Let’s be real. The less flattering side of transitioning our family into our tiny home.
For a full 2 years all my adult only phone calls, conversations, wants, and needs were basically put on hold. Well, wait, scratch that they were disconnected all together. I know what you are thinking, two years? Ok yea big deal. But for real, it was. I love my kids, like super duper to the moon and back yada yada yada, but there is a time and place for privacy. And to be transparent, before going tiny, I hadn’t put much value to it. Back in our “pre tiny” days I would saunter to our back bedroom and enjoy talking on the phone with my girlfriends or late at night light some candles for my husband and well you know, married stuff. And it was easy, like easy peasy lemon squeezy. Hit play on our time in the tiny home things changed, like big time. My husband and I no longer had the privacy for adult topics and it wore us down. When I say wore us down I mean we were fighting more and connecting less. The tiny space only exacerbated every little thing. So after a few months of this we finally gave this situation a name, shrinking pains. We literally had to find all sorts of new routes to curb the burden of living in such a small space. We had to think outside the box, literally.
So my husband and I started dating again. We would meet for lunch dates, yoga classes, we would go for walks in the day time, and basically create any excuse to meet up and spend time. You know what? It worked. We figured out that when we were at home it was family time. That if we were to be successful at living tiny we would need to create a healthy environment that thrived on togetherness. And while it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns for the most part we made it work.
So why would we go tiny in the first place? Well like most people money was coming in and going right back out. We had large amounts of debt and high living expenses. We were both working to basically survive, not thrive. We decided to say no more, and try something a bit less traditional. We built our tiny house for $18,000 and parked it in a trailer park where we lived. Yes I know, it isn’t a Pinterest perfect picture but it sure was nice to have such low monthly bills. We started throwing money at our debt and in one years time we had paid off almost every penny owed. As we continued on this tiny journey my husband and I had refreshed our marriage, paid off debt, and I learned a thing or two about consumption and retail therapy. I am fairly easy to read, by that I mean I am a creature of habit. If A happens B more than likely will follow. This can be great and completely horrible.
Pre tiny home days retail therapy was my escape. I would go peruse the shelves of Home Goods, get lost at Kohl’s, or find myself at Michaels putting together my next greatest craft. If it wasn’t obvious, lll write it out for you: I like to spend money. Which in some degree is the American way, right? Another big shrinking pain for me was going through the notions of not having my retail therapy to hold me when I felt alone. I actually had to work through my frustrations and I no longer could reach for that instant gratification of the swipe. I mean I could’ve, but on the real, you cannot clutter a tiny house, and there are only so many places to hide your emotionally driven purchases. And stuff got real for me, like really really real. I was made well aware of the fact I had a money spending problem and some emotional baggage to go through as well. So instead of going out and shopping when I was feeling upset or stressed out I would clean. This wasn’t like light cleaning this was straight up purge mode. Let me tell you, when my family got home from their day and the house was spotless everyone knew to take a bit of extra care of mom that evening. Within this new change I started to notice small shifts in our family. You know how those bins in your kids rooms are full of little plastic stuff and things? Well, pre tiny my children were the collectors of everything and anything small and cheap. Their bins would be filled with half used this, broken that, and just straight up garbage. It's obvious that this cannot happen in a tiny home. As I learned to bring home less stuff so did my kiddos. As I learned to stay organized and grounded guess what? So did my kiddos. Children are such a reflection of the way you live your daily life. My husband has always been rather tidy, so when the three of us (myself and 2 kids) would get lazy and let the mess accumulate he would melt down. Now that we were in a space that pretty much demanded organization we all found room enough to exhale.
While our experience of going tiny wasn't always picturesque and smooth we did learn so much about ourselves and each other. My marriage to my husband survived our first home build, the transition of shrinking pains didn’t tear us apart, and we all had an opportunity to really get to know our family as a whole. If asked, would I do it again? My answer would be, in a heartbeat.