My husband and I have made the choice to squeeze our family of four into a ‘tiny home’ – or in our case – a one bedroom apartment. There are many benefits of tiny living! Here are some of the main reasons why I love our tiny home.
The quantity of time that we get to spend together
In our apartment, our living room functions as a living room, a family room, a playroom, a homeschool room and a dining room. When the children play, they are with us. When Nic is watching football on Sunday afternoons, we are all with him in the living room, together. I love the fact that the children play with us and near us. I love that simply by the fact that they’re present, I am reminded of the importance of investing in them and making the quantity of time become quality.
The constant reminder to simplify
When you have two adults and two children and one closet, the need to purge is constant. Similarly, before purchasing items, I am forced to think: where will I put this when I get home? This causes me to stop and ask whether or not the item is a necessity; it’s basic economics: needs vs. wants.
Living tiny also helps us to save money. I realize that I don’t need anymore bulky baby toys: if the baby toy box is full, then we don’t buy more baby toys. And if we do find a toy that’s special and we want to keep, we select a toy that we need to give away to someone else or sell.
The need to teach discipline and consideration of others
Tiny living requires consideration of others. Even when the whining starts or when I’m tired and it’s easier to do it myself, tiny living reminds me to teach Little Man to clean up after himself because the space is shared. Tiny living requires that we are considerate of others at bedtime: no shouting, no loud crying, no loud running. Obviously, for a three year old, this requires a lot of self-control (and reminding, and reminding, and reminding).
We cultivate a heart of contentment and gratitude
I have been shocked at how, even as young as three, we compare what we have with what others have. Little Man, at two, asked why we have a small house when some of his friends have bigger houses. I was shocked when the question was asked; however, I was also happy to have the opportunity to teach gratitude and contentment. Even at a young age I want my children to understand that there are those who do not have shelter. I want Little Man to grow up thankful for our many blessings and a heart that is sensitive to the needs of others and how he can help them.
The outdoors become a part of our living space
We love to eat dinners and breakfasts outside; our outside space has become an extension of our home. When I begin to feel tired of being in one space, we move on out and get some Vitamin D.
Cleaning is a breeze
Cleaning is a quick chore when you live in a tiny home. All of the baby’s toys are in one space to clean up. Never once have I wished I had more furniture to dust, or more bedrooms, bathrooms or play space to clean – not once.
Tiny living forces me to focus on what matters. It’s my hope my family and I always, no matter where we live and no matter the size of our home, remember these lessons learned from our time in our tiny space!