Our First Year of Tiny Living

A Year of Tiny Living

Our first year of tiny living has expired and it’s been full of surprises; I’ve learned a lot and discovered a minimal lifestyle comes with challenges.  One being judgement and how to respond can be complicated.

This wasn’t actually a shock because Robert and I have never lived like the rest of the world.  It’s interesting, when you take a path that’s different from others many also believe it’s a phase.

Let me begin by saying Tiny living for us isn’t a phase.  Historically most homes from 40- 50 years ago were very modest unless you had a large family. So, what happened?  I’m not really sure, houses got larger and families got smaller, go figure?

Picture of Decisions

But first imagine this, two adults, a 90 lbs. coon hound and a 200 square feet RV all living under one roof. Could you do it?  Well, there have been days when I wanted to fold only to discover having a shed has been a huge blessing.

The decision to temporarily move into our 23 ft. RV was mine and that was because I didn’t know what kind of Tiny house I wanted.  The square footage was figured out but everything else was a blur and since I didn’t know if Delta County would be our last move I wasn’t sure how comfortable I wanted to get.

The funny thing is I’m still trying to figure that out…  I love the countryside but sometimes being an outsider in a tight knit community isn’t always the most comforting.

Which is interesting because I was born and raised in a small town; we even raised our kids in a small town for a while and it was a very similar experience.

The reality is the grass is never greener on the other side of the fence, every place large or small is covered in flaws.  In a small community those flaws feel more like large cracks because a lot of time is wasted on what other people are doing.

To lift the fog, I directed my attention towards positive thinking and that’s when all sense of negativity moved on because I stopped listening.

Sorting through and figuring it out.

Living minimal is grand and I’m in the mix of figuring out a house plan that works for us.  This lifestyle doesn’t weigh us down which means it’s been a huge blessing.

I guess when you go from life with kids to an empty nest at some point you realize it doesn’t take much to exist in this world.  The more you have, the more tied down you become which also means less time for the things that inspire who we’re called to be.

So much of our life is wrapped up in stuff that we forget we came into this world with absolutely nothing.

These are thoughts I’ve pondered the past year that helped me grow and get through some difficult times because living tiny isn’t easy and it definitely isn’t for everyone.

Things that I do like about Tiny Living

  • It’s brought Robert and I closer together -which I didn’t think was even possible.
  • Cozy – I love that even though I don’t like small spaces it’s very comfortable and cozy.
  • A Smaller Fridge – We don’t like leftovers, this forced me to cook in smaller portions and not waste food.
  • Easy to Clean – I only spend an hour or less each week doing regular house cleaning.
  • Less Storage – This has helped me narrow down the number of products I bring home so I’m not being wasteful.
  • Faster to cool and heat – It doesn’t take very long to get the room temperature correct and the electric bill is always under $50
  • Organized – Everything is easy to find this I LOVE!
  • It’s also helped me get back to basics.

Miss my kitchen

With everything that I like about this way of living there is one thing I miss more than anything and that’s my kitchen.  If I had just one more counter for food prep life would be so much easier, so much easier…

Which is why we decided to finish turning the shed into a house so we can move in.  Over the summer it became perfectly clear I was seeking an environment with more space and felt less temporary.

Oh, and the additional 150 square feet will be very welcoming.

Making decisions

Finding what works takes time and I’ve noticed clutter can turn a small space into chaos within seconds.  Everything needs its own place especially if you like a neat and tidy home.

I found clutter is nothing more than a state of confusion and when you remove it everything becomes crystal clear.

For the most part I think that’s why many folks can’t ever imagine living Tiny.  There’s a lot of letting go, I mean a lot but what so many can’t see or even comprehend is there’s a great deal of personal growth that follows.

Personal Growth

For those considering the idea of Tiny living I recommend looking at several different options in person, figure out what you can or cannot live without and choose the square footage it will take to achieve that.

Tiny living is based on 500 square feet or less.  We always liked the idea of 399 square feet for several reasons but mostly because it’s sufficient for two people.

Robert hasn’t struggled at all with living Tiny, he’s incredibly happy and says all the time, “I love our life.”  He’s been amazing at making our first year a success, even when I had days I thought it wasn’t working. Thankfully I married an awesome man who responds with a smile and says, “Whatever you want darlin…”

Our first year of Tiny living brought forward a sense of contentment; I’ve figured out what our long term plans look like too. For the time being we need to get our ideas together for Quail Grove and finish getting the shed converted into a Tiny Home.

Our First Year of Tiny Living - what we liked most and what we found to be difficult#TinyLiving, #TinyHouse

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10 comments

  1. Patti says:

    Oh Carole. What a beautifully written piece. You and Robert are truly blessed and I so enjoy reading about your journey. Sometimes I even get chills which is a good thing. Keep on doing what you are doing and writing about it.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you so much Patti and I’m glad you enjoyed. This last year has been so tough just on many levels but I’m finding the sunshine is the light that makes me keep smiling and moving forward. Thanks for reading you’re awesome!

  2. Christine says:

    I’ve been waiting SOOO long for this post! Just couldn’t wait to hear how this past year with all the BIG (small) changes had affected you and Robert and if you were still on the same path. I’m so glad to read that even though you’ve had your struggles the decision you made a year ago was the right one! You’ve certainly inspired me along the way. This past summer we’ve donated a lot of our ‘stuff’ and paired down quite a bit. We are even seriously considering selling our BIG house and building something that will fit our needs (and age in the future) much better! Thank you so much for sharing all the ups and downs of your journey! I’m looking forward to another year of inspiration!!

    1. Carole says:

      That’s good to hear – it’s nice when y’all take the time to share because it really inspires me. You’re thinking smart because I was honestly amazed at how little we really need to survive course I sometimes think we might be a little beyond practical. LOL

      I plan on sharing our Shed to Tiny Home conversion too so maybe that might help you get some ideas too. There are so many things Robert and I want to accomplish and we discovered the home thing was tying us down. Hugs and always great to hear from you!

  3. Julie says:

    Carole,
    I again, can’t believe how much we have in common! Your thoughts about small town living, after even growing up in what was considered a small town, are my thoughts EXACTLY! I, too, have struggled with this and have tried to cope with the negatives. I wish I could say I am the same person I was five years ago but the new me has had to deal with some hard truths. Some minds just cannot think outside county lines and especially competitive women can do some real damage to people’s lives. You have your intuition for a reason. I have learned to trust in mine and to heck with what anyone thinks, but easier said than done! You follow what your heart is telling you and like you already have, turn those differences into something special. You’re a trend-setter, not a follower! Best of luck
    Julie

    1. Carole says:

      I agree – “easier said than done” but it does feel better in the long run doesn’t it? Intuition is a blessing and I it leads us down a better path and all that small town stuff well better to just smile and wave. Never really thought of us as trend setter but it sounds good and having a direction in life is what keeps us humble. Good to hear from you Julie and hope your week is great. Carole

  4. daisy says:

    What great insight you give to us. It sounds like you and Robert are the type of folks who make the best out of any situation. An attitude adjustment can make a big difference. So glad you are working through everything and finding the best solutions for your happiest life.
    Continued blessings…

    1. Carole says:

      We do try to make the best out of everything because each day is a blessing. Sometimes I think we forget we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. This last year has been good, an eye opener and a reminder that God is always there guiding our way.

  5. I’ve so enjoyed reading about your adventure. You’ve done something very few people could even attempt, and here I am, cheering you ever step of the way. I think you and Robert are awesome.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Maria – super sweet and y’all are awesome too!

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