Living in a Honda Element & Downsizing E-course

matt and mariah

Hi Kent!

Thank you so much for posting about the CometCamper Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-course last week. We have an awesome group shaping up and I’m excited to get started!

I wanted to let your readers know that there are still a few days left to join the E-Course. When you sign up for the Tiny Transition + Downsizing class, you get:

  • 8 weeks of downsizing lessons and challenges (it’s like Downsizing bootcamp!)
  • LIFETIME access to the private class forum
  • Accountability, support, motivation and camaraderie from me and your classmates
  • The tools you need to simplify your home, mind, and LIFE starting right now.

I also wanted to clarify some things, since I’ve received emails about how the class works.

Once a week, you receive the lesson for the week. You can work on the course material at your own convenience throughout the week. Lessons include actions, tasks, challenges, reading, and more. There are no “live” calls that you must attend, since we are all in different time zones (and there are people in the class from all over the world!). Then, you have 24/7 (LIFETIME) access to the private class forum so that you can connect with your peers and myself, ask questions, get support and motivation, share successes, and meet people who share your ideas, values, and goals. The forum is my favorite part and the class agrees!

“”This class has single-handedly changed my thinking and life. The email course is rocking my world with the “how” to do this, the access to the associated group forum is invaluable. You could lurk and never post with this group and it’ll change your thinking and life.” – Andrea Mortensen

I love getting to know everyone through their journeys. We’re all here with you along for the ride! It’s amazing to see people making such REAL, TANGIBLE (and quite honestly very IMPRESSIVE) changes in their lives as a result of doing the class with a group of newfound friends. Last session, we had one woman quit her unhappy job in order to pursue more creative endeavors, right after reading a particular lesson! We’ve seen class members sell their homes, move into tiny homes and RVs, hit the road, and find real freedom in the span of 8 weeks. I’ve witnessed group members leave corporate life to volunteer full-time and work with animals, all made possible by radical downsizing. Each person’s story is unique, and it’s a real honor to be able to see all these people make courageous changes in real time. And you don’t have to have solid plans to “go tiny” to do the class – we have many people in the class just there to reclaim some sanity in their homes, minds and lives.

Downsizing is HARD. But you don’t have to do it all alone.

I went from living in a cluttered, messy, out of control 1500 sq. ft., into my 100 sq. ft. vintage trailer, and then into my 35 sq. ft. Honda Element micro-camper (that we designed and built) and it took me years to accomplish. It’s an ongoing process. It requires you to think critically and intentionally about what you want your life to look and feel like, instead of just going through the motions of work-sleep-spend money-repeat. 99% percent of the people you meet won’t accept the challenge.

element living

Will you?

You can join us in the next session of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course by registering here. Class begins on October 5th. I hope to see you there!

What recent “graduates” have said about the Tiny Transition and Downsizing class:

“In fact, I am more convinced than ever that taking this course to figure out how to ease into the whole downsizing process thoughtfully and gradually was one of the best moves I could have made, especially because of all the incredible support that this group provides in so many ways.” – Jack

“I took the challenge and am so glad I did. Even if you never “live” in a tiny house I found that the course helped me to look inside myself and found out all kinds of things about ME! I am truly grateful for the experience. You will find yourself very proud of what you will accomplish!” – Diane

“This course was fabulous! Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this. This is a lifestyle you clearly feel passionate about and I am very grateful for this valuable information and insight.” – AT

“I think your course is terrific, mainly because it gives all of us out here who are stressed to the max by our STUFF a direction, and a place to start. We KNOW we’re overwhelmed, but we don’t know what to do about it. So being given a coherent plan for attacking all of this STUFF, plus, for some people, “permission” to get rid of the extraneous junk is so freeing. My house now looks like a HOME, instead of a mess of stuff from one end to the other, thanks to your directions. It turned my life upside down and inside out for a while, but it was so, so worth every bit of hassle it took to get this taken care of. I think the money I spent to take your course was one of the best values I’ve gotten for a long, long time. And I can see that now that I’m on the path to minimizing/minimalism, which sort of naturally follows such a life changing event, whether I move into a Tiny House or not, my life has been forever changed for the better. And it’s just going to keep going that way. In a couple of words, THANK YOU. ” – Becky

“This class has single-handedly changed my thinking and life. The email course is rocking my world with the “how” to do this, the access to the associated private group is invaluable. You could lurk and never post with this group and it’ll change your thinking and life. Even if you just want to tread more softly on this beautiful jewel of a planet we live on, you will benefit from this course.

I’ve found my true fun self since I’ve been taking this course. My stuff was burying my life, and I had no idea that I’d done that to myself. The e-course, the readings, and the private class group together make for a powerful inspiration to keep going. The class is already paid for itself in less stress, less stuff, and heck, I’ve even lost weight! All because I’m realizing that I just don’t NEED a lot of things. While we may or may not move into an actual Tiny House, our house of 1,100 square feet is starting to look huge. We have SO MUCH SPACE NOW! I’m looking forward to a smaller house (and a smaller or NONEXISTENT mortgage soon).” – Andrea

matt and mariah eatingloading the elementthe element

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Clay - October 1, 2014 Reply

Do you work at a catholic school?

