Tiny Living

From 3000 sq ft to 400: how our family’s entire life changed and is still changing by going tiny full-time

Article by Megan Lockhart.

I spent the majority of my 20s and 30s married, living  in a house with two living rooms, a dedicated office for my marketing firm, and an entire studio at home for pilates equipment. Even with more than 3000 square feet of space, every nook, closet, and room were crammed with things. The majority of these items were unused. 

To “keep up with trends,” money would be spent on interior designers, who would mostly be hired to decorate empty wall space or corner spaces. Nobody was using the exercise machines in our basement, which were a treadmill, a Peloton, and a bowflex. In the children’s rooms, I’d hang clothes with tags still attached that were never worn, and the garage wasn’t even a place for cars—it was PACKED with items that would get put away and forgotten.

I would often find the kids in their separate rooms with doors shut – instead of enjoying the backyard or the greenspace and park that was next to our home. My then-husband and I would always be in separate rooms too.

During my time living in that home, a rare opportunity came up to buy land in Golden, British Columbia. That decision started my tiny home journey, and so much more!

Before the pandemic, I would take the kids on solo weekend excursions to our camper in Golden to enjoy the peace and space the mountains had to offer. We did everything outside, by the fire. We spent our time hiking, paddle boarding, and reading. The most crucial lesson we learned from those weekends was that we loved being together and felt closer on a spiritual, intellectual, and emotional level.

When the pandemic hit, a lot changed in our family’s life: a divorce, a lost business, a new relationship with a loving partner, moving to a rental that was then quickly sold due to high demand in Calgary, AB.

While in the process of divorce, I bought a 416 sq ft Mint tiny home to put on the land as a way to rebuild my life. Maybe it was a way to reconnect with life?

After life shifts and the beginning of a new loving relationship, my current partner and I made the BIG decision to move tiny full-time – with two kids and two dogs. This meant quitting jobs, leaving schools, saying goodbye to friends, but hello to the thing we were being called to – tiny home living. 

We sold ALL of our belongings and sorted through hundreds of art pieces the kids created. You cry at old memories and then you laugh at what you’ve been keeping in storage for so long. Then it happens, a weight is lifted.

For me, moving into the tiny home full-time meant carrying less, both physically and financially. 

Photo: Megan Lockhart

Living in a 3000 sq ft space meant paying a large mortgage, paying more for electricity, having more furniture, and feeling disoriented. I never stopped to consider whether we “really needed that extra set of anything” when I went shopping; you just buy it because you can and because there’s room for it. 

Every single item in a 400 sq ft home must serve a purpose because of the small space. Everything in the tiny is, in a corny way, a member of the family. Every night, whether it’s raining or snowing, we watch movies on our iPad from our one sofa (the same iPad I use for work and calling family and friends).

The children talk to me at the dining room table, where we also eat breakfast, and where I work during the day. 

The children talk to me at the dining room table, where we also eat breakfast, and where I work during the day. The kids have their own rooms and I know exactly what they’re doing in there, what toys they have and what needs to be tossed. We can hear them on their devices – and we can hear when they’re swiping the pages on their books and giggling. Sometimes it feels surreal.

Photo: Megan Lockhart

We visit the library for the experience and family time rather than keeping hundreds of books. When we do purchase books from my author clients, I gift them to friends to spread the love.

Our kitchen has four plates, four bowls, the perfect number of glasses – and we don’t have items stored “just in case” more people come over for dinner. If they do – we just make it work. 

We don’t stress about cleaning. In my previous adult life (pre-tiny), I had hired help around the house. I don’t need it now because we all have to do our part because we’re all in the tiny together. 

Photo: Megan Lockhart

The kids’ rooms get messy, but it’s not an overwhelming task for them to clean. I mean, they can do it in five minutes! 

I used to get so stressed about having visitors over and when mom’s stressed the entire house can feel it. Now pop-in visits are welcomed. 

People talk about space and privacy, and of course we need those things! Privacy is less necessary when you are connected as a family. We have to talk to each other in front of each other. Although some people might find that strange, I believe it encourages open dialogue because sharing is an essential part of being a family. 

Photo: Megan Lockhart

Life now for me is very intentional. Being on 40 acres – we have an abundance of space. When you live in the mountains, nothing is small. Our home is packed with love – and I can honestly say I couldn’t imagine ever moving back to the city or having a home over 2000 sq ft. 

The tiny introduced me to a new type of freedom – I’m still finding my feet, so is our entire family, but what I do know – simple doesn’t mean living without, it means living with less fears and worries.

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Megan lives and in a 416 sq ft tiny house with her partner, two children, and two dogs. Her house is located on 40 acres in Golden, BC. She also runs her business,  https://www.meganmooremarketing.com, from the tiny house.

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