One reason we were excited about tiny living is because we wanted to spend less time on housework and more time enjoying our house.
The truth? We do chores just as often as we did in our "big house"
The difference is that our chores now are tiny chores.
Our washer/dryer is often running all day long, as a load takes a lot longer than in a normal machine. Washing takes about 70 minutes and drying (if we don't hang it on the line) takes up to two hours. It's not unusual for me to do 2-3 loads a day, but they're tiny loads so it doesn't feel overwhelming. We can't let laundry pile up like we used to because we just don't have the space (or as much clothing!). We have one laundry basket that's usually stashed under our bed. We never put clean laundry in the basket, we fold it and put it away straight from the machine. This has always been my least favorite job, but it's a lot more manageable now that one load is 1/4 the size of a normal load.
Lulu often puts their laundry away, since they each just have one dresser drawer it's much easier for her to help. We've downsized our clothing quite a bit since moving in. We still had room for all of it, but we there were things we weren't wearing and we don't want to keep anything that's not loved.
The kids' room gets messy almost instantly. They pull out their toys and the small open floor space is covered. The good thing? They can also clean it up in minutes. And? They do! At 20 months, Abram is able to clean their room almost entirely on his own. All of their toys easily fit in three bins. I wanted to make it easy for them to know where things go and for there to be room for it all.
When I hear that ominous crashing sound as they dump out every bin of toys, I don't cringe (as much) because I know that they can all be picked up quickly and easily as soon as they're done. We recently added a few toys when we found a large bag of Playmobil at the thrift store. As soon as we brought it home, we sorted through it, got rid of broken pieces, toys that didn't belong and things that wouldn't fit in the bin.
I honestly think they enjoy their toys more now than when they had more. Recently, Lulu was playing with some small toys we had set aside for her to play with when Abram was napping. When we asked her to put them away, she chose to get rid of them instead. No tears, it wasn't a punishment or consequence, she just realized she hated the process of picking up all those tiny pieces and she'd rather get rid of them. Austin and I were skeptical and hid them away instead, thinking she'd want them back. It's been a few weeks now and she's totally happy with her choice. The first time she found a piece of the set we'd missed, I expected her to remember them and be upset that they we gone. Instead, however, she brought to me and asked me to get rid of it like the other ones.
Just like in our old house, I feel like I'm doing dishes all day long. However, I never do more than a rack at a time now. Not because I'm a slacker, but because we don't have more than a rack! We got rid of all of our dishes when we moved and bought a set from IKEA. I love knowing exactly how many we have of each item. We always know where they are, instead of "losing" 3 glasses on our nightstands, we search the house if there's a missing one!
Because we're pretty careful with our water usage, we do try to wait until we have a sink full of dishes before we wash them.
We make our bed every morning, I can't stand it if it's not made. Since it's right in our living space, it makes the whole house feel cluttered and messy.
While it's true that our tiny home didn't come chore free, cleaning 250 sq feet takes a lot less time than cleaning 1000+ sq feet. We can easily clean our whole house (actually clean, not just fake clean. You know what I mean) our whole home in 30 minutes or less. Austin and I will often put a 30 minute show on for the kids and clean like crazy while they're occupied. We're almost always done before they are.
Yes, it gets messy quickly but I feel so much less stressed when I see the mess because I know it can be cleaned up just as fast!