My husband and I can't resist a good documentary. He's the type of person who remembers everything he reads and hears. It's one of the things I love most about him. And I have a massive bleeding heart, so I'm a sucker for documentaries like Alive Inside and I immediately donated to the cause when I watched the Oscar Award winning Period. End of Sentence.
We have been really influenced by certain documentaries.
I, of course, have been a vegetarian for coming up on 15 years, and a vegan for almost 3. I've watched Earthlings and Forks Over Knives (I now subscribe to the FOK meal plan and LOVE it.) It was What the Health that we watched while visiting some friends on a summer vacation that made my husband say, "We are done eating animal products starting tomorrow." And I said "OK." And we have never looked back. We believe plant-based diets are the best thing for the conservation of the earth and the key to health. Our 3 year old has been sick only twice in his life, and I haven't had a cold since I was pregnant.
So what does this have to do with #tinyliving ???
We are building a tiny house. We have our plans drawn up, we've met with our builder, and we are in the process of researching our plans and permits for where our home will live once it is built. I asked my husband the other day, "I know I love watching Tiny House shows, but what was it that actually made us decide to go tiny?" He reminded me that it all started when we watched the documentary Minimalism.
Some people get excited when we tell them, admiring us for taking such a big SMALL step! Most people look at us like we are crazy and tell us all the reasons they think we will fail.
What was it that actually made us decide to go tiny?
The truth is that we have been planning this for a while now, and when we are ready to take the leap, we are prepared physically and emotionally. We sold our condo 2 years ago and moved in with my parents to better help my dad care for my mom with Alzheimer's disease. We sold or donated a lot of our furniture and items that were duplicates of what my dad owns in his home and kitchen. We think a lot about how to maximize space and storage. We have a shelf in the basement where we are keeping our "tiny house" items that we know we'll take with us. Our kitchen shelf has pots and pans, cloth napkins, a few drinking glasses, silverware, wooden spoons, canning equipment... We are commissioning hand made pottery mugs, bowls and plates (that double as pie tins!!!) from a local artist so that our dishes will also be artwork in our home.
We don't buy things like we used to. We have been able to save up a lot of money already, only buying one item of necessity here and there. I've switched my mentality of wanting to own every book I've ever read, to donating them all and being a library junkie! (I track everything I've read in my GoodReads app instead of on a shelf in my house.) We have "Marie Kondo"-ed the heck out of our closets already. I'm working on transferring all our giant photo albums to skinny printed photo books. Whenever my dad comes home from his weekly Costco extravaganza, my husband and I take a collective deep breath, remind ourselves that our current living arrangements are temporary, and try to find room in our shared pantry to include my dad's bulk crackers along with our mason jars of dried beans and quinoa!
It helps that we are tiny. He doesn't even come close to 6 feet tall. I stretch to reach 5'2". Our little peanut has never beat the 15th percentile for anything other than his head! And when people challenge us about raising a child in a tiny home, we just remind them that you can leave your house to go outdoors, to the library, and on many worldly adventures. Plus, if your kid doesn't know differently, it's hard to imagine him longing for that 6 bedroom 4 bathroom house that his friend lives in. (I don't want to clean that house!) If he needs more space when he's a teen, maybe we'll reevaluate or build him a tiny apartment on our property. We have 12 years before we have to worry about that.
We aim to build a life where we have little waste, a low carbon footprint, and we spend our money on experiences and education rather than things things and more things.
It's a lofty goal to live tiny. We know. It is also a new adventure, and we are excited!
Watch for more blog posts from me about this! I will soon share our house plan and drawings. We are also going to spend Thanksgiving in an AirBnB tiny home that we are renting for a couple nights to have a family experience and test ourselves! I can't wait to write about it.