Living tiny is only partially about the actual tiny house/trailer/RV as an "object", and 90% of it is decisions you make, the attitude you have, and how you live your life day to day.
I see WAY too many people waiting to start living “tinier” until they buy the actual tiny house, but that mentality is totally backwards. If you’re serious about living a smaller life in a smaller home, you need to start changing your habits right this instant. Otherwise, you might be in for a total shock once tiny move in day finally arrives! Instead of thinking “having the tiny house will ALLOW me to do these things”, start to do them and then feel totally empowered to start living tiny right now!
STOP BUYING CRAP.
I mean it. Stop it right now.
Stop wandering around Target.
Stop using the excuse that you need it, or it’s on sale, or you’ll use it in the tiny house!
No, you won’t. Because you won’t fit in the tiny house with that extra crap weighing you down. When you’re out in the world being bombarded with messages of consumption and acquisition, just remember that the money you are about to spend on something useless could be building materials for your tiny home, parts for your vintage trailer, or repairs on your van.
It could be put towards hiring an electrician.
Or buying the trailer.
If that’s not motivation enough, think about how your dollar is POWER - you have the power in your pocket to add to a planet in crisis, destroy a culture that is being degraded due to the insatiable American desire, and to damage people and places you can’t even point to on a map.
OR, you could think rationally, save your money, and put that dollar back in your pocket where it belongs!
BREAK UP WITH YOUR TOXIC S/O.
Yep, I said it. I’m telling you right now. I’m looking you in the eye and giving you permission to ditch that jerk/ladyjerk that is holding you back.
The one that doesn’t support your dreams and laughs at your big ideas. If you’re lucky enough to be with your dream partner, then ignore this one. But if I’m talking to you, and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, you need to start seriously thinking about when you’re going to leave this prick.
When you get the tiny house? Will he or she conveniently just notice that there “isn’t really enough room, so…”? Probably not. A BIG part of downsizing is taking care of invisible, intangible demons. Bad relationships are a demon. You want to to downsize your life, you have to downsize the hard parts too. If that person isn’t in your dream life when you imagine it, what are you waiting for?
I swear, getting rid of emotionally damaging things is just as important as getting rid of physical stuff when you’re getting ready to move into a small space. Toxic relationships take up a lot of SPACE, in your mind, your energy, and your life. You don’t have room for that, because your life is going to be so full of things you care about you just won’t have time for the losers. If you don’t have the same priorities, it may be time to do some serious thinking.
LEAVE YOUR CRAPPY JOB.
The number one reason people want to live a tiny life! Most people that I speak with would like to leave their horrible, soul-sucking 9-5 and do work that MATTERS to them.
They don’t want to retire (most of them), they just want to do work that is meaningful and fulfilling. And that’s not too much to ask for.
You should 100% be able to comfortably leave that crappy job you hate and find work that speaks to you. In fact, I DARE you to do just that. Most likely, your first step will be downsizing your bills and expenses, so that you can make a stress-free transition. If you stop buying stuff you don’t need (see Step 1), you can save up a rainy day fund to make the move a bit easier.
We’ve had so many people successfully quit their day jobs and move on to more fulfilling work such as part-time volunteering, working with animals, and more as a result of doing the work in Tiny Transition and Downsizing. It’s pretty incredible to see, when it happens right in front of your eyes, real people making important life-changing decisions. Downsizing your work life, either moving to part-time or changing careers entirely, is completely possible with downsizing your life. I encourage you to start making a plan NOW for how you are going to escape, and then start taking action!
PEE OUTSIDE/USE A CLOTH PAD.
So, a lot of people ask me about my composting toilet. Essentially, a LOT of people want to know about how I pee and poop.
It’s cool, I’ve totally gotten used to talking to total strangers about my bowel movements and menstrual cycle, it’s pretty much my job at this point!
I really don’t mind because I love spreading the word about safe humanure use. One habit that I changed when I started living tiny was peeing outside a lot more. Sometimes, it’s just easier to pee outside. If you’re thinking about having a DIY composting toilet in your tiny home (which I recommend, it’s easy-peasy and way better than flushing!), you will need to get comfortable with your bodily functions.
You might suffer from somatophobia, and not even be aware of it! Somatophobia is the fear of one’s own bodily functions, specifically urinating, defecating, menstruating, and vomiting.
When you start peeing outside, you become more comfortable with your pee, how much you produce, and how to handle it. It’s like a baby-step towards DIY indoor composting toilets.
Ladies, take my advice and get yourself a P-style. That thing has saved my life many times. I can now pee WHILE I drive a car (I have had a lot of practice). Get one! Also for the ladies: simplify your needs and cut out one monthly expense and start using a re-usable cloth menstrual pad or menstrual cup. You will wonder why you waited so long to switch! Okay, enough about my lady parts (for now).
CUT YOUR CABLE.
There is nothing on television.
Well, that’s not true. There are advertisements that pander to you and speak to you like you have half a brain, insult your intelligence, and try to trick you into buying stuff you don’t want or need.
But, there’s nothing that you’re MISSING on television. One great way to start downsizing crap out of your life right now is to cut your cable. There has never been an easier time to cut your cable, you can still use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon On Demand and similar services to actually watch the CONTENT that you love, minus the stupid ads you hate.
If you’ve been putting this off for a while, you could be wasting 100’s of dollars a year (or more!). Take a moment and think about all of the things you would do if you weren’t tempted to watch bad reality TV shows. Read more books? Write poetry? Dance and do karaoke in your PJ’s? (Is that just me?).
Downsizing your life is a holistic process, your successes in one area motivate you to build on them and make radical, positive changes in other areas of your life. And it doesn't happen overnight.
When you stop buying stuff, you have the extra savings you need to take a more meaningful, less-stressful job (thus giving your old crappy job the finger). Then you start to feel so good when you’re at work, you wonder why your SO is bringing you down at home, and you’re ready to end that part of your relationship. All of the sudden you’re living free, peeing wherever the hell you want (because why not?)! Well, maybe not exactly, but you get what I mean. This whole thing is a profound and deeply catalyzing process - one that will challenge you and excite you and make you feel optimistic and sometimes frustrated.
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