Hey Tiny House squad! We recently met a wonderful woman, Brynn, who has made the jump to go tiny with her family of four. After getting to know one another, we concluded that we just had to have her experiences and lessons, triumphs and tribulations documented on her tiny house journey. As such, we have a four part series of her thoughts and experience going tiny!
Here is Brynn's 3rd piece on her tiny house experience, Three Things Tiny Life is Teaching Me! If you've ever wondered how to downsize, this is a great piece for you!
After living tiny for nearly a year with my husband, two kids, and our pup, we have learned a lot about what it truly means to downsize and live tiny. We absolutely love our 300 square feet on wheels and count going tiny as our best decision we’ve ever made as a family.
Here is what tiny life is teaching us:
Don’t Make Fear-Based Decisions: If I never went after a dream or a goal when I was afraid of the risk, I’d have never accomplished anything.
In talking to thousands of people across the country who have aspirations of simplifying their lives or going tiny, they all could list a hundred fears: But what if there isn’t enough space? What if I can’t find a place to park legally? What if people think we are crazy?
We could build a tiny house community out of ‘what-if’s’ but the common thread among those of us who have taken the plunge is that it is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Don’t let fear guide your decision making or you’ll be left with nothing to show for it but regret.
Presence Over Presents: We aren’t the type of parents who buy our kids a lot of toys and things, but because both sides of our families are large, it is nothing for us to bring a car load full of toys home after a birthday or Christmas. While we teach our kids to serve and give back, it just seemed like we were constantly giving away things.
We realized this had to be our children’s decision and not ours. We had our son lay out each type of toy, count them, and divide them by half. We repeated this process about four times before moving and have already done it once again since going tiny. He took to it much more quickly than I imagined. And, as the book explained, I was surprised by the freedom with which he cut things loose. Some things were harder for me to let go than him!
What we are experiencing is a freedom from things we thought we needed. I thought I needed to hold on to momentos from my past and our son thought he needed every little trinket and toy. My husband and I thought we neededtime to unwind after work with a mindless TV show, but now we rarely even turn on the TV and we don’t have satellite or cable.
We are, however, making our own memories. Every weekend we are experiencing our community, visiting new places, being active together every chance we get. We are getting dirty, building things, learning things, and enjoying building our tiny lives together in a big way. It is pretty incredible and costs next to nothing.
3. Intentionally Be Intentional: Admittedly, this is not my spiritual gift. Emotions make me clammy and uncomfortable. However, allowing myself to let go a little is kind of amazing.
Since going tiny, we have freed ourselves from the mundane but necessary parts of everyday life. We no longer have a yard to mow, fence to fix, barn to clean, house to sanitize from a week of baby goo, mountains of laundry to wash, forget about, rewash, smell to make sure we didn’t leave it too long, and then forget about in baskets for the upcoming week.
All of that is gone. What we are left with is ourselves and each other.
Our job now—our primary goal—is to be together and enjoy life. Yes, I have to go to a full time job that is more stress than they pay me for, but I am able to focus during my ride home on doing my best to rid myself of what is leftover so I can give my best to my husband and kids when I get home.
Now we can let ourselves have time to feel things, discuss things, and experience things we just couldn’t or didn’t make a priority before.
We are intentional about what we choose to eat, where we choose to visit, what we teach our kids; every decision is intentional because we have freed ourselves up to have the timeto make those choices on purpose.
I still don’t do it perfectly. However, we sit around the table together and we talked about school, our day, what we learned. We are intentional.
I can now read bedtime stories to my kids each night and kiss boo-boos and remind our son who struggles with his emotions that mommy does too and that’s okay. It is a change I may never have experienced otherwise.
Transition is never easy, but the liberation that is being born from this type of simplicity is indescribably beautiful.
- Brynn Burger