I started with my home school schedule. I moved to the laundry/clothes. And now we are going to microsize our house…family style. I have found that a lot of the tiny house people are either single or have one-two children. I haven’t found any that have 5. There are only stories from the older generation. Most of the people I know that are well invested (i.e. paid off their mortgage, large savings, investments…) at some point lived in a tiny house. Our lives, now, are so transient and expectations so high that it is difficult for our generation to get traction and move forward (i.e. pay off our mortgage, large savings, diversify investments). As I said during the laundry post, our family is trying to start a home business. Having the mortgage paid off/ very low is a good step toward that goal.
Reasons for Downsize:
- Decease Mortgage: Most people that ask me why I want to downsize 7 people into 800 sqft, are completely shocked. Coming from the generation I have, it took me awhile to get to this point. The biggest reason for the move is to downsize the mortgage. “The borrower is a slave to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7 It is true! Have you felt the chains around your ankles, wallet and neck? …pulling at your sense of security, eroding your ability to give and keeping you from a more full life… Some of you are so amazing, you saw this well before I did. Good job!
- Decreased Materialism: The mortgage is not the only thing I’m hoping to decrease. I would love to simplify our lives. Everything you buy requires something from you (some things more then others). It takes time and energy to maintain, clean up, store and operate each item. No matter what that thing promises, you must calculate the total cost of ownership of every treasure you own. When we traveled across the United States one summer, life was simple. Everyone thought we were crazy for going camping all over the US with 5 children but it taught us the value of less. We had more time and energy to enjoy our relationships.
- Increased creativity: I have an extremely creative brain and less things help me focus. Have you ever noticed that a clean kitchen inspires you to cook. Well, same thing happens to me in every creative adventure. One of the reasons I have so much stuff, is that I can see at least 5 things that I could make out of every item I have. Though I highly support recycling and reusing, I couldn’t possibly complete even a quarter of the projects in this life time. I need to give them away for someone else to complete. Space savings is why I love pinterest. I can catalog my ideas and others great creations…virtually. Another problem is project jumping. I start a new activity before I clean up the other one and then I forget the first. It happens a lot with motherhood and homeschooling. Still finish what you start, before you start something else! (I’m mostly reminding myself.)
Larger House Dilemma:
A house is a container for people and their stuff. The smaller of the house, the less stuff each person can store. The hope is that “hoarding” will get squeezed out. So what’s the problem? The larger the home, the less you have to think about the things that come into and go out of the home. The working procedure is to get another storage box and think about it later. Big houses are largely created for square footage not functionality. In a small house your stuff is always in your face so, there is a great need for discernment (i.e. Is this object worth the space it’s consuming? Since there are 40 other things that could take its place.) For a long time I thought that I was organizationally challenged. Now that I am getting rid of stuff, I have noticed that I am very good at organizing. That is the only way I could get so much stuff in such a small space (1400 sqft). I have to have different thinking altogether to fit homeschool and cooking for allergies into a small house.
Emotion of Stuff:
Stuff has an emotional component. There are many sources for the emotion, but some examples are: inheritance ( I just want to point out that the person that died didn’t take it with them, and neither will you.), security (“Stuff” is a poor investment, since it largely depreciates and costs more to store then it gains.) , familiarity (You’ve had an item for a long time.) and creative homemade/store bought gifts from a well meaning relative or friends (What happens if they come to your house?). If you don’t use it, you don’t “need” it.
Our houses are increasing at an unsustainable rate to hold more stuff and less people. Stuff that makes grandiose promises of comfort and ease, but costs more energy and money to maintain and store then it pays back (in comfort or ease). My biggest example of this is our hot tub. I love hot water baths (We only have a shower). Getting a hot tub promised great comfort to me. I’ve been in it 4 times since we got it a year ago. Why? Daily and weekly chemical balancing procedures and seasonal water exchange is a lot to do. To top it off, we have ants that like it even more then I do. The promise of my hot water bath has been squished by the realities of life. And the question remains, even if all went well with the tub, is that where God wants me to spend my time? Be sure I’m not saying hot tubs are a sin. I’m merely throwing the question out there for us to think about.
My husband and I hope to record our microsizing experience. For now we have a facebook page called microsizing (click to go to the facebook page). Check it out!