You are a tiny house fan, but building or buying one is not in the cards. Maybe you just can’t convince your significant other, or you don’t have the necessary upfront funds. No matter your deterrents for not moving into a tiny house, you can find ways to transform your thinking and current space to get more satisfaction.
So why do people want to go tiny? There are many reasons, but financial, environmental and stress concerns are among the most common. The tiny house movement is centered on this concept of self-empowerment, of taking direct control of your life and your quality of life. The tiny house is a tool. How can you use your current home as a tool to achieve your financial and lifestyle goals?
By living more intentionally, we all can achieve a more fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle. No matter your house size, here are seven ways to enjoy the benefits of tiny living:
1) Look at your space with fresh eyes.
Take a look around your current home. Take note of all the things you like and appreciate. Having a roof over your head is not something to take for granted, even if it’s not a dream home. I find that nothing is more centering than a good gratitude exercise. Now take a look at what can be improved. Ask yourself, how can you make your space work harder for you? Small changes can make a huge difference, from tidy organization to new shelving. Steal creative space-saving storage ideas from the tiny house design. An often overlooked storage opportunity is vertical space. Maybe that dead space behind the door is perfect for a vertical shoe rack (you guys know I love my shoe rack!). Look for ways to make your space feel more inviting and better reflect your personality.
2) Downsize your stuff!
Just because you’re not living in a tiny house, does not mean you can’t embrace minimalism. As Joshua Fields Millburn puts it, “the easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it”. Decluttering is a great place to start. Focus on one room at a time and get rid of the easy pickings in each room; stuff easily identified as junk. Then take a second sweep and third, identifying items that you don’t use or even like. Item by item and layer by layer, downsizing can become exhilarating. For me, as I decluttered my space, my old 900 square foot house, I began to unburden myself from the noise that was cluttering my mind. It was a healing process, an act of self-love. I was letting go of things that were holding me back, and keeping me from growing. The downsizing process enabled me to see and feel each item for what it was–either something that I loved dearly, something that was crucial to my daily living experience or something that was just taking up space.
- Becoming Minimalist blog by Joshua Becker and his books
3) Reduce your expenses. Avoid debt.
The best way to sustain yourself financially is to reduce your expenses. A surefire way to reduce stress. To do this, begin by checking your shopping habits. Daily Starbucks lattes can really add up. Tracking your spending can help you identify small purchases that are eating away at your monthly income. Before making clothing or household purchases, ask your self, “do you love it; do I need it?” If not, why buy it. This will help keep your consumerist urges in check. When it comes skipping unnecessary purchases, like cheap junk or excess clothes, you are helping to divert waste from the landfills too. When you do need something, maybe you find it used. Reuse is one of the best ways to help reduce waste. With your saving, use your money on things that add value or fun to your life. Relationships and experiences are better than things—hands down.
4) Waste not want not.
Be aware of your water and energy usage. I have really enjoyed how tiny house living has made more involved in my houses energy and water systems. Awareness is the first step to conservation, like not running the water why you brush your teeth and turning off lights you’re not using. Conservation equates to cost savings too
5) Embrace everyday adventure!
I have found that whether you travel or stay put, you can enjoy everyday adventure by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Get outside more; don’t hideaway inside your house! Meet your neighbors. Invite them over for a potluck. Seek out opportunities to get involved in the community; volunteer, attend local events, join a Meetup. Just by starting conversations with folks you don’t know or trying something new, you can make friends and have more fun.
6) Simplify by saying no.
It can be challenging to say no. Of course, helping others can be rewarding. But all too often, we overburden ourselves with too many commitments. If saying yes doesn’t feel fulfilling and makes you feel overwhelmed, then politely decline. Prioritize your well-being and valuable free time by putting yourself and your family needs first.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
7) Shake off the mold and redefine what personal success looks like to you.
Don’t let social pressures, advertising messaging and idyllic social media imagery dictate what success and happiness mean to you. You only get one life. It belongs to you, so do you. Ultimately getting to know yourself is essential to crafting a satisfying, sustainable lifestyle and home that’s just-right for you.
-Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog Contributor
My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road two years for our documentary and community outreach project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.