Living simply, going tiny.

You don’t really realize how much stuff you’ve accumulated until you have to pack it ALL up to move.

When we moved just about 12 months ago, I had 3 garage sales within 2 months, filled 4 cars worth of loads to the good will, and overflowed my trash barrels every single Friday. And I was (or thought I was) a tidy and organized person. Nah kid. Seriously where did all this crap come from?!

Its been a almost a year since we’ve been in the RV, living on the land. Through this time I have gotten rid of even more stuff. We don’t need 10 dinner plates in here, I have to hand wash everything, so 4 is just fine. We don’t need 8 coffee mugs (but I love my mugs!!), 2 works. My point is, it’s really prioritizing my thought process on buying things and holding on to things. So let’s break it down.Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Are you a hoarder? Or are you just a consumer? Or maybe you’re both!

Hoarding-

I feel like people usually hoard because they feel some sort of emotional attachment to things. That “thing” has a certain memory that goes a long with it, and if you toss it, your throwing away the memory. But I try and remember, I don’t want to store up our treasures here on earth. Our treasures don’t and shouldn’t lie in things. Make memories with your family and with your friends, write down those memories in a journal or note book, and most importantly I ask God to give me a are heart of contentment.

Consuming-

Ah well, we all do it. In this need and want world we live in, it’s one of the hardest things to stay away from… over buying. I shared on my stories a few weeks ago how I walked into Target and stood there for an hour. Trying to talk myself into getting something from their new line. While at the same time, talking myself out of buying something, because I don’t need it, I don’t have room for it, and I don’t need to spend the money on it. So you know what I did? I came home, looked around at all that had, looked at my kids, and felt so happy. Joy comes from within, not new pillows and that really rad vase on the end cap.

Am I saying you can’t EVER buy anything?? Absolutely not. One rule I try to stand firm on is if I bring something in, something has to go out. So there is no room for hoarding and it makes me think before I make a purchase, “what would I trade for this?” Plus, for me its a condition of my heart. Why am I feeling like I “need” that? Living in the RV has sort of tied my hands behind my back and forced me to be in a place where I can’t consume. Making me realize, Im so much better without it. My family is better without it and our home is better without it.

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Some Practical steps to living simply and tiny:

  1. I already mentioned my rule about getting rid of something if I bring something in. Thats such a great one, not only do you really think before the purchase, but I tend to really love whats in my house because I can actually see it and enjoy it. Its not covered with a bunch of other stuff. Making things inside your home, pieces that stand out.
  2. This is for the tiny dwellers, removing groceries from their boxes. Wow, what a waste of space and SO much trash. Our recycle barrel is almost full after one trip to the grocery store. I take everything out of the box and if it doesn’t seal, I throw it in a ziplock. Thats really how we make everything fit inside of out tiny pantry space.
  3. Storing off season clothes somewhere else. This can be under your bed in a bag, in the garage or in a box in the attic. But what I like about this is it helps you to focus on what you have inside your closet so when you get dressed you’re not as overwhelmed. Also its great for the process of cleaning out. Since those clothes have been gone for a few months, when they get pulled back out, you can more clearly decide if you missed them or not. If you didn’t, get rid of them.

 

The biggest point of this goes back to the top. Get rid of stuff. I promise you, you will feel so free without all of it. Keep what you love, think before you buy. That’s how we’ve managed to live tiny and happy for the last year.

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21 thoughts on “Living simply, going tiny.

  1. ❤️❤️❤️🙌🏼 All things we’re trying in our home!! We’ve been purging like crazy people. Because I want to enjoy my family! I don’t want to take time away from them to keep just shifting STUFF around!

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  2. How did you decide what things to keep/get rid of with your children’s things? We have 6 kids and live in a small two bedroom house. I love to organize and declutter. But I have found that I sometimes hurt my kids feelings when I periodically go through toys and get rid of some of them. I do the same with the rest of the items in the house and my kids know the why behind my “madness,” but wondering how it has worked with your family. Also, what do holidays and birthdays look like in the area of gifts for your kids?

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    1. So when we moved it was kind of like… this is it we don’t have an option. What a did though was lay out all of their toys in categories. Like cars (they had 100) ok boys.. you can each pick 2. But when we moved they each got a shoebox and could fill it with whatever they wanted. My oldest picked LEGOs and the two youngest just wanted stuffed animals. For bdays and holidays we just do experiences. Which they really seem to enjoy. I try and allow for fun surprises at the $ spot at target.. so they can have a little bouncy ball or whatever they pick. Those things are cheap and they usually play with them outside or they get lost.

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  3. Love this. I’m actually taking a year long sabbatical from buying things we don’t need-turns out, all you really NEED is food, shelter, water, and some basic clothing. I call it my Counter Consumerism Challenge. It’s hard, especially bc I’m creative and love decorating our home and changing things up often. But I’m learning gratitude along the way:) and finding more time for the important things! Thanks for sharing your tips!

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  4. I love the book rack! I feel like I’m constantly purging things in our RV. My daughter is a collector so its been a little tough getting her to let go of things but she’s a work in progress, lol. Having three kiddos and a dog in mine has taught me a lot about minimalism.

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  5. We are doing a major purge right now, and I am shocked at how much stuff we have managed to accumulate in such a small house. These are good tips! I especially love the one about food packaging, and we often do the same thing.

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  6. do you have any bulk stores near by? perhaps you could purchase your dry goods from bulk bins in your own reusable containers and cut out the middle man of taking away all the packaging? a la zero waste style?

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    1. We do have a Costco. With the dry foods I still try and buy healthy-ish food so that usually isn’t sold there. We just recycle all the cardboard. It is pretty silly though how much waste is on packages

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  7. What to do when your adult children continue to store things in your home? I know your children are young , but you offer such good advice as to limiting material goods.

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    1. I’m not at that stage yet, so it’s hard to say. But if it’s something reasonable I’d be cool or for a short time.. but I don’t think I’ll be a storage unit for my kids.

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  8. I am new to the idea of trying out an RV. We have a piece of property on a lake in north Alabama and haven’t decided if we want to build or establish a small home or RV on the property. I love your renovation and am curious to know if you are able to slide your bump outs back in if you decide to relocate. Also, did you replace to cabinetry above your bed or rework the space and use new cabinet doors? Most RVs we have looked at are so dark. The white walls/cabinetry really make it seem less cavelike.

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  9. Just wondering how you take care of the plumbing and where you get water etc. I am in Australia and thinking of living in an RV while we build a house.

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  10. Ashley, We are just about to do the very same thing you are doing/did in CO. We bought some acres and are living in an RV while the house is being built. We have 5 kids and homeschool 3 full time. We move into the RV in 2 weeks. I love what you have done. I would love tips for how/where you store your clothes and shoes and did you have to purge your wardrobe any? Where do you store kids clothes? How bout office/school supplies-srTicky notes, stapler etc? I would love to email you if you would be open to that! Thanks!

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