It seems that a large number of people in a generation is in serious conversations about moving to smaller living spaces, jettisoning a number of possessions and moving toward simplifying and uncluttering their lives. At least once or twice a week I find myself answering questions about how and why we decided to do that and I applaud these people who are seeking ways to have more time and do more of the things they enjoy most. That can range from spending time with family to outdoor activities to travel to volunteering for a worthy cause or charity of your choice. That’s about giving back and for another discussion.
I believe that downsizing first occurred to us when we were traveling in our RV/Motorhome and met a number of people in this sub-culture who had either already done it and were living full time in their house on wheels, free to move about for work, for seasons, for different locations. Since I already worked remotely I did not need to be in a stationary office and that gave us an additional dimension of freedom and mobility. We also discovered that we had all of our basic needs with us albeit in much smaller, compact quarters, not unlike that of a large boat. So, we called it our land yacht.
Each time we went away from home we had to have people look after our property, our home with two offices, two bedrooms, two baths, two large portals, and a large living and dining area. We had animals that included dogs, cats, chickens, miniature donkeys and when we returned most of the work there fell to us with some additional house and landscape help on a weekly basis. We lived on 12 acres with two houses, a large barn, several outbuildings, numerous gardens, and a koi pond with an incredible view over the Chama River in northern New Mexico. It sounds lovely and it was for almost ten years.
As the work and expense continued to be an ongoing concern, we came to the conclusion that it was time to sell and consider our options, or vice-versa. We sold the two properties and houses, each 6 acres adjacent to each other, purchased a larger, more comfortable motorhome and set off on another adventure, seeing what it was like to live full-time on the road, going north in the summer, south in the winter. We enjoyed that for 9 months and came “home” to Santa Fe where we had stored most of our “stuff” in two large units near our favorite RV park. Now what?
We considered condos, smaller houses with less maintenance and finally decided to design, build and purchase a manufactured house (i.e. mobile home). We had it delivered and moved it onto a small lot in the park behind the RV campground where we had camped for several years when in Santa Fe. The house is about 1000+ square feet, two bedrooms, two baths, with a large covered deck, a small storage shed and convenient to shopping and services. It’s not exactly part of the tiny house movement but it’s definitely in the category of smaller. It’s economical, comfortable and more than adequate. And, we lock the door and leave anytime for several days, weeks or months. It’s a small community of people who look out for one another.
This is one illustration that affords us a level of freedom, independence and a significant reduction in possessions, equipment and property that had to be maintained and supported. Ask yourself this question: What would improve the quality of your life that is within your reach? The answer may or may not have to do with “living space” but chances are at some point you will arrive at a time of transition and then you can design the change and make your own choice. Here are a few additional questions that might inform your next change. What is it that you need or want that you do not now have? Less work, more time? Fewer responsibilities, more freedom? Less expense, more resources? Form your own questions. The answers are yours to pursue and enjoy. Less is truly more!