Mini-Home Living: Creating a Smaller Footprint in our Environment
For 8 months, I lived in a 29 foot RV bumper trailer with just a little less than 200 square feet of living space. I truly loved the simplicity of it and didn’t miss any of my personal items, except for my piano. I learned to downsize my closet to what I only needed and not buy so many grocery items! I had very limited storage and cupboard space in my mini-home. I found myself making use of my living space outside and soaking in the great outdoors. I enjoyed my quality of living while needing and consuming less.
Eight months ago, I sold my small home of 1300 square feet and packed most of my stuff up in a 10x10 storage unit. I thought I had done an amazing job of clearing out the clutter in this home and keeping it minimal. But it wasn’t until I had lived so minimally in an RV that I realized how much stuff of my stuff I didn’t need. As my helpers moved the items from my storage unit to the moving truck, I would stop them and read my labels and wonder how I ended up moving this stuff into the storage unit in the first place. I felt the burden grow larger and larger as each item was moved out of the storage unit. “What in the world had I stored for 8 months and why I am paying movers to move it from place to place?” I wondered. I started having them make a pile to aside for donation. Once everything was loaded up in the moving truck I stopped immediately at Goodwill and donated a 1/3 of my stuff I realized had no need for.
As a REALTOR, I have seen many clients feel the same burden when packing to move and going through their homes. Many times, I’ve seen family members go through the homes of their late relatives and get rid of EVERYTHING. We spend our adult lives accumulating items but for what reason? We have collections of things, items that have been passed down through families, HUGE pantries of food stuff. These items become a burden as we need larger homes to put them in, more garages, a storage shed, a storage unit and etc. There is incredible freedom in not having lots of things. I have found that I am able to keep my cost of living low and have the flexibility and financial freedom to do lots of things. I am able to save more and live simply. And most importantly, I have learned to enjoy the little pleasures in life.
I moved into another small space just recently – a 1200 square foot condo that will require little upkeep and maintenance. It has all the basic elements I need yet it doesn’t require a lot of things to fill it and I am able to live more sustainably, consume less in electricity, gas, water and other non-renewable items. By doing this, I am creating a smaller footprint in our environment and still able to enjoy all the wonderful things our 1st world country provides. I encourage you to do the same; evaluate the items you have collected and the spaces you have to hold these things. When was the last time you used it or even looked at it. In this world of consumerism, ask yourself, do I need this?