In part one of this series, I talked about the story so far: ditching the city and our stuff, living in an RV, and building a tiny house. In part two, I talked about downsizing and excess mental clutter.
In this final post, I’m going to talk about the five advantages of living small.
1. More time together, more time outside.
Even if we are all into our own world with a book or a game, it still feels like we are together because we are all in the same part of the house. We have always been an all-weather family, but with a smaller space we are even more likely to venture into the outdoors, even if it is cold.
We also made the conscious decision to be surrounded by trees, rather than city blocks, traffic, and shopping centers. I find this especially important when trying to evade the traps of constant consumerism.
2. We no longer have a mortgage.
We are not paying the bank or the landlord for our dwelling. We do pay utilities, but they are less than half the amount that they were for our 1900 square foot city house. While we are still examining what economic sustainability means for us, this has taken away some of the “need more money” pressure that is so prevalent in our society. It also feels good to know that we will have a place to live should any financial disasters occur, whether from a life event or a changing economy.
3. Less time devoted to “keeping house” (or worrying that it isn’t done).
It takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to deep clean our whole entire house.
In our previous 1900 sq ft house, we were never able to deep clean anything. We couldn’t even keep both levels clean at the same time. Also, everything is five steps away from where it should go. This eliminates things collecting in doorways, stairways, or special baskets until they can be taken into the part of the house where they belong.
4. The laundry, and other things, get put away right now.
In our household, laundry is my responsibility. I was good at washing the laundry and hanging it to dry, but not so good at putting it away. Now the choice becomes to climb over a laundry basket that is in the way, or put those clothes away right now. Also, the laundry seems like less of a mountain now that each of us has less clothes.
Clutter has always added to my stress, and less stuff makes having a tidy-ish house easier. It’s a lot simpler to put something away when finished when that place is five steps away, and there is a lot less of it to put away.
5. Less decisions and less stress overall
Simplifying things I use daily such as my closet, my documents, or my kitchen frees up the head space I need for what is really important. When everything isn’t bursting at the seams and I can find everything easily, I am happy to be in my space. Owning less clothes, and only clothes I love, means little time and effort spent getting dressed. Finding everything I need in the kitchen immediately makes it easier to cook healthy meals.