I met Helen at a talk I did for a Ladies Dinner Group. She was captivated by the thought of decluttering and minimalism.
She was 84.
She sat and told me the story of her very first home as a new bride. It was a caravan in the English countryside, it was the 1950’s and life was still very simple. They had one or two pots to cook in, she washed dishes in a tiny sink and bathed her baby in it too. Her most cherished memories were in that caravan, because they were so happy.
Their life was so simple. Imagine a life with no social media (no phone! She had to walk to the local post office to make a call), no Kmart, Warehouse or $2 shops.
Their life was peaceful. They had simple routines, close connections with a few friends and family and occasional exciting trips to town.
Their needs were few. They had enough. Enough clothes, enough food, a cosy caravan.
Does it sound like she viewed her early years through rose coloured glasses? Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to achieve this kind of lifestyle, but the best possible version of it.
Helen had no choice (other than to live in her mother-in-law’s home). They saved hard for year and eventually moved into a bungalow. Compared to today though, their life was still simple.
You have a choice. You can choose to live simply. To no longer be overwhelmed by your possessions. To live with modern comforts (or not if you choose) but also to live with less.
Are you craving that simplicity?
Does the thought of living in a tiny, perfect, simple home fill you with joy? Let’s look at how you can start moving towards that dream.
Now is the time to start. If you’re planning on living in a tiny home at any point in the next few years start decluttering now. Start thinking about what you can easily remove from your home, right now. Repeated on a regular basis you’ll get a lot done well before the day that you’ll move in. That day often comes surprisingly suddenly.
The last thing you want to do is have to make decluttering decisions in a rush. Unless of course that’s how you roll.
Pretend you’re going on a really, really long camping holiday. Do you remember the freedom and fun you had on camping holidays? Now, imagine you’re moving to a huge, rather fancy, expensive tent, with storage. And a fridge, stove and a real toilet. It’s a bit like Glamping really…
From this perspective it’s much easier to choose what to take. Camping requires simplicity. The less stuff you bring with you into your tent/tiny home the easier it will be live in it.
Multi-purpose for multi-tasking. Finding new ways to do things is one of the fun bits of living more simply. If you think about how you live: cooking, what you wear, how you entertain, it’s easy to find a more efficient and space-conscious version.
Instead of a full dining table and six rigid chairs, a folding table and chairs will be more useful, for indoor and outdoor entertaining. Choose one or two large bowls or casserole dishes to act as serving, mixing and baking dishes. Look at the clothes you actually wear. The concept of a capsule wardrobe is worth investigating but often your clothes can be multipurpose without being too strictly limited (except by the size of your storage).
O.P.S. One element of reality you may have to accomodate when you decide to move into a tiny home is Other People’s Stuff. Your partner or children may not have the same concept of simplicity driving them as you do. The most likely point of conflict could be the things to which they are sentimentally attached. Giant stuffed unicorns and huge DVD collections are really hard to fit into a tiny home.
Assigning private storage space for each person is a great start and gives you both an idea of what can fit. If your O.P.S. belongs to adults who will not be living with you, now is the perfect time for them to take full responsibility for their belongings.
You know what you want, you know your dream. You can start to make it happen right now. Just make small steps in the right direction. Your tiny home is just around the corner.