My husband and I have always had a slight obsession watching Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunters for the longest time. I mean how entertaining is it to see these people that think they can actually live and be happy in such a tiny space. A lot people living in them even claim to be more happy since they have more time to spend with loved ones or they have more time to do the things they love. Plus they say they spend less time on cleaning and maintain their homes. Ok, I actually kind of believe that one.
When we first started watching these shows we would binge watch episodes on weekends; remind you, this was pre-kids when we could actually do stuff like that. It would get our minds curious on how they could actually function throughout their daily routines. Is it really possible or is this just smoke and mirrors?
We started by upsizing:
We were in no way thinking of living in a tiny house or that we could even remotely pull it off. It was just fun to imagine what life would be like living in such a small space. After all, we just bought our starter house that was a giant 1,800 sq. ft. house. I guess for most people, that’s not considered giant anymore, but to us it was. We were used to living in a 700 sq. ft. apartment with our tiny dog and fat cat (think Garfield and Odie).
I remember the first day we moved into our giant starter home. We packed all of our stuff into a small 16’ Budget Rental Truck (yes not U-hall since it was way overpriced) and drove it to our new house. All of our stuff that more than filled up our 700 sq. ft. apartment was sitting in just one room of our new house. Yes, it was the largest room in our house, the living room, but still just one room.
I remember having this overwhelming feeling of wow we have so much space and we need to fill it up. It just felt too empty and after all it was our starter home I wanted it to look stylish like Create n Barrel where every room looks like it came right out of a catalog. I felt we deserved it especially since the majority of our old decor was “dorm room worthy” from our college days.
Our weekends became consumed with shopping and searching the web for the exact items we needed to fill up each space. We needed a table in the foyer. We needed a mirror over the end table. How about a bench by the door so you could sit when you take your shoes off? The list was endless. We made good money, but we also made a promise to each other that we would prioritize our first goal which was saving for retirement and a rainy day fund. So that too added a challenge to finding the right items since we needed the price to be right (Crate n Barrel and Pottery Barn were a bit out of budget).
I think it took a little over 1 year to have our place feel comfortable and like every space was utilized perfectly for our needs. It was just the 2 of us plus our tiny dog and fat cat, and I have to say that so much space was wasted or unused. We had 4 bedrooms total. One was used for a computer room/ musical room, the second was used for a fitness room, the third used for a visitor’s room (which only got used a handful of times every year), and the fourth was our master bedroom which obviously got used the most.
How things started to change:
So we were married, bought a house and now trying to get pregnant so yeah, living the “American Dream” right? Getting pregnant was not as easy as they make it look on MTV’s Teen Mom show (even though I haven’t seen it in ages since we don’t have cable anymore and you know kids) but for us it took years… Ok, back to where I was going… We’ll we we’re blessed and finally got pregnant and abracadabra – there’s a baby living in our house.
All of a sudden, our minimal functional house became a rotating circus zone where you’re either constantly moving stuff around or tiptoeing over what seemed to be a venomous snake that if you stepped on it you would die or you were slaving picking up the array of toys that you graciously got as baby shower gifts. I mean how many things does this tiny human really need? It got us back to thinking how much stuff do we really need. Could we actually do this tiny house thing?
Ok, the tiny house idea was still a pipe dream at this point but it did give us the urge to purge. We all have those items that we have held onto for years and sometime decades. Like all those kitchen gadgets you either got as gifts or buy since they claim they will make your life easier. Or that old college sweatshirt you can’t part ways with since it brings back so many memories. What about those old high school yearbooks that you haven’t looked at since you graduated over 15 years ago?
What do we really need?
Whatever it may be we all have stuff we’re holding onto for some reason or another. It is in no way a bad thing to hold onto stuff, but over time how much stuff do we actually accumulate? Is it really adding to your life? Are all of those items making you happy? If not, then maybe they’re doing the opposite and taking away from your quality of life.
This is where our journey to minimalize the items in our life began. We made a promise to ourselves that we would only allow items into our house that added some sort of value or happiness to our lives. We began to watch the tiny house shows for inspiration and motivation to keep us on track on this new found journey. We realized that it’s not a destination we’re after but a new way of living an intentional life.
Have you become obsessed with tiny house living too? Is it changing your thoughts on how many possessions you truly need? Let me know in the comments below.