When my partner and I decided to downsize from our 2,000 SqFt house into a 250 SqFt tiny house people said we were crazy, ourselves included. But we knew that we wanted a slower paced life, with more time to spend doing the things that bring us happiness. So, we sold what we could, gave away even more and soon found ourselves sharing a 250 SqFt tiny house. It was hard getting rid of things that we’ve held onto years so the first step of downsizing was only keeping things that couldn’t be replaced. Family heirlooms, childhood memories, accessories for our hobbies and tools all made the move.
One of the biggest struggles I had at first was clothing. We went from two walk in closet’s to sharing one closet. We live in a place with 4 seasons’, so I felt a lot of anxieties when trying to sort through everything. I quickly learned about capsule wardrobes, a collection of a few essential clothing items that don’t go out of style and came be paired with other items to create another look. Sheila at the Practical Blog has 5 amazing tips and tricks for getting started without feeling overwhelmed.
The right bed
Even though we downsized, we still had A LOT of extra “things” that we couldn’t part with because we use them so often. Camping, skiing, fishing, hiking, building… most of our hobbies require accessories to be fully enjoyed. In order to keep this “stuff” we built a lofted bed with lots of storage underneath. It’s similar to a bunk bed but instead of having another bed, we use that space to keep clutter out of sight. It’s also pretty awesome having said “adult bunk bed”. My partner used several different plans from online to create us something custom but if we were to do it again, we would buy something premade like this Concord lofted bed to avoid another DIY project.
To add storage in the bathroom we use this Honey Can Do metal shelving. It’s a great space for the things that we use every day, extra towels and a few decorative pieces. It’s easy to assemble and organize, plus it will fit into the next place we move into. We also use this Simple Houseware hanging shoe rack behind the door for smaller items that make the bathroom feel cluttered if they are on the shelf. Hairbrushes, tooth brushes, and other hygiene products all go here.
My partner and I both enjoy cooking and entertaining so being able to do this in our new space was extremely important and also something we spent a lot of time thinking about. We hung this spice rack from Spectrum Diversified on our wall to save counter and pantry space. This Oropy hanging pot bar also saves a lot of space in the cabinets so you can hide the less appealing things in your kitchen, in our case my partners extensive collection of strange drinking glasses he brings home from our travels.
Unfortunately, we both don’t always feel like entertaining guest at the same time so we’ve created a nice area outside for when one of us would like some social interaction but the other would prefer to be left alone. I am definitely the “social butterfly” in my relationship, I could entertain guest every day. My partner would be just fine if we only saw other people once a month, if even that much.
We have outdoor seating and an umbrella for shade, a grill and a fire place so our space can comfortably accommodate people all year long. Having this space is also really nice for when we don’t have guest. We eat out here a lot when it’s just the two of us. It makes us feel like we’re getting out of the house without actually having to leave. We feel like we’re eating at a fancy restaurant with-out dishing out all the money it would cost to do so. In the morning’s we sip our coffee here and on nice days you can catch us working under the umbrella. I like to call it our “meditation garden”. A lot of my inspiration for the back yard came from The Handmade Home.
One of the most important things we needed to figure out early on was creating a chore sheet with a detailed cleaning plan. We each have our specific duties and make sure that they get done regularly. Small spaces appear to look dirtier because of how small they are so a routine is extremely necessary. We also use eco-friendly products that are multi-purpose. What we clean our shower with, will also clean the dishes in our sink and our bodies. We love Dr. Bronner’s all in one pure-castile liquid soap. It is a little more expensive than other products but when you see how many uses it has, you are saving money by not buying so many products. One Good Thing by Jillee has created a list of 22 Highly Useful Things you can do with this one soap.
Another very important thing we figured out early on was to explore our city and find places that we could escape. Cause let’s be honest, no matter how much you enjoy the company of your partner, everyone needs space and alone time. When one of us is feeling overwhelmed or maybe we just need a nap, the other will get out of the house and go work somewhere else for a while. The public library offers free internet and a quiet place to get work done. There are also coffee shops, dinners and we’ve even been known to take our work to happy hour at the local dive bar. By adding a hot spot to your phone, you can access internet just about anywhere you get service. Lifewire explains how to use your cell phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Sharing a small space with your partner does not mean that you have to give up the luxuries of living in a larger space. With elbow grease and creative thinking, even the tiniest spaces can be warm and welcoming. I’m not sure we’ll live this lifestyle for long, but I do know that as we figure out other ways of tiny living, we spend more time with each other, doing things that fill our lives with love.