I’m several months into living in 600 square feet and two weeks after selling my big house. Cleaning the kitchen this morning, I laughed when I realized it doesn’t even seem strange not to own a stove. I forget I don’t have one and don’t see a reason to ever own one again. People have been shocked, saying they cook too much to not have a stove. I cook too. But I cook in electric pots and skillets and in the toaster oven. For a family, I’d need a stove. For myself, what I now have is more efficient and effective. If anything, I’d buy one more electric pot.
What else have I missed? Hardwood floors. The woods behind the big house. My own yard. Having a garden. Owning more than one closet. Having a garage. Well, I never did have a garage. But I want one and have decided that I definitely want one when I get my tiny house. I want a work area for my tools and a place for my bicycle. And I don’t want to chisel ice off a car in the winter ever again. Also, garages can legally be messy. The idea of owning a space that no one expects to be clean or organized is very appealing. A stopping place for stuff that comes in, until I can put it away, also sounds great.
There are more things I’ve regretted getting than that I’ve regretted getting rid of. That extra laundry detergent that was on sale months ago. The canned goods that fill two cabinets and I’m not really even interested in eating now. Extra shampoo and cleaning supplies that now clutter my space but once were divided between rooms. I used to see buying in bulk as a very good thing. Now I see it more as an annoyance, and I’m realizing how very little it really saved me in most cases.
Have I missed anything as a result of downsizing? Did I give away anything that I regret? Not really. There are a few things I have fleeting thoughts of regret over having given away. And in a way I miss having a full size refrigerator. Not enough to get another, though. The small one costs less in electricity, my grocery bills haven’t gone up any without the larger fridge, less food is wasted when I don’t have a way to stockpile it, and I’m eating healthier since there’s no room for frozen pizzas and microwave meals.
I don’t ‘fit’ quite right in this rental. It wasn’t made for me. There are a few things I would design into a tiny house that I hadn’t thought much of: storage drawers under the bed, a better designed closet-and more than one, and more outlets-or at least outlets where they would make more sense. Eight cabinets is plenty, but these are broken down. I’d have four real cabinets, with working doors and drawers and just shelves above, and a drawer to keep paperwork in. I would, I’ve decided, keep a microwave, even if it’s not necessary.
Fancifully, I’d like chutes that sent recycling straight to a recycle bin outside. And I’ve debated making a “three car garage” with two bays becoming my house and the other staying a garage. That way the house would be expandable. The garage would block wind and help insulate the house if I put it on the north or west side. I want a pull string shower like I saw at a campground, where I just release the cord and the water stops. But I want a base that holds just a little water when I want it to.
It would be really nice if the shoe rack were built into the closet door, and when you flipped it, the winter clothes would show with winter shoes, or the summer clothes and summer shoes. But that would probably take a bit of space.
There are things that I would prefer and things I miss about owning my house. But do I miss the extra space? No. Actually, I look around and realize that I still have more than I need.
It will still take a bit longer to get rid of the extra stuff still floating around. There are still some things I’m deciding about and some things it doesn’t seem quite… normal… to get rid of. All the pots and pans for a regular stove, for instance. A stove I no longer own and never want to have again, sure, but still. And yet a little at a time, a box here and a box there, I am whittling it down. In the mean time, I can enjoy the reduced weight in my life. I tried to describe the reduction of stuff to one person today: it’s just more peaceful without it. And still, nearly 2500 pounds and four months later, I’ve only missed four things–less than 4 pounds out of 2500. Those weren’t things I rushed out to replace, just the only four things that I ever thought, oh, I wonder where that… oops, I think I donated it. What have I missed that was worth replacing? Nothing. Not one item. Kind of motivates me to go pack another box…