HOW DO YOU START LIVING TINY?
The truth is no one can answer that question, but you! We all have our motivations in life to change how we are living. For me, the motivation was breaking free from overconsumption. It seems like the longer I live the more stuff I accumulate without purpose. Why do I have 30+ of anything when there are only 4 of us in the house? Why do I have totes and bags full of clothes that I have never worn more than once? The list of examples could go on and on, but the answer is the same for all because I have room for them.
If I didn’t have stuff in my average two-story middle-American house it would seem cold and unwelcoming. It didn’t dawn on me until recently that my pathology was backward. I shouldn’t be worried about filling my space, I should create a space for what I have. Turns out there are major benefits for not only me, but our planet to gravitate toward a minimal versus material thinking.
- There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times).
- While 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them and 32% only have room for one vehicle. (U.S. Department of Energy).
- Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items. The research found we lose up to nine items every day—or 198,743 in a lifetime. Phones, keys, sunglasses, and paperwork top the list (The Daily Mail).
These quick stats from articles highlight not only the surface of our “normal” lifestyle but my own day-to-day nuances of being part of the problem. Should we even focus on the staggering information about how our overconsumption and instant gratification lifestyles provide undeniable and unstable ramifications for future generations? Yes, but not this second. Like my closets, like my garage, these larger problems need to be identified and broken down in a systematic fashion. So, for now, I’m going to focus on what I can do to benefit my own life and happiness and hope that inspires and transpires into others changing their lives as well.
Even though I can’t fix the world today, I am going to follow the same kind of solution style to tackle my own overwhelming problems.
I HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF
I am a mom, and I would be a millionaire if I had a penny for every time, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of laundry, dishes, and overall house clutter. I would get upset because it is too much to keep up with.
But I never stopped to think it was because we had too much stuff, I was just failing as a mom. I didn’t stop to say you know if we only had 10 cups only 10 cups could be dirty. An article from medium.com states, “with fewer belongings, your house becomes easier to clean, and the things you own to become more accessible since you no longer have to dig for them. You focus better, become more efficient, and are more discerning about what you do bring into your home. Leo Babauto and Joshua Becker, who’ve authored books on mindfulness and minimalism, and Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of Netflix film, The Minimalists: Less Is Now, all swear that decluttering has improved their quality of life.”
Like with anything if you change too fast or for the wrong reasons it will not be a lifelong meaningful change. Start small and start with yourself. There is no right way of living. I am starting by going through my house and decluttering. I am convinced this is going to take several times per room to make sure everything serves a purpose and has a place in our lifestyle. Once that is achieved only then can I get a grasp of what space we actually need.
I also want to start exploring what it means to be in a tiny space for periods of time. That may mean looking into RV’s or vans that we can take on long trips
LIFE IS A JOURNEY
While I am on this path to getting control over my overconsumption in my house, it has me in a space of what else can I reduce my footprint are there other ways I can stop being part of the global problems and be more self-reliant? Yep! But where and how do I start, (again)? Realizing what it means to actually get “OFF THE GRID.” Even if my house is now decluttered, we are still overconsuming utilities, food, water, and sanitation services. So, I may be starting here but my journey is going to take me to my goal of clean sustainable living OFF-GRID. It may be years from now, but I am happy with starting somewhere.