Downsized into a Tiny Home!  The Shock, Dismay, and Practicing What I Preach!

Downsized into a Tiny Home! The Shock, Dismay, and Practicing What I Preach!

inside thetiAlright! My tiny home move is DONE! I am sitting here writing on my computer from a fold-down keyboard desk at the couch. (the picture was not taken today) As we are in the quarter talking about Taming the Cupboard, I was quite surprised at how our fridge contents from the old place fit into the smaller fridge here at the new place. You hear me constantly talking about wants versus needs, and one time I came right out and told you that what you would take for a one week camping trip is really all you actually need and everything else is just wants on top of that.

In today’s world where you can go glamping, it is thoroughly possible to pack wants as well as needs for a week and many people do. But when you think about how much clothing you took with you, how much food you took with you, what you took for toiletries and personal hygiene. . . those are the things I’m talking about. Pool noodles, bathing suits, selfie wands, fun desserts, all of those are camping extras, so even camping can have it’s extras and excesses. You can buy RV’s with TV’s, satellite radio, outdoor kitchens, etc. The unit we are now living in doesn’t have an outdoor kitchen, but such a thing would come in handy for spring, summer and fall processing of berries, pumpkins and such as I turn them into sauces, purees and juices. Hopefully by spring this coming year we’ll be in a permanent pad where I can set up a propane BBQ-style outdoor kitchen beside the trailer instead. It isn’t healthy to do such long-term boiling inside an RV.

A trip to the dumpOver the course of October and down to the first week of November, we were very busy downsizing, which meant various trips to thrift store donation bins, recycling depots, dump runs, and once again putting into practice everything I share about assessing wants from needs over every part of the house and daily life. Even as a non-hoarder, I was admittedly shocked at what cupboards and closets were hiding! We had large 40 lb-sized alfalfa cube bags (my daughter feeds that to her two horses) repeatedly filled with recycling that we’d bring home and fill again. My business filing cabinet fit into part of a filing box and my home filing cabinet fit into most of a filing box. The rest was stuff I could get rid of because 10 years had passed (accounting rules), or stuff we no longer had such as appliance manuals, stuff that were no longer sentimental memories, etc.

The book shelves hid stuff I thought I wanted to keep over the years but realized would really be of no use in the future. As a computer repair tech since 2001, I had a huge box of cables and parts that I turfed because as I examined the pieces, I realized the chances of running across those machines in the future was now slim to none, so it all got tossed into electronic recycling.

But perhaps the biggest and most bothersome discovery was how well clothing can hide dust! I am an allergic asthmatic and I confess I hardly wore most of what I had in my closet! So I began sorting through and boxing or bagging up what I could give away. I should add we had been fighting a mouse infestation over the past couple years prior, and they’d found ways to climb the clothes to make nests behind my sweaters. Incidentally, they don’t like eating plastic, so anything with polyester in it generally was not used for bedding and as most clothing is some blend of polyester mixed with cotton or rayon or wool or whatever. So very little clothing had to be tossed for being lived on or chewed through. BUT. . . I am allergic to gerbil and pet rat dander . . . guess what was mixed into the usual but extremely well-hidden dust on the clothes??!! Mouse dander!!!

I ended up in an ambulance on my way to the ER one Sunday night in mid-October because I couldn’t get an asthma attack under control and could barely breathe.

This is a rather drastic example of the fact that how much you own will affect your health! I seriously had no idea clothing could hide and NOT show the dust it was collecting. That would have been bad all by itself. But hiding mouse activity as well was a near death knell!

[bctt tweet=”You are obligated to look after what you own.” username=”songdovemd”]Whether it’s dusting and cleaning, or lubricating or oiling, or plumbing or fueling, if you let it sit, it will potentially develop problems. The more a person owns the more they become slaves to what they own and the job that used to pay the bills when they owned very little, suddenly can’t keep up with the expenses now that they own so much. This alone is a good reason to never become a hoarder.

Now that we are in our tiny home, there isn’t room to expand what we own very well. It is human nature to expand to fill the space we live in. Some people get this tendency so bad they become an eyesore to those around them and their homes become ripe for a fireball ripping through. One of my grandma’s became this way toward her latter days. I did not envy my parents and aunts and uncles who had to sift through it all after she passed away. But there was seriously a path through the house and when I fell out of the guest bed one night, I fell into a bunch of boxes.

[bctt tweet=”We need room to move, room to breathe, and room to be healthy in our own homes.” username=”songdovemd”]This reason alone is why I tend not to collect stuff. When the kids were younger, every November we culled the closets, dressers, bookshelves and toy boxes to make room for the gifts they’d get buried under from others at Christmastime. My kids remember doing this and found it ironic that here we were culling everything again, in the fall leading into November! When I expressed shock and dismay at what we were finding in the closets and cupboards, my daughter tried to make me feel better by saying a good half of it was stuff she’d collected for her horses. . . but still. . . it was there and now it had to be gone through.

deepfreeze and pumpkinsOne lifestyle change I am about to introduce my grown kids to this afternoon, is frozen dairy. Due to covid, my soundtech events have all been cancelled, so I am accepting pandemic relief right now and we are making funds stretch at the foodbank. Because we are a family, and due to the pandemic we can’t pick our hamper contents (they let us do that prior to the pandemic), and now because of the much smaller fridge, most of the dairy that comes home today will go straight into the deep freeze on the 300 lb bike rack on the back of the RV. (old pic of freezer outside our former place) As a teenager, my parents would take advantage of massive dairy sales south of the border, and put it all in the freezer. Frozen milk once thawed, tastes similar to powdered milk, but is drinkable with a little vanilla and sugar added. Cheese is more crumbly but still acts and tastes like cheese if you melt it. Yogurt freezes and thaws well. Eggs can be frozen without the shell. Most veggies freeze without trouble too, allowing them to last longer than if you left them in the fridge. If you aren’t going to eat a given fresh veggie within 3 weeks of bringing it home, it is best to freeze it, or turn it into soup and then freeze it. Needless to say, our deep freezer is going to see a lot more use than in the past now that we live in a tiny home.

We are all breathing a sigh of relief that the move is done!  Now I can get back on track with writing and sharing about the various pillars of how my coaching can help single moms of school-aged kids get on top of their time and household finances.  See my Easter articles on clutter for more on why “stuff” can cost you both time and money!

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