Minimalism

I love to edit my pages and I can’t wait to add content.  The reason I have this page is to help people understand what minimalism is and some stories about how people are attaining this goal.
For the last few years we have aimed at being minimalist but I have found it very hard. We have 76 acres and six buildings and two sheds on our farm.  Granted, most of our buildings are small.  We have three that are 8×10 and 8×12. Two are 500 sq feet each and a new shop that is about 250 sq ft. But it is so easy to fill up all these spaces!  I have been purging most of my adult life on a regular basis. But we still end up with a good bit of stuff. We do try to only keep useful items in the way of tools. I probably have more T-shirts than I need because I work in them at my farm and in my clinic. I ruin them all the time by spilling stuff on them so many become farm shirts!
I am going to add a couple of links to introduce you to some ideas behind minimalism.  There are many folks out there who are also striving toward this goal.
Here is a link to the trailer for a documentary on minimalism.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Co1Iptd4p4
Here is a link to a web site with some information on minimalism. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/what-is-minimalism/

There was actually a series of shows done on Marie Kondo’s book recently that was fun to watch. It is about decluttering and there were some really amazing stories!  If you have Netflix you can watch “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”.   A link to her book is here:
https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Joy-Illustrated-Organizing-Changing/dp/1607749726/ref=asc_df_1607749726/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312149991496&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8764295292442765699&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012744&hvtargid=aud-829758849484:pla-457200220514&psc=1
So one of my dilemmas is about books!  I love reading and I love books.  I have a Kindle and I also have several book shelves.  I have often wanted a hard copy of a great book to share with others, mark in and find references more easily and teach from.  It is much harder for me to do this with my Kindle.  So I often buy one or both versions of the books I love.  I even will get the audio version so I can listen to it when I don’t have time to sit and read. So there are even times that I get all three versions of the book to use as I teach from them in my classes. I am working to be more judicious about buying hard copies only when I truly need them or want to share them with someone. If any one has any stories about what they do about their books I am happy to read and possibly print it here!  Thanks for stopping by our page!!
Another dilemma I can see with some folks who are saving for the future is putting back lots of food, tools and items that they feel they may really need. This can have people stockpiling many items that they never use or deteriorate over time. I used to always buy a lot of sale items or buy in bulk to make sure we had lots of food for hard times. I have found that much of this food becomes riddled with bugs and goes bad. The healthy fats and oils become rancid and the food is not edible.  I would like to know what others due to protect their foods for later use if they are protecting against being laid off or some other types of tragedies that can fall upon us. This also seems to go against the minimalist life style. Are we better off or not, when we have a lot of possessions for this purpose??  I would love to hear from you!

The next topic I want to talk about it the tiny house movement.  Here is a great article about this very topic and it makes a lot of sense.  I do live in tiny cabins and have a couple of tiny houses on my property so I will discuss why and if I fall into the category listed in the article here:

5 Reasons The Tiny House Movement Is Doomed To Fail: And

5 Things We Can Do About It

https://www.hipdiggs.com/tiny-house-movement/
So why do I have tiny houses?? Is it working for me? Are there benefits? What is the dark side for me in my location? I still love looking at tiny houses but I have always loved looking at campers, mobile homes, houses and I still love watching housing make overs.  It is just fun to see how others live and how they transform their spaces and their lives.
When I was going to school as a single mom I had very little money. That actually ended up being very good for my future because I would not get into debt. I hated paying interest and was always worried about where my next dollar would come from. When I decided to buy a piece of land I wanted to pay as I went. In order to do this I built small.  My idea was to build a bigger house than 400 sq ft. We were going to double the size and live in 800 – 900 sq ft as there were only two of us.
I have three children and I found that living in 400 – 500 sq feet was hard when the kids wanted to come. I had always planned on putting in a couple of small cabins so each family could come and visit and stay in their own place. It makes for less drama when family is together!!  So for us having several small locations means less cleaning daily, less space to heat and cool daily and less upkeep overall.  We actually don’t live tiny but do live small. We have been able to build as we go and pay cash. We do live unconventionally and are rebelling against the norm but I don’t think that has been harmful in my case. My tiny and small spaces are off wheels and on wheels but are essentially permanent. My kids have their own spaces when they come so they can escape the crowd!
I do see small spaces as a good alternative for the elderly as long as there are no stairs and ladders as many tiny houses have. I want to remain independent as long as I can as I get older. There are always pros and cons to living this way but large houses may not always be the answer either. I guess I see it as I see much of life, that to each his own and do what works. It may not work as one’s family grows but it definitely can be a good starting point to avoid a lot of debt.

