Today we have our last guest post in the recent series I've been doing. Each week for the past 4 weeks we have heard a story about downsizing, simplifying, and tiny-fying. You can see the other guest posts from this series here:
Today Terri Hosford has been kind enough to share her story with us. Terri is a member of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course. Her story has a lot that we can all relate to. I especially love Terri's idea of "right-sizing" - not too tiny, not too big, just right FOR YOU. Enjoy her article! Thanks for sharing with us Terri!
I am retired and a single female. I have had a health issues for the last couple of years. The effort of maintaining a home has become more difficult and costly. I have been interested in Tiny Housing for almost a year. The idea of having a smaller foot print and housing that is affordable, has gotten my attention. The idea of living more efficiently is intriguing. I have perused floor plans and pictures of hundred or more tiny houses less than 250 square feet built on trailers. The planned use of every square foot is mind-boggling, ingenious. It has also brought me to a concept of Right Sizing. This fits me better. Houses are 300-800 square feet. These homes are put on a permanent foundation. Most have full size kitchen appliances, a flush toilet, main floor bedroom and laundry.
I live in Michigan, my family is here. That, of course, is my first love. Isn't that the meaning of life, relationships? BUT my soul longs to be in the mountains. How could I possibly live in both places? Enter tiny house (right sizing). In a couple years my income will increase. Then I will start looking for property in the mountains. In the meantime, I need to prepare. This means I need to downsize! This is a process not an event!
There is another scenario, what if my health isn’t restored back to what it was a few years ago? I may not be able to keep up with my gardening, lawn mowing, and snow clearing. My laundry room is in the basement. I have difficulty doing the stairs now. If this appears to be permanent, then I will have to move into an apartment. I love my gardens and mowing the yard.
If I have to move to an apartment or decide on a small winter home, what do I need to do now? What is most important to me? Am I living to support a house to keep all this stuff? How much is necessary or gives my life meaning? Does stuff make me happy? If it does, what happens when it is all gone? If I had to vacate my house in 2 minutes and grab what was important to me, what would I grab? What would you grab? How much stuff do you need?
Things that I currently have that I don’t need in my "Right Size" house:
1) a dishwasher
2) a couch
3) a tub
4) a full size washer and dryer
5) computer desk and 3 computers (yes three)
5) 4 closets of clothes
6) a crammed-full linen closet, and bathroom closet
7) a dozen towels
8) various dishes, etc. including an 8 piece place setting of dishes
9) 90% of my Christmas decorations
10) a huge artificial Christmas tree
11) too many books, cds and dvds
12) paper clutter (most bills and statements are available on line)
13) numerous baking and serving dishes
14) cook books
15) umpteen store or reward cards (all can be added on one card)
16) various cleaning products
17) decorative sofa and bed pillows
18) excess of toiletries, make-up, jewelry
19) wardrobe accessories
21) a non-ending list of e-mails
Truth is this stuff does have some value, but it is weighing ME down. There are other people less fortunate, that need this stuff. I am on the board of a non-profit that helps people that have nothing. Now that I have started thinking, I feel selfish with all this abundance.
What STUFF do you have that you don’t need? Can you answer these questions? Are you living life intentionally? Are you just putting one foot in front of the other, still trying to keep up with the Smiths? Your neighbor? Your co-worker? Your cousin? Your brother-in-law?
Use to be, the more stuff, the bigger the house, the more toys, the more successful you are (look). A man with lots of toys dies, he still dies. What is your legacy? If you don’t have the answers, you have some serious thinking to do. Yes, this is serious. We don’t have a do-over in this life. Do you have a bucket list? Stop thinking someday and start thinking now! I don’t care if you are 20 or 75, live YOUR life not someone else's.
Please feel free to leave comments.