"What a cool idea, but I could never live in such a small space." This is probably one of the most common sentiments we hear. Our living space is exceptionally small by most American standards. The entire inside living area is only 8' by 25'. We recently acquired a small two horse trailer that gives us an additional 5 x 7 feet of storage space. I call it the garage. In 235 sq. ft, we contain ourselves, most of our possessions, our Shepard mutt named Ryder, and our fluffy orange cat, Lemon. By contrast, a 1500 ft2 home is considered quite small in our country. What we have is minimal, but we love it.
|Everything must have it's place in a small home.|
We didn't know what to expect when we moved on to the bus. We actually thought we were crazy too. When we started out, the bus was nowhere near finished, actually it still isn't, but the early days were truly minimalistic. The trip from Portland Oregon to an of grid goat farm on an isolated mountain in Kila, Montana launched us from an urban life to the back woods. We arrived armed only with a bed, a sink, a propane stove and two benches. Living out of boxes and a tent that we had erected as a make-shift storage facility, was neither easy nor simple. In retrospect, this experience gave us an abundance of new ideas. We spent hours, days and weeks considering how to design our small home for the most efficient and convenient use of our space. When you are confined, you realize that space is a valuable commodity! We've long felt that "less is more" but now we're learning to do more with less.
|The first dinner in our bus when it was little more than an empty shell.|
|Fire wood to get us through the winter.|
Please don't take this the wrong way. In no way do I want sound pretentious or to cast a shadow on the way the majority of Americans live. After all, that is the life we had lived until very recently. I share these experiences because I had no idea how much energy I consumed with everyday habits. The simple change of monitoring my consumption and having a small pool to draw from has opened my eyes to a new reality. These are valuable lessons in a world of limited resources. The most important thing I've learned is that it's not that difficult to live a more efficient life. Living in smaller spaces and monitoring resource consumption are great places to start. No, I don't expect everyone to start living in motor homes. Maybe consider an inexpensive watt meter that can tell you how much electricity your appliances use. Or, if you are looking to buy new home reconsider how much space you really need. Small homes are less expensive in every way, and besides that, they are awesome to live in!
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Here are some other sites that you might be interested in concerning small space living:
-Tiny House Blog
-How to create a small space homestead
- Kevin's Micro Homestead
-Living Debt Free In a Tiny House
-Our Cascadia: The Living Bus Project
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