Friday, July 22, 2016

"Tiny House" Living

I was cleaning and picking up our new little abode last night and was thinking about our "tiny house" living.  There are a few things I've learned in the month we've been living in the travel trailer.

1) We really can get by on way less stuff.  One example is in the kitchen.  Ok, I have to confess, I LOVE dishes and kitchen gadgets.  But I really paired down on our kitchen supplies.  For one thing, we haven't been using an oven or stove.  If I want to cook a proper meal, we go to the house.  Otherwise, we have a toaster oven and a microwave.  Also, we had planned to use paper products while living there, so I didn't pack many plates and bowls.  We haven't bought paper products, but I had two plates and three bowls that were left out from the dishwasher of our apartment when we moved.  So we have been using just those, and hand washing often.  I haven't hated hand washing dishes as much as I thought I would!

2) Clothing:  I worked a lot on my wardrobe when we were living in our apartment.  We didn't have much storage or closet space there either, so I worked to pair down my clothing.  Another reason I downsized was because I was holding on to many items that didn't fit, or that I just didn't like!  There's no reason to have those items around.  I don't quite have a capsule wardrobe yet, but that is my ultimate goal.  So my clothes now fit in the small closet in the bedroom plus a small three drawer plastic bin.  Jason's clothes are mostly in the dresser in the bedroom and a few pieces in the closet.
Shoes and accessories were also paired down.  Though I still have probably 14 or 15 pair of shoes and of course I still have lots of jewelry!  As my part time job, that jewelry makes me money, so it can stick around!

3) Living space: I thought I would quickly get cramped in our living space.  The living room/kitchen/diningroom isn't very big!  It's about the size or smaller than just the living room we had at our apartment.  And the bedroom is tiny!  There is enough space to walk at the foot of the bed, that that's about it!  Thankfully, it's a king size bed tho!  We did upgrade our mattress space from the queen sized bed we had at the apartment.  But I have found that it really is ample space for me, Jason, and our two dogs. Now, if we didn't have a huge area for the dogs to run and play, that would be different, as our boxer Barrett is high energy!  He can get his energy expended outside and be more relaxed inside.  And the bathroom is very small if you have two people in it at once!  I also think Jason would prefer a bigger shower at some point.  But for now, if one person is in the bathroom, it's pretty efficient.  There's more storage space than expected as well.

I really think I can take these insights to heart in our next home.  I have been trending towards a more minimal lifestyle when it comes to stuff.  Now, I will not have bare shelves and bare walls, but my focus is more "what are the things that I LOVE and are useful" not "keep all the things that I kind of like and might be useful one day in the future!"  There's a huge difference.  I have a natural tendency to be a saver, sentimental, a pack rat, or whatever you want to call it, but I truly want to make room for more people and more experiences rather than more stuff.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Itty Bitty Living Space

This is our new home for the next few months.  It's been a long, hard summer so far, but suffice it to say, we are so glad to have the opportunity to live here!  We are basically tiny house living for a while!

We have only been in the camper for a couple weeks now, and I am sure we will learn lots about living in a small space.  I do have to say, that my parent's house is right next door, which is wonderful when we need a break from the smallness, or have a problem (like no A/C last night!) and can go stay at the house. So grateful for them!

So far, so good! We like our little space.  There is lots of storage for our essentials.  We have all our furniture and non-essentials in storage, and just brought what we need for a few months in the camper.  I think these weeks ahead will teach us that we can live with a lot less stuff than we are used to.  This year especially, I have focused on pairing down on the stuff, and keeping only the things that are useful and that I love.  It has been freeing!  I have also made a little money along the way by selling things I didn't need anymore- upwards of $100!

Whether you live in 2,000 sq. ft. or 200, make the most of the space you have.  It feels so good to have things organized and put together.  It is hard work and always a work in progress, but worth it in the end.