I’m willing to bet everybody reading my missives would love to simplify their lives and get back to basics. Our lives have become overwhelmed with electronics, material goods, the nanny state, crime, and people that demand our time and money. Wouldn’t it be nice to just let go of 90% of that and get back to what really matters?
That is often what motivates the folks that adopt the tiny house lifestyle. I personally know several people that are doing this with great success. Its shockingly easy once you get over your attachment to material things and your rat race lifestyle.
Here are a few things I’ve learned from these folks that I try to incorporate into my lifestyle:
- You need less than you think. There is a rule written somewhere that says possessions will eventually fill the space they are given. If you have an empty room, eventually it will be full. If you simply start with far less space, you end up with less stuff.
- Let go. Letting go of your rat race lifestyle will free you of so much guilt and anger. If you could quit your job, live on a fraction of what you make now – wouldn’t you be happier? It can be done with a little simplification.
- We use stuff the wrong way. So much of the stuff we have is supposed to save us time. Well what if we had more time to devote to our simple life? Wouldn’t we need less stuff? What if you just stopped watching T.V. for a month? I’m guessing you would be shocked at how much time you had to dedicate to family, hobbies, and making your simple life dreams to come true.
The folks I know that are doing this have families, and they are all living in about 500-900 square feet. A single fellow I know is living in 125 square feet. They don’t have television. They make up for that with an incredible view of a natural landscape. They wash their clothes in tiny washing machines and hang dry them. They spend their time mending clothes, growing vegetables, tending to animals, and teaching their children. Its very similar to what homesteaders did in the old times.
And they all did it with a stunning lack of funding. One family accomplished everything, including 3 acres, tiny house, furnishings, and solar/wind setup for less than $20,000. And they have never been happier (they are very private folks so I am not using their name or photos). They have plenty of friends and fun too. Their life is not lacking in the entertainment department. They have learned to play games and musical instruments. They are in better health than have been in decades.
Of course, this isn’t possible for everyone. But you can build yourself a little retreat where you can practice this lifestyle for a few weeks a year. You can buy a travel trailer or small manufactured home for a few thousand dollars. All you need inside is a small fridge, a little gas burner for cooking, and some lighting. One 130W solar panel, a little charger, and a battery could power the whole thing. You’ll have to leave the iPad and smart phone at home, but that’s the point.
So what are you waiting for? Maybe it’s time to give it a try. Go out into the wild, get wild while you’re at it, and get back to basics.