One year ago today, my tiny house got delivered to me in Warner Robins Georgia. As I watched the delivery truck back my house into my spot I was both elated and terrified. I somehow knew that no matter what happened on my tiny journey that life wouldn’t be quite the same…what I didn’t know is how much it would actually change.
There were moments of self-doubt, which were magnified the first two days of trying to move in. The picture below is the moment where I had unloaded my small cargo trailer, looked around my new living space and thought to myself, “what have I done?”.
Fortunately those feelings didn’t last long. I reminded myself that if I hated this new lifestyle I could always go back to my old home, or at least my old lifestyle. Somehow knowing that I could always change my life again took the pressure off and allowed me to uncover the joys of tiny living.
Here is how my life has changed in the last year.
I clean less and buy less. I generally spend a lot less time worrying about and attending to my house now that I live in a tiny home. The entire downsizing process has obviously streamlined my daily chores, but it has also encouraged me to be more deliberate with my shopping habits. I tend to buy way less, partly because I have less space to store stuff, but more because I have realized that most things don’t really add tons of value to my life. My lifestyle change has helped me spend my time and money focusing on the things I consider important and essential.
I travel more. Although I travel less for work at my new job than I did at my previous job, my new lifestyle has encouraged me to take more day trips and weekend getaways. This year I have gone to California, Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Oregon, Ohio and Virginia to run half marathons, visit family and enjoy life. This travel has helped me live life in a way that is more engaging and fun.
I read more. I have embraced my slower lifestyle and increased the number of hours I spend reading on a weekly and monthly basis, which is awesome because it is one of my favorite hobbies. I love learning new things and reading has given me a chance to explore new ideas and generally grow on a personal level. In fact it is this hobby that lead me to one of my new favorite books, Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan. This book is all about creating a habit of gratitude.
Which leads me to the most important thing my tiny life has taught me this past year…
I am more grateful. I am most thankful for my new attitude of gratitude that my tiny house has instilled in me. I think part of the change is due to the fact that I am less likely to compare myself to others now than I was before. It’s hard to compare my home to anyone else’s since it is so unique. It has made me realize how little I truly need to feel satisfied, and that is a pretty liberating experience.
I am more content with my home and my possessions, which has helped me stop always “wanting more” in terms of stuff. Tiny living has helped me clarify my needs vs. my wants, and has given me crazy insight into the things that truly add value to my life. My new lifestyle has also allowed me to spend more time living in the moment and spending time doing the things I love, which in turn has made me more intentional and more grateful.
Going tiny certainly hasn’t solved all of my problems. I’m still working my way out of debt, I still occasionally get stressed out by feeling like I have nothing to wear and I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life when I grow up (I do know it involves a beach!) But overall, tiny living has made me a more grateful, more satisfied and dare I say a happier person.
I can’t wait for the next year of this adventure!