Four-hundred and fifty square feet has defined our living quarters for the past year. Less space when we are on the road with the slides pulled in. Front to back, the motor home is forty-one feet. It is less than half of the size of our former home, which was a considerable downsize from the house before that. The quest for simplicity has taken us through many stages, and in two more months we will be expanding again into a bricks and sticks home, and more square footage.
Now that we know we are moving out, the idea of more space again is growing on us, and we are excited. Still, living small has taught me much about myself and about life.
Last summer, we sold off all our worldly possessions – with the exception of what we needed in the bus. It felt wonderful. Unloading “stuff” was very freeing, and in hindsight, we could have let go of more. Surprisingly little is needed to function in day-to-day life.
“I want us to continue living simply,” Ric proclaimed after we bought the new house.
I am in agreement, but I also know that this will take a certain amount of restraint. Buying on impulse is Ric’s norm. We’ve got room for it, is the mindset we’ll have to conquer.
Living small has helped me regain my autonomy. Illness demanded that I needed help to run my last household. I couldn’t manage laundry in the basement, nor the upkeep of the house, but I can do all of this in the bus. I fear the new house will be overwhelming. Ric has promised to help. We’ll see. He is the king of clutter, which is a problem when quarters are minimal. Thank goodness the laundry is on the main floor.
Privacy becomes an issue when living in close quarters, and we learned to counter that problem by using headphones to keep noise to a minimum, and closing doors.
“We won’t be able to find each other,” I joke about the new house.
Finding time for solitude is important, and maybe even more so, when space is limited. On the bus, we have defined our separateness in terms of a desk for him at the front, with his favourite chair, and the bed for me (a product of my body’s need with ME/cfs). Now that I am doing better, I am hoping that to be able to break out of the bedroom more – the new house presents many options.
Of course, the best part of our tiny house living has been the changing scenery. I have fallen in love over and over again with each new view. Such luxury!
I think back over all the houses I have lived in over the past sixty years, and one this is what I now know for certain: I am adaptable; change is good; and a house does not define me. In fact, with each move I’ve made, I can trace an emergence – change promotes growth.
I am so grateful for all that this past year has given me, and equally as thankful for the new chapter that awaits.
As for our tiny house – we’ll still be travelling. In fact, Ric’s wheels are already turning – looks like we might be heading east.
(Featured image: our rig in Effingham, Illinois. 1st photo: Sunset on the Mississippi, West Memphis, Arkansas; 2nd: blue skies every day in Arizona; 3rd: our site at the foot of Wasatch mountains in Ogden, Utah.)