On living minimally…

”My husband and I bought a tiny house after taking a one-year journey around the world. Before we left, we got rid of everything. We literally just had the backpacks that we brought and I whittled seven boxes of memorabilia down to two, which my mom kept while we were away.

We went traveling and we just loved having the flexibility to just pick up your bag and go to the next location. So when we started thinking about having a home, we decided we loved not having a mortgage or debts to pay. And we loved the minimalistic lifestyle that allowed us to travel.

Things don’t make you happy. It’s the people that you invest in and the time that you share with them and the time that you invest in yourself that’s going to make you happy. This desire for more things and comparison will only lead to envy and jealousy and, I think, anxiety. I think a lot of anxiety as well.”

On getting along in tight quarters…

“Because my husband and I had worked/lived together for a year and then we traveled together for a year, we had a little bit of practice. We’d known each other since we were kids. We loved the close quarters. It forced us to do things together, like go to bed at the same time. Because if he would stay up and watch TV, I could hear it in bed. Living in the tiny house actually helped us kind of sync up our rhythms of the day to day.

I think I would recommend this lifestyle to young couples or newlyweds. It’s the best way to start a relationship because you do really get to know each other on a different level. And you’re always together. It’s quite nice, actually.

It’s nice to be with family. I remember being in high school and my friend was saying that she and her parents lived in such a large house that they would often go days without seeing each other.I don’t want that for my family.

I want to be in each other’s spaces. Even if we’re a little bit annoyed, it’s still better.I think back to when I was a kid and being in tight quarters like an RV or something like that. That was fun. There were fights and some uncomfortable things, but when I look back at the things that were a little bit of struggle, those are the moments I remember.”

On utilizing community and resources outside of the tiny home…

“I think living in a tiny house actually made us more engaged with our community because if I needed a break from the house, or it was just feeling a little cramped, or my husband wanted to have some friends over, I would utilize the services that I had in town. I went to yoga class, I went for a walk, or would find a friend to hang out with. It pushes you outside of just the home.I think this is nice as well.

I would run clothing swaps because the storage where I had my clothes was super, super small. So if I got anything new, I’d have to get rid of something. And everyone in the swap got clothes for free without having to buy new clothes.”

I think it’s part of the minimalistic lifestyle to recognize that because you’ve chosen this lifestyle, you don’t have everything. So, you go outside of the home to get those things, so you borrow, you trade, you just enjoy a coffee shop instead of your home. You’re recognizing your limitations and you play on those limitations.

On being content with what you have and resisting the urge to shop…

“First off, even before going to a store, I’m quite mindful of making a list of things that I need. I hate malls for this. You might have to walk across the entire mall to get to the place that you need to get to. And it’s so easy to just be distracted.

So if I do get distracted and I’m in front of something I want to buy, I also take inventory of my surroundings. I’ll never forget when I was in this lingerie store and all I wanted was just one bra. I knew which one, I researched it. And then the music is this sultry, kind of like ooh, fun beat and I find myself actually dancing a little and then all of a sudden I’ve got like a handful of lingerie and I don’t even wear lingerie. What am I doing? It was the music!

So when I’m shopping, I really try to monitor my breath. I’m a yoga instructor as well. So, I ask myself, is my breath slow and even? Or do I have a feeling of urgency, like I can’t go without buying this thing. And I think about, why do I want this? Is it because I truly have a need for it? Or is it maybe connected to envy, like I saw someone on social media in a beautiful room and I want to be more like that. I have gone off social media because of that. You’re scrolling, you’re wasting a lot of time, and it’s just constant comparison.”

On the challenges of freezing water pipes…

*Editor’s note: Tiny homes manufactured by professional builders in Canada are equipped for dealing with winter freezing. This particular experience is not what Canadian tiny home buyers should expect. Ask your builder to tell you about their winter water strategy.

“When we bought a tiny house, we got a wake up call the first year for sure. We weren’t really prepared for what it would entail. In an Alberta winter, we were freezing. We weren’t getting our water, the grey water was freezing. We were working out the kinks. But after that first few months, we worked it all out and then we lived in the tiny house for five years.

Of course winters brought a little bit of hardship but nothing too crazy.

And I think it’s because it was just me and my husband and we were able to just deal with it and live with it and also kind of love it and hate it at the same time.

Like in those moments where you’re not getting water because the hose was frozen. It’s frustrating in the moment, right? I just want to shower I just want to wash my dishes, but at the same time you kind of have to laugh a little bit to yourself because it’s the lifestyle you chose. It makes things exciting. For us, it was kind of like glamping!”

On moving out of a tiny house…

“We lived in the tiny house for five years and we had planned on staying in it at least with child number one. But when we had our baby, we hit the first cold spell and quickly realized that now that we have this little one to look after, it’s not as easy as just me and my husband.

Sometimes we would wake up and the propane would be out and it’s cold. Before, we would just have to go grab some propane. Or you’re weeks without water. Before, I would just shower at the yoga studio. But when you’ve got a kid to look after, it’s just a little bit different. There’s more responsibility and you can’t put up with as much discomforts. So, it wasn’t the space issue, but we had to look for a different place to live.”

On life after a tiny home…

“Now we live in a small apartment and I think we’re carrying on that mentality of living minimally. When you truly get down to it, there’s very little that you truly need. We don’t want to fill the home with stuff. We actually moved into a place that was fully furnished. And I’m even still trying to whittle away stuff because it’s more clutter than I’m used to.

We have a little bit more space where we are. And my husband’s realizing that he likes to wake up super early and leave the bedroom. In the tiny house, he would wake me up and I’d be like, dude, can you be a little more quiet? Now there’s that ability to move around a little bit more.

I still like clean, minimal surroundings. I’m still eco friendly with all my stuff. When I need to buy something, instead of getting something new, I try to get something used. I consider that when I buy this instead of get something new, or get something used. I’m a big, big fan of thrift stores and garage sales.”

[for our child], we love this idea that you are this undomesticated beautiful being and you get to decide the life that you live. Not to compare, not to dull your light but to be as wild and as free as you possibly want to be.”

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  1. Interested

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