to a minimum, you are keeping only the clothes that you truly love, annnnnnd your home will be less filled with unfolded laundry.
My biggest tip, make small changes and move into minimalism at your own pace, any faster and you risk not sticking with it.
Now, unless you are doing this alone, this is a pretty big one.
A big problem that I have personally been dealing with is trying to get my whole family on board with this crazy plan. Mostly my husband. But, he actually came to me this time and proposed the idea! My kids are another story, while they love the idea of it all, they are still all about the “i want/need this piece of garbage i just found on the floor in my life” stage.
My tip for getting little ones ( my kids are 1,5,6 y.o) to understand minimalism, when they haven’t grown up in that sort of lifestyle, is to let them help. Instead of just going into their room and de-cluttering when you are alone, allow them to join you and go through each item, help them understand what “need” and “want” actually mean, and then let them choose a few items to keep that they don’t just “need”.
One of the biggest things that is noticed in cramped quarters is clutter builds very fast, and it is hard to “organize” things if you just have too much. I have personally had this issue my whole life, and last year I stumbled upon The KonMari Method and read the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In fact, I pretty much obsessed over it and completely de-cluttered my home very fast. The problem, we had stuff in storage and were getting ready to move. I also completely avoided things like crafting materials and anything belonged to my husband. When we moved, it was into a smaller space and we picked up more stuff. That landed us back into a cluttered home but honestly I was too worn out to go through the process again.
There is a problem in this world, and it is called “what if”. “Well, what if the world ends and I need these five tictacs to help my breath while I travel to raid the nearest grocery store.” No. Just. No. Hahaha, we really need to stop “what if-ing” ourselves, It gets in the way of so many things and probably creates as much physical clutter as it does mental clutter.
My number one tip, if you do not need it, do not use it and you have no actual attachment to it, get rid of it. This applies to everything.
I think that these are the biggest things that my family has come across as challenging, through our little homes and for prepping to move into an even smaller home. I cannot wait to come at you with another post for going tiny, and I really hope that you enjoyed this one!
Have a wonderful day and happy adventuring!