Who do you Have to Convince of Small Space Living?
In case you missed it, Kent started a conversation over on his Tiny House Blog last month about how to convince your spouse to live in a small space.
I didn’t have time to join in the discussion, but wanted to make a few points about living small and making it work for two people.
For us, there was no “convincing,” neither of us actually thought we would be staying in a 480-square foot space and if we had known what we know now, I doubt either of us would have made the move.
Truthfully, I told my aunt a few months after we got here, “I cannot live in this small of a house!”
While some couples embrace the idea of small space living and the ideas behind the Small House Movement, we both needed convincing.
As our lives unfolded here in the fall of 2007 into 2008 and the reality set in that if we built an additional 1,000 square foot home and used Our Little House as a guest house/writer’s studio, we would be in debt into our 80s, we began looking at why we felt we could not live in such a small home.
My reservations at the time included:
- Giving up my stuff.
- Working in a tiny space that felt akin to
working from an airplane seat 10-12 hours per day, every day.
We began tackling one issue at a time. As I’ve written before, my mother became a slave to her stuff. It was a nightmare for me to go through it all, sell it, store it, move it and store it again after she passed away.
I had to ask myself, “Do I really want to have to deal with a bunch of stuff and a large house when I’m too old to maintain it all? Do I want to leave it all for one of our loved ones to deal with after we’re gone?”
The answer to that was simple. We wanted a freer lifestyle that allowed us more time to enjoy the beauty of the country, mountain and lakes that now surrounded us. We didn’t want to spend time dusting knick knacks, scrubbing extra bathrooms and washing windows.
The actual release of that stuff proved to be harder and we’re still dealing with some of it (Moms and ours).
Once we decided to add an additional metal building for Dale’s work, privacy became less of an issue, but I still needed a workspace.
We called contractors back who gave us bids on adding on to Our Little House and constructing a larger home and asked them to give us bids on a small office space that would also give us a storm shelter.
We learned while we still would incur debt for this space, it would be far less than building a whole new home and the debt could be paid off in a much shorter span of time.
The studio also solved our remaining issues of privacy (I can come here to read or work) and it provides privacy for guests as well.
For us, it was a learning process. As time passed, we learned it was not the size of the house that caused us issues, but where it was located. While we love the benefits of our rural property, there are times when we miss city services and convenience, and we continue to miss our loved ones we left in our hometown.
For anyone who has to convince someone of small space living, that may not be possible. This isn’t a life for everyone. However, if your partner is open to it, I would advise you to rent small spaces while on vacation (we did this before building even though we didn’t know we would live here full time), try to look at the long-term of what you could and couldn’t live without.
List the benefits and what may be issues or what issues you had after a week. What can’t you live without?
All this becomes important in a small space because the reality is that you’re going to be sharing a remote, you’re going to be sharing a bathroom and you’re going to be together most of the time, particularly in bad weather.
You have to like each other a lot to make it work.
Do you have a partner who wants to live in a small space or maybe one who doesn’t and you do? Have you been through this? How did you resolve it?