Choosing to go tiny has definitely been a process and one that we feel really never ends. Living with less is a choice that replays daily in our lives. We are choosing to go tiny (I’m using tiny somewhat synonymously with minimalism) not because we simply want to have less things but to only have the things that as Marie Kondo says, “spark joy.” We want to shed the excess, trim the fat; to truly need, use and value each item we choose to possess. THIS - IS - HARD!
This hasn’t happened overnight and we still have plenty of stuff to purge, but we are getting there. We like stuff as much as anyone else, but life has taught us time and time again that it's a void that will never be filled and the price paid to get the stuff just isn’t worth it. Stuff always comes at a cost, usually in the form of time and money. Time spent working to make the money to buy the stuff but then you can’t enjoy the stuff because you have to work more in order to make the money to pay for the stuff you’ve bought. This viscous cycle rarely leaves room for your own personal well being not to mention the people around you that you rarely spend time with because, you guessed it, you are working!
As parents that vicious cycle has a much more immediate impact. We made the decision many years ago that one of us would be at home, at least most of the time, with our boys until they were in kindergarten. We both had seen the effects of children who spent those formative years in daycare and knew that’s not what we wanted for our family. We also realize that is a luxury and not all parents/families can afford to do that which is incredibly sad that our world has created such a detrimental system. For the most part we have been able to do that, but we have caught ourselves several times gradually adding more work hours and then before you know it we find ourselves spending less and less time with each other. In many cases we could have avoided the need to work those extra hours but chose to because more often than not we needed the money to pay for the stuff we wanted or had already purchased but really didn’t have the money for.
We made a four part plan that valued people and experience more than things and finally took the plunge. We sold the “big house,” and built a camper van to start traveling in. Thanks to some perfectly aligned events (see more detail about this on our "About" page) we were given the opportunity to travel indefinitely or until we just couldn’t stand doing it anymore. We knew this part would likely be temporary, but was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up and so far we are glad we did it. We are in between phase 2 and 3 right now. We still have plans to travel through the fall but have already started setting things in motion for purchasing a tiny home on wheels. We are working with our city to be the first THOW dwellers in Jackson, TN as well as be a source of education for our town and the surrounding area about tiny living. Our plan is to have two THOW’s for ourselves, one to live in and one to use as a “show home” to let people see first hand what it's like and the HUGE potential this type of housing has for an array of uses and ways to meet the needs of the community. We will also be asking others to join our "Tiny Demonstration Program" and be a part of bringing tiny living to Jackson. The fourth phase of our plan will be to build a small foundation home, approximately 400-600 sq ft. We are just as passionate about small foundation homes or even prefab/modular homes on a foundation as we are about THOW’s because we feel they provide a more broad solution and longer lasting investment for most people. Once these initial steps are complete we will have a solid foundation to start branching out and expanding the use of tiny homes for other areas like job skills training, homeless and transitional housing, and so much more.
Of course there are other factors that play a part in our decision to choose tiny. The cost savings, the environmental impact, not just a reduction of things but also of unused space, and much more, but the above reasons are our primary ones.
We hope our journey can aide yours in some way. We hope you can learn both from us and with us as we as a society work through these issues with the hope of building a better place for now and the future. We would love to hear from you so send us an email or find us on Instagram.
Heather, Jesse, Emery and Ollie