Tiny houses look marvelous but have a dark side: Three things they don’t tell you on marketing blurb

Tiny houses are everywhere. They’ve received heavy coverage in the media and there are millions of followers on dozens of pages on social media. While there is no census for these homes, they have seen a surge in popularity in the decade since the Great Recession – witness the prolific growth of tiny house manufacturers, for instance. Originating in the US, tiny homes have also been popping up across Canada, Australia and the UK.
Tiny houses are promoted as an answer to the affordable housing crisis; a desirable alternative to traditional homes and mortgages. Yet there are many complexities and contradictions that surround these tiny spaces, as I discovered when I began investigating them.
I have toured homes, attended tiny house festivals, stayed in a tiny house community and interviewed several dozen people who live inside them. My research took me throughout the US, from a converted accessory unit squeezed between two average size homes on Staten Island to a community in Florida full of cute and brightly coloured tiny structures – appropriately located just down the road from Disneyland. Here are three things I unexpectedly discovered along the way.
1. Tiny homes and the housing ladder
Millenials have a complicated relationship with home ownership. They often still want to own a home but are simply not able to do it in the same way as their parents, and are known as “Generation Rent” as a result.
All the tiny-houser millenials that I interviewed wanted to own bigger houses in future; they saw tiny living as a means of owning something now and being able to save at the same time. Several  planned to upgrade once they had children, selling their tiny homes or even keeping them as guesthouses.
But if they saw these homes as a temporary option they would abandon as their lives progressed, it’s not always so straightforward in practice. Apart from the obvious challenge of saving enough to afford a bigger place, it’s not easy to sell tiny homes since they usually depreciate in value. And because they are not attached to land, there is often a question mark about their long-term viability as well.
2. Groundlessness
Tiny homes tend to be on wheels as a way of getting around government regulations on minimum habitable dwelling size. This often makes their inhabitants feel unsettled. In my own experience staying in a tiny home, I recall feeling a general awareness of the wheels underneath and a slight swaying as I jumped from the ladder that accessed the lofted bed.
As one interviewee who lives with his partner and small child on private land in rural Washington State told me: “It doesn’t feel that grounded; it feels like we are detached from the earth because there are wheels underneath us… It’s a constant reminder… you are in this fragile state of housing.”

Tiny houses look marvellous but have a dark side: three things they don't tell you on marketing blurb
Credit: Paul VanDerWerf, CC BY-SA

The majority of dwellers that I talked to were eager to live on a solid foundation in future. I met one millennial who used her college fund to build a beautifully crafted and customised tiny home, but felt so groundless after only a year of living on wheels that she was trying to sell.
This suggests that building codes will need to be relaxed to allow more tiny housers to live on foundations. Some places have taken the lead on this already – one example is Spur, Texas, which has changed its relevant housing laws with the express intention of attracting tiny housers in response to a declining population. Spur is pitching itself as the first tiny house friendly town in America.
More broadly, however, the legalities around tiny homes remain complicated. They continue to restrict the potential for this lifestyle both in the US and elsewhere. In the UK, for instance, there can be issues with planning laws that require all new dwellings to have more than one bed space. In southwest England, Bristol City Council recently overruled such rules to allow several  to be built in the back garden of a terraced  in the suburbs, reckoning that it was necessary to help alleviate a local housing crisis.
3. Tiny homes ≠ tiny consumption
Tiny houses are often put forward as a more sustainable housing option. They are certainly a potential check on the continued pursuit of bigger houses and greater consumption of energy, building materials and so forth. Yet reducing your  by going tiny is not as simple as some have claimed.
I came across several tiny households that were using external storage spaces for items that wouldn’t fit in the home, for example. Referred to as a “dirty secret” by one interviewee, another explained her desire to keep items from her previous home in case she changed her mind about tiny living.
Over half of my interviewees had a “one in, one out” mentality, where they would throw away or donate one item to make space for something new. As one dweller in her late 30s, who lives in a state-of-the-art home in a caravan park in rural New Hampshire, said, “I have a TJ Maxx addiction. I still go out every couple months and buy a bunch of stuff then come home and decide which things to get rid of.”
Regardless of how tiny living is marketed by the enthusiasts, sustainability was not a major driver for most of the participants in my study. Instead it was almost an afterthought. It seemingly takes more than changing the size of a  to change the mentality of the people who live inside.
The link to this article to give credit: https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tiny-houses-marvellous-dark-side.html

Teardrop campers

Not sure if teardrop campers are considered minimalist but as Tim and I get older we do not want to lie on the ground any more when we camp. When one has rheumatoid and the other has chronic lyme getting on the ground and sleeping can be less than fun!! We still want to get away and camp. I also go on a several retreats each year and I can save money and have my own bed if I pull a tear drop. We have decided to get one without a kitchen as we can take our kitchen in the back of the Subaru. I am planning on getting one with AC though as two people in a small space will heat things up quickly. Most of the time a fan will likely due just fine but an AC will be nice to have on hot trips!
My parents bought a motor home and were about to go full time which was definitely the way to go and a way to live tiny! My mom got sick and they were unable to do so but they had been roaming the country for several years for months at a time and loving it. It is fun to watch videos on folks who are living in vans cheaply as well as larger campers and motor homes. This is not a way for everyone to live and most are not proposing that we all live tiny. But it is a choice that many make to help with expenses and a way to have fun as well as joining communities of like minded folks. For fun I will add some youtube videos to watch on living small!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93LxXFnEFZY
You can watch the youtube link and then click on others also for some fun. They are fairly short and give you an idea what others do and even some of the up and downs!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EBhh4z8o0g
We are definitely not going full time or even thinking about it!  But it is a nice escape and a way to bring a few comforts of home with us when we travel. I love to read and Tim loves to talk on his HAM radios. When one stays home for vacation one tends to find work to do and not really get away!  Let me know if anyone has a small teardrop and what you think about it. I know some folks have bought one and then decided it was too small. The benefit Tim and I have is that we already live small!  So it won’t be a big leap for us to camp small! Pictures of teardrops are fun so I have included some here! I will add a link to look at some teardrop camping!