Sue’s comments to Tiff

Dear Tiff,

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It’s always good to hear the thoughts of those moving toward a smaller way of living. Ron and I still make these decisions, even though we’ve lived small for 28 years. I still strive on a daily basis to move toward a more minimal and frugal lifestyle.

I believe it’s a life-long effort. But I’ve noticed as these actions become more automatic that I don’t need or want the things I used to. For example, I believe I’ve finally escaped the collection monster. For years, I needed to collect something. I’m not going to go on about that because I talk about it in an earlier post. However, I’ve recently noticed something about myself; I don’t need to buy those things in the antique store or flea market that I once did. I noticed this when Ron pointed out a really nice Virgin Mary planter that I didn’t have. In the past, I would have nabbed that Mary like the Flash, but I only nodded and walked away. That’s when you know you have finally been released from that visceral need. It’s a pretty good feeling!

I liked how you explained the clutter feeling as claustrophobic. Ron and I are definitely not minimalists; we are smallists.

Image Credit: Dream Touch Renovations
Image Credit: Dream Touch Renovations

Some have commented that our house is very cluttered, and that’s not what the “tiny movement” is about. I agree with them. I would like to make a couple comments about that, however. First, as we, mostly Ron : ), have said over and over, we don’t believe this to be a “movement” although that’s what the media and many other people call it.  People have been living small and tiny forever, mostly because they have to. Just ask anyone living in a closet in New York City what they think about the “tiny house movement,” and I’m sure you’ll get an earful.  If this way of life is to be sustainable for those choosing it, we have to start thinking of it as a mindset, which you so nicely stated. Secondly, like a lot of things, “clutter” is relative. One person’s clutter is another person’s treasure. Our feeling is that you should live in a place that you feel is home, not just a house. The problem arises when we feel we need too much. I won’t say anymore about this because I believe we’ve talked it to death in this blog. I would tell you, though, as you are thinking of going smaller, don’t get rid of the things that make you want to come home. If you truly love an item, and it fits somewhere in your space, don’t feel you have to get rid of it. It makes it easier when you live small because there is often only space for what you really love! : )

We do our best to live as small as we comfortably can. This type of living affords us to do things like go out to eat and go on vacations on modest salaries. Bigger homes, cars, and whatever means bigger problems and worries. We choose not to live that way. Although I have to tell you that I get those dust bunnies everywhere, too. I don’t think you can escape them in a small house, unless you go completely minimal–since it’s very easy to clean almost nothing. And believe me, I think about that more and more the older I get.  One good thing, however, is that there are just a few rooms to clean in a small or tiny house.

There are as many ways to live a small/minimal life as there are people wanting to do it. You are right; this is a mindset. You can be a minimalist anytime and anywhere. The living situation can come when it’s right for you. Look around, get a feel for what is sustainable for you, and move when the time is right.

~Best of luck on your quest, Tiffany!


2 thoughts on “Sue’s comments to Tiff

  1. Sue,
    This line “Our feeling is that you should live in a place that you feel is home, not just a house.” I believe says it all.

    When we first bought this small cabin that was chopped up into 3 “rooms” 40 years ago. We opened it up to one room and over the next few years built 2 additions and dug a partial basement. Now it has 3 rooms again. Living/dining/kitchen, bed and bath.

    I never really considered whether it was small or large. It was and is home. It is comfortable and welcoming and has everything I need. I am no minimalist so it contains books, collections and whatever else I truly love.

    This home has been my sanctuary through the loss of my husband and mother and a gathering place for celebrations of marriages and triumphs with friends. It shelters, nourishes and soothes my body and my soul. And it does all that in just those few square feet. It may sound strange or silly to some, but I have a relationship with my home that runs very deep. This place has a nourishing aura.

    I love STM because I share so many of your feelings about home. Thank you for your willingness to share.

    Sherry in Alaska

    1. Thanks for your heartfelt comments, Sherry! I agree. Our home is the same to us, not just because Ron built it, but because it reflects us and our personalities and loves. It is like a part of the family. I’m so happy you found your place and hope that those looking for a home will find the same. I wish you many more years of happiness in your home. Thanks so much for reading and enjoying the blog. We’ll try to be better about posting more regularly. : ) ~Sue

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