Wednesday, February 25, 2015

25/59: Blue T-Shirt, Jeans, Chuck Taylors + Tiny Houses


Here's another version of my uniform: a t-shirt and jeans. It's not broken, so I'm not fixing it.

On the decluttering theme, have you seen any shows or articles about the tiny house movement? I am totally fascinated. Tiny houses are (not surprisingly) super small, like 200 square feet, and they're a whole house, often for two people! 

The closest I can get to imagining living in such a small space is to think about when I used to keep most of my stuff in my own room in a shared apartment. It worked fine for me to have a smaller space for myself. I've always liked to spend a good amount of time by myself. I'm an introvert and I recharge by being alone, even though I do love to socialize. I could read, write, study, or watch tv in my room, but when I wanted to hang out with my roommates, I could always go into the shared spaces, too. And there were my friends and whole world outside, of course.

Now I have so much stuff, I couldn't fit it into one room. I love my stuff. It makes me feel safe, like I'll never run out of things to do. I feel prepared, which I like. But I'm on this journey to become more of a minimalist, and I think that some day I will be able to to imagine fitting in a much smaller house than we currently own. Or having a lot more empty space in our house. Just not cramming into 200 square feet. 

So it's not a goal of mine, to move into a tiny house. But I love seeing the designs of them, and the tricks to store things and make good use of the space. I love seeing the stories on Tiny House Nation, a show on the FYI channel. On this show, people who live in regular-sized houses downsize to custom-built tiny houses. I love seeing the homeowners getting rid of tons of stuff. I also love when we get to revisit the people after they've been living tiny for a few months and they reveal what problems they've encountered. 

What I don't love? Ugh, I feel so claustrophobic when they have their beds lofted and can't even sit up without hitting their heads. I also feel dread when one of them is asking for a space for herself or himself - you are never going to have any privacy in a shared tiny house!

These houses are all built on trailers so they can be moved, and they're usually between 200 and 300 square feet in size. It's crazy to think of a room in our house being the same size as a whole house! It's also weird to imagine hitching up your house and moving the whole thing to a new location. 

There's another show called Tiny House Hunting, wherein house-hunters tour small houses. The best part of that show is seeing all kinds of house designs in different sizes. It's also fun to see the reactions of the house-hunters as they realize just how tiny their new house is going to be, and how little they will be able to fit into it. 

I also like this blog, Reading My Tea Leaves. The author lives with her husband and baby in a tiny New York apartment. Before the baby was born, they lived in an even smaller one. It's fun to get a glimpse into their life and their strategies for living happily in a small space.

I think a big part of being happy in a tiny home is making use of outdoor and community spaces: getting out and about a lot every day. Well, I tend to be a homebody, and I love to come home and spend time on my hobbies. I love having a space that's just ours, and that feeling of escaping from the world and not being annoyed by other people. Sometimes I'm much more outgoing and adventurous, and other times I like to be at home a lot. I don't think I would enjoy my at-home phases as much if my whole family were crammed into a tiny house. Maybe I could have done it when I was single, but not now!

I think that imagining downsizing for a tiny house inspires me to declutter, because I can think about what I would choose if I were moving into a tiny house. Or what if I could only take what would fit in my car? What would I grab if there was a fire? The very most important things sort of float to the top of the pile, and it's easier to let go of the stuff that didn't make the imaginary cut. 

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