We’ve been living in our tiny home for a little over two months now. Almost daily, we’re asked about how we like it, does it feel tiny? Are we enjoying it? Do the kids like it?
The answer is that we love it, totally love it. Of course there are a few downfalls or things we’ve had to get used to. I thought I’d sum up our past two months.
- Less space to clean, and collect junk. Cleaning is so much faster and more rewarding in a tiny space. Everything has a place and we’re doing our best to keep it that way.
- More time together. We spend a lot more time together as a family. Even if it just means we’re all in the same room at the same time. I enjoy watching the kids play together more than ever before and I find that Austin and I spend more time visiting and hanging out together after the kids are in bed because we can't just hide in separate areas and zone out on our devices.
- Money saved. I think we're both surprised by how much we have saved just in the past few months of living like this. Our housing expenses are roughly 1/4 of what they were and we find we're spending less in other areas too, just because we've cut back all around.
- Less stress. Directly related to all of the points above. We're happier, more carefree.
- More community. We live on a property shared by several other homes. We love everyone in our "neighborhood" and it feels good to be surrounded by people who know and love us. Our kids love them all and we have enjoyed the benefits of having babysitters close by! As I write this, the kids are over playing with the neighbor boy, I can hear them laughing and playing together from our house!
- Outside time. We all definitely spend more time outside, our yard here is completely fenced in and the kids see it as an extension of our home. We eat many meals at our picnic table and Austin often works on homework in our yard. Many times, they're outside playing before breakfast and I pull them in in the evening to scrape off some dirt before tucking them into bed.
- Less space. Duh. But really, there are things I didn't think about before living this way. Where do the groceries go? We can only shop for a week (max) at a time and can't purchase many things in bulk. We did a Costco trip a few weeks in and spent the next week trying to figure out where to put things!
- Sleep. The kids have actually been sleeping quite well, but it's still a challenge in a small, doorless space. We tiptoe around when (if) Abram naps and it's impossible to put the kids to bed at separate times.
- Small kitchen. In reality, our kitchen isn't that small. It's totally doable, but it does get cramped when I've got a pot on the stove, something in the oven, veggies to chop and kids at my legs. As we live here longer, I have no doubt that I'll get better at utilizing the space.
-Toilet. I still love our compost toilet, don't get me wrong. But there's nothing quite the like the satisfaction of a good flush after 'making a deposit'.
- Laundry. Our laundry machine is quite small, so I find that it's running almost constantly. As soon as clothing begins to pile up at all, the whole house starts feeling cluttered and messy.
- More messes. Yes, I know I said we spend less time cleaning and that's still true. But it's also true that 3 bowls, a spoon, an empty cereal box and a shopping bag make the kitchen look messy. After a recent camping trip, the house was so messy we could barely walk. I couldn't understand how we took so much stuff this time, then realized we didn't It just looked like more in our small space.
- Bad moods. When any one of us (kids included) is in a bad mood, we all suffer. There are no doors to slam, no bedroom to retreat to, no space to sit with a tantruming toddler to give them (and everyone else) a break.
In truth, most of the things we complain about are no big deal and I love the habits that we're getting into; cleaning up messes right away, only buying what we absolutely need, learning to address conflict right away, being aware of our waste, spending more time outdoors than in and enjoying each other.