Monday, May 10, 2010

Lessons From a Little House

Last fall we moved into a house about one third of the size of our former house. We went from about 1800 square feet and four bedrooms to 600 square feet and 1.5 bedrooms. We HAD to make some changes and do some serious downsizing. It was a good experience for all of us and has actually improved our quality of living.

Here's what we learned from our little house.

1) Keep your family close. No matter where you are in a tiny house, you are always very close to your family.

2) Keep only what you really need, use or enjoy. We got rid of many, many things in the moving and unpacking process. Extra pots and pans, extra towels, extra plastic containers, extra, extra, extra. There was so much extra in our life. If we have no where to store things, we either have to get rid of that particular item or get rid of something else to make room for the things we want to keep. We're a long way from being minimalists but we're certainly less bogged down by material possessions than we were a year ago. Between C.O. and I, we have exactly 1 million hobbies and interests . . . 1/2 million each, we counted. Interests and hobbies often bring "stuff" along with them. What can we say?

3) Think before you buy. We have to consider exactly where we are going to keep our stuff before we make any purchases. Keep in mind we have zero closets, yes zero. Imagine taking all the stuff out of your closets, dumping them in the middle of the floor and finding a new way to store them. Daunting.

4) Have patience, you need a lot of it in a small place. We use every inch of available space and sometimes that means having to move 5 things to get at the one thing you need. Then you carefully need to put those 5 items back in the same order to avoid chaos and clutter. It takes a surprising amount of time.

5) Put it away, right away. If things aren't put away and cleaned up immediately, it doesn't take long for the house to look very cluttered. (I'm not saying we actually do this but we certainly try.)

6) Cleaning's is easier and faster in a small house. It doesn't take as long to clean, you have less floors, less counters, basically less surface area. Wahoo for this one!

It might be tiny, it might be a little rough around the edges, but we do love it. Seriously, have you seen our view?



Nancy M. said...

Those are some lessons we could all use. I can't imagine having 0 closets! We used to only have 3 and I thought that was crazy. Your view is awesome!

Erin said...

I think that moving around so much has helped Bill & I learn to cut back on the clutter to some extent... BUT, it is so amazing how quickly things accumulate! Learning to really evaluate purchases, etc. is a good lesson to learn young, I think!

Hope we'll get to meet up with you guys this summer when you're in the area!