David Remus - October 1, 2014 Reply

Weight loss and “steroid alternative” ads, how sad. A little more focus on reducing our footprint through smaller shelter would be appreciated.

Living in a car is great when it’s voluntary.

You’ve done a great job until now presenting a wide variety of shelter possibilites, please don’t blow it with these ads distracting from the sharp focus presented here.

    Kent Griswold - October 1, 2014 Reply

    Thanks David, I’ll see if I can get those removed and shown differently. -Kent

    s - October 2, 2014 Reply

    David- why the criticism – just focus on the salient point (I didn’t even notice them)… So “tiny” of you (just a joke).

mike - October 1, 2014 Reply

I’ve inspected the honda element, to me it didn’t look like there was enough space to fully lie down…

The challenge of that is having somewhere (warm) to park and live every night. Does the course cover that?

    Mariah - October 1, 2014 Reply

    Hi Mike!

    We push the two front seats forward and our sleeping platform is exactly the right length. The back ends up being the exact size of a “full” sized air mattress. Totally sleep-able.

    Temp wise, we’ve slept totally comfortably in 20 degree weather, where it was snowing. We have insulated panels that keep us warm, and lots of wool blankets.

    The course is not specific to living in the Honda Element, but about downsizing to live in any smaller space. I’m always happy to talk about finding places to park though, it can be a challenge!

Eliza - October 1, 2014 Reply

I volunteer for a homeless organization, and I confess I winced when I read this post. As mentioned in the comment above, if this is a choice willingly made by the Honda’s owners, great. Unfortunately, I have met many people who, due to the loss of jobs and homes, ended up living in their cars, and it is not fun. In many cities it is difficult if not impossible to park a car and sleep overnight in it, even in my supposedly progressive West Coast town. The police will not only order the residents to move the car, but will issue a citatation. I was incredulous to learn that it is illegal to sleep in a car parked on a city street. Some of the clients I’ve talked to who have lived out of their cars say the only way to avoid being harassed by law enforcement is to park in a friend’s driveway or outside of the city limits, preferably on a rural lot (with the owner’s permission) or occasionally at a highway rest stop. Even if the car’s resident is able to find a legal place to park, there are safety issues, especially for women and children. Cars don’t offer much privacy; anyone can look inside and see who’s sleeping in there.

I realize this is offered as a creative alternative to people who want to get away from mortagage or rent payments or who want to live more simply: but living in a Honda Pilot is for a very small niche of the population, and not something all of us would do by choice.

    s - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Me as well. I am part of a group of people (estimated 29 to 35 million) who lost most all due to chemical injury (I was near dead at one point and many do die). Lost masters, ability to work so on and low SSD. Many live in cars/tents and it’s a nightmare. Just mere survival , the inability to cook well (try juicing in a car?) (and I had a strong background in wilderness hiking when younger).

    There are request on mcs forums (parents, friends) as to where one can park (some strangers driveway). I myself have this looming over my head and it’s pretty scary. (If I can even afford a car at that).

Jeff Hitchcok - October 1, 2014 Reply

Wow I travel for 3 months every year and I sleep in my Honda Element everywhere. I have had it for 12 years and I do everything in it. If you move the front seats forward there is a huge amount of space to sleep. Its just me though and i think it would be a challenge to have 2 people back there. I have crossed the country about 2 dozen times in my Element.

Teresa - October 2, 2014 Reply

This is interesting and I think living in an Element is fine if you do it by choice. It can show people how to downsize.
Maybe I missed it some where but living like that where do you find places to shower etc?

Bob Ratcliff - October 2, 2014 Reply

Living in a Honda works for you, but it sounds like the biggest gain you’re making is in how you’re helping people declutter their lives. I don’t care what size home a person lives in, sadly enough there’s a lot of people who simply haven’t found the joy in keeping a clean home clean. That includes of course includes organization. While getting rid of everything appears to be “your” release from the responsibilities of life, I’d like to challenge people to see there’s also the other side. Keeping precious items is our connection to history. Enjoying them even though it’s decades or even a hundred years old connects us with old values & relationships, not just new found ones. Isn’t there room for a bit of balance?

Jeff Hitchcock - October 2, 2014 Reply

I generally stay in campgrounds when I travel. Most are under $20.00 a night. I get a tenting site and there are always plenty of showers in the bath houses. In Florida I stay at a campground on the Withlacoochie River and its only $25.00 a week to primitive camp. Sleep in a tent or in my Element. Cook on a Coleman burner and shower in the bath house.

Senorita Morena - October 3, 2014 Reply

So it’s trendy now to live like a homeless person? GTFOH!

Edilma - November 26, 2015 Reply

This is really upiitflng *sigh* I dont like that I have this problem and I try to keep things in perspective because I know the world doesn’t revovle around myself but at times I just get the feeling that everyone is looking at me and judging me for my every mistake, it makes it hard to even interact with people without being even in the least anxious. This is upiitflng though and I will def turn my problems to the Lord because at this point he is the only one that can help me. Thanks for the post and your helping people like us by just talking about your situations and giving us all courage.

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