Regardless of the size of your house, there are some chores that just can’t be avoided. If you are like me and grew up in a “normal sized home,” learning how to do chores in a Tiny House can be a little challenging. It’s not that the chores are necessarily harder, in fact most chores are much easier in a smaller spaces simply because you have less to clean and do. (Check out my post on Spring Cleaning) But cleaning routines in a tiny house do require different supplies and a different outlook. I am finding that normal cleaning and daily chores require planning, flexibility and a certain amount of creativity when you live in a smaller space.
Planning is the key to most endeavors and it is no different when planning your Tiny House life. I knew when I moved I would need to simplify some of my chores, particularly my cleaning routines. I made a list of all of the chores I knew I needed to do in my Tiny House and I tried to anticipate the challenges associated with each task.
Here was my list for my Tiny House:
Laundry, vacuuming, bathroom cleaning, kitchen cleaning, windows, floors, and dusting.
My planning led me to realize that I still had most of the same chores in a tiny house as I did in my townhouse. However, just because the chores were the same, it didn’t mean I would necessarily employ all the same cleaning routines. In my townhouse I had a vacuum cleaner, a steam mop, a Swiffer mop, scrubbing bubbles, clorox wipes, glass cleaner, paper towels, Swiffer dusters, sponges, SOS pads, kitchen cleaning spray, oven cleaner, bleach, toilet bowl cleaner, a toilet bowl brush, oven cleaner, and the list goes on and on. While these supplies worked well in my “full-size” home, there was no way I was going to be able to use the same routine in my Tiny House.
I realized that my chores were going to take a little bit of creativity and flexibility. I knew I would still have a lot of the same cleaning chores in my new home, but I also realized I could not keep the same number of cleaning supplies since extra storage space is minimal in a Tiny House. I now use a vacuum, Swiffer dusters, clorox wipes and a biodegradable bathroom spray for all of my cleaning routines. Just cutting out all the extra supplies simplified my chore routine and helped me save my money on my cleaning supplies.
However, there were a few things I didn’t plan for. The first big one was ironing. Somehow I assumed that once I simplified my wardrobe that my already minimal ironing would be non-existent. Because I assumed that I didn’t need to iron, I didn’t have a good plan for how to accomplish this chore in my Tiny House. Unfortunately, I found there were times where I was leaving the house looking less that stellar because of my lack of ironing capability.
For my ironing dilemma, I found a small collapsable ironing board at Target, which became the perfect solution for me. It is small enough to fold up and store in my closet so it is out of the way day-to-day, but easily accessible for when I need it. My iron has a home in my storage space (what used to be my office) in my back room. It’s portable enough to be easily stored and useful enough that I can now iron my clothes without any problems.
My laundry solution includes using my washer/dryer combo in my house and taking my larger loads to the RV park’s facility or to my mom’s house when I go visit…it’s kind of like being back in college! Vacuuming in a Tiny House is a quick chore, but because I have a dog it requires a pet friendly vacuum. Right now I am using the Shark Rocket, which I love. Each of my routines are easier to accomplish now and I have found supplies that are “right-sized” for my smaller space.
As you get ready to design your tiny life, take a few minutes to examine your cleaning routines. Make a list of the chores you know you still need to accomplish. Make a list of the supplies you currently use and decide what you can do to downsize. Look for simple alternatives to cleaning solutions and decide what you want your new routine to look like. At the same time remain creative and flexible as you start your new routines.
What are you favorite supplies for cleaning? How have you simplified your routines?