Extract Junk, Inject Living
A key component of simplification, as we define the concept, is eliminating the burdens of excess materialism—mental, physical, and financial. While we don’t personally embrace a monastic lifestyle, or feel that it’s necessary to sell everything one owns and live in a hut in order to enjoy the benefits of a simpler lifestyle, we nonetheless understand the attraction of tiny home living as part of a broader effort aimed at achieving it.
As we’ve discussed elsewhere on this blog (read more, HERE), our life is more complicated than we’d like it to be. There is no doubt in our minds the burden some of our property and possessions create adds stress and negativity to our life. We’ve elected to enjoy the fruits of our years of labor for a while before deciding what the next chapter in our life will be, but we confess to far more than a casual interest in the myriad of tiny home shows that have popped up on HGTV and other cable networks in recent years.
We lived, very happily actually, in a little under 800 square feet in a Wheaton, IL high rise apartment building for several years during our transition to retirement. Very little time was committed to cleaning or maintenance, and the limited floor and storage space served as a determent to consumerism and waste. Instead of planning weekends (I still worked full time during the period we lived there) around chores, we tended to plan our free time around social commitments and entertainment opportunities. We even felt more free to just “do nothing,” since there was often nothing required of us other than answering our personal needs or whims.
Because of this positive experience, it’s possible we would consider downsizing our home and lifestyle in a major fashion at some point in the future. It’s unlikely we’d go as “tiny” as many of the individuals or couples featured on television have gone, but we could certainly see ourselves in a home half as big as we currently own. More importantly, we plan on continually reducing our possessions as a way of reducing at least the mental, if not the physical, burden unchecked materialism contributes to.
Over time, we hope to be able to meet some tiny house owners to learn more about how they live their tiny house lives, and how they benefit from it. We’ll do our best to chronicle these encounters so that readers will be able to share our learnings and understand the choices we make in the future. —Alan