In today’s world it is easy to get caught up in feeling like you have to have a certain brand of a car, purse or shoes and a big house in a certain neighborhood. But for who or what? Is there anything wrong with those things? NO!! But if it is bogging you down or making you feel inadequate or even stressed, it may be time to reevaluate. My family has been living large in a small home for a little over two years and I can’t imagine going back.
What Really Matters
What really matters at the end of the day? This can be different for each of us and I believe it is something that we each need to figure out for ourselves. For me, time spent with family and friends enjoying this amazing creation called Earth matters more than collecting or amassing stuff that honestly bogs me down. I want to travel, explore, and play all on the back of my horse way more than I want a big house that requires maintenance and upkeep. We all come from different places with different experiences, we all have different priorities and dreams, but we all have basic needs and one of those needs is a place to lay our head at night. A place to relax, rest and restore. A place we can call home no matter how large or small it may be.
Home Is Where The Barn Is
Yep, you read that right. A dear friend of mine painted me a sign shortly after we moved in to our “Barndominium” and it couldn’t be more true for our family. You see, outside on our porch you will find boots, boots and more boots. Work boots, muck boots and riding boots. Boots are a big part of who we are. We spend a lot of time outside in our boots. Since we moved here a few years ago, we have made this space our home. We have filled it with what matters to us. We have what we need and we’ve learned that we don’t need as much as we once thought we did. We’ve learned that with less stuff, there’s more time to enjoy what the outdoor world has to offer.
You Can’t Take It With You
- That statement has been around for centuries. Just ask King Tut! Although he sure tried to take it with him to his next life, he left it behind for us to discover. The same is true for us. When our time is up, and we are called home, we will not need any personal items. But for now, while we are here, there are things that we do need to function in daily life. If you find yourself considering small home or small space living, know that while it does take planning and adjusting it is very doable. It may be overwhelming or daunting to think about where to even start. Following are a few tips to help you begin the process:
- Start in the closets. Do a “spring” cleaning and take honest stock of what is there. Does it fit? When was the last time you wore it? Let it go.
- Do the same in the kids’ rooms closets and toy boxes.
- Take survey in the kitchen. Have you used that corn dog maker or jello mold? The corn on the cob holders, the rice cooker? Do you need 12 wine glasses? Pack it up.
- Clean out and organize the junk drawer. No matter what, THIS FEELS GOOD!
- I know you will find plenty of “extra” stuff in the bathroom cabinet and linen closet.
- Now take stock of your decor, nick nacks and books. What is important? What is just collecting dust and making more work for you? Does it have a special memory? Again, be honest.
- Are there family heirlooms or sentimental items, including Christmas decor that you plan to pass along in the future that you could pass along now?
This list is just a start. There are so many wonderful organizations that would gladly take any items that you have to give. Recycling and upcycling are a great way to help others, while helping the planet and lightening your load. Everyone wins!
Our family rented a storage unit when we began the transition to small space living. We began this process in the spring as our move was to happen in early summer. We took items that we knew we wouldn’t need in the near future to the storage unit. It turns out that much of the “stuff” we took there, turned out to be just that. Stuff. Stuff we didn’t need. But it took living without it to help us realized that. We made several trips to the local 2nd hand store. It felt so good to give things away and lighten our load. We had accumulated so much stuff that we truly didn’t need and could easily live without.
Attitude of Gratitude
Comparison is the thief of joy. When we compare ourselves in any way to others, we live in a state of want rather than a state of abundance. If we are grateful for what we have, we have much more joy and much less angst. In other words, who cares how other people choose to live. Choose what is best for you and your family. Choose what gives you freedom and joy. For this will allow you to live large in a small home.