Tiny House Living
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Tiny House Living

"I don’t have room for a handbag.” When I spoke these words to my husband I couldn’t decide if it sounded ridiculous or progressive. We were on a vacation from tiny house living, having a fantastic time at restaurants, amusement parks, and outdoor living/venues. As with any touristy area we were bombarded with advertisements and low prices. My husband jokingly read a sign as we passed “handbags, $40 or less, real leather, stop by now!” “Do you need a new handbag baby?”

As I thought about the fact that I truly had no place to keep it I began to wonder about my living situation. Is it really practical to have so little storage that I can’t even purchase a handbag? Then comes humanitarian side of Chelsea, “of course it is practical, people live with dirt floors and no clean water to drink on a daily basis and you’re worried about where you could fit a new handbag?” This is when the realization occurred to me that this might be just the life lesson I had been needing. I had never experienced the “can’t have it feeling” when it came to reasonable requests. As it turns out, later that night I was happy to know that I still had that $40 dollars in my purse instead of a new handbag to shove in the closet when I got home.

Little lessons like that one continue to pile up the longer we live this way. Toys are a really difficult item for me. I like to buy Lily Grace new toys, I enjoy having new toys around to play with instead of playing tea party for the umpteenth time, and I enjoy taking her out and looking at all the new toys that line the shelves. As most of you know however, toys take up a lot of room and can be difficult to store neatly. So I was left with the choice of stop buying toys (um, no), get rid of a toy every time we buy a new one (when Lily lets that happen), or start buying outside toys.

I was a little frustrated with this at first, then I began to feel a little guilty and even a bit worried that maybe she wasn’t getting all of the exposure and sensory input she needed. Then it hit me how ridiculous I sounded (and yes, I do talk to myself like this quite often). She is two, she is happy wherever she is, she plays with whatever is around, she is just as happy helping me make cookies as she is playing with her little people, and it isn’t like I can never buy the child a toy! I just have limited options.

I am the one with the problem, I am the one who wants and wants and wants. She just likes to enjoy whatever she has and whatever is going on at the moment. I think about the hours I wasted picking up her toys when she was even younger. She doesn’t remember and will never care. As it turns out, I do things for me and claim that they are for her. I am sure I am not the only one who falls in this boat but it is easy to overlook it or not deal with it when we are as busy as most of us are. There is no overlooking things in a tiny house! Everything is right out there in the open all the way down to your character and motivations.

I have personally decided that living in a tiny house, especially with small children is not something I want to do for the long haul (not that I need a Mcmansion or anything but a laundry room would be nice). I am extraordinarily glad, however, that we are doing it now for the short term (1-3 years) because we are learning so much! When we do build our next house we will know what is important. We will not be shortsighted or dazzled with the unnecessary. We will be prepared, smart, united, and will not get ourselves into a situation where we are slaves to our mortgage.

Tiny house living has and will continue to set us up for success financially, in our marriage, with our kids, and in our jobs. It has brought a focus and clarity to our lives that is not always pleasant and often requires us to work on ourselves but is rewarding us with unbelievable growth. I highly recommend tiny house living to any young person. Had we started our marriage this way, we would not have wasted 5 years struggling monetarily and wishing everything were better, newer, and bigger. We would have just enjoyed each other, and that is what is most important. That is what you can never get back.


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