Some of you who follow me on instagram and facebook have been watching me post pictures of me decluttering and preparing for my move. Some of you know what we are going to do this year, but some of you don’t, so I wanted to share it with you all…
The short version:
We bought an airstream trailer and we are currently living in it full time! And it’s not because we HAVE to, it’s because we WANT to! 😄
The long version:
This year we decided to go TINY!!! If you asked me to do this a year ago, I would have told you NO WAY! You’re crazy! Haha I was at a different point in my life. But this year we decided to go for it, and try it out. What does “going tiny” mean? Why are we going “tiny” and how? I decided to share our story in hopes of helping someone else out there and also to document our little adventure to look back on years down the road when we are old.
Let me give you the background.
A little over 3 years ago my second son was born and I became a stay at home mom. It was such a big transition for me to stop working and stay home full time. I had several boxes of things from my office piled up on the window seat in my bedroom and all of the toys and things that come along with having a family of 4 began driving me nuts! I share more about that here. I share about how I ended up hiring a professional organizer to help me go through those things and give me a jump-start towards minimizing. I got rid of a lot, but with kids I feel like it is a continual process. At that time I also didn’t really want to get rid of some of the things that I thought were useful around the house, like 20 pens!! I mean, what if I may use them later!!? And I still kept more clothes then I really needed too as well (like those skinny jeans I told myself I would fit in, or my favorite shirt with the stain lol). I have always been the type to not waste anything. So I kept things, “just in case I needed it.” I hate throwing things in the trash, especially since I find everything useful. So this was a huge challenge for me. While I still don’t like throwing things away, I am now able to sift through my items and donate things much quicker to give away to someone who could use it or even sell an item. Win, Win for me!
Around the same time we took a class called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey and found the Mr. Money Mustache Blog, which really began our ultimate goal towards financial independence. We paid off our cars and student loans and began to save even more aggressively. I battled with it though. Why do we need to save so much money? I just didn’t fully get it. My husband has always been passionate about finances and I wanted to understand why. About a year after I stayed at home, our income went up and our savings rate got higher so I felt like we were ready to start looking for our “dream home.” So over the next two years I watched the market, and searched for it. My husband on the other hand was perfectly fine staying in our current “starter home” that we bought in 2010 before we had kids. In my search, I didn’t find our dream home, but I did find a rental that I liked. I thought it was the perfect solution to “try out” a neighborhood we may potentially buy a house in and to see if we really did want to buy a bigger house. Now it was time to convince my husband this was what we should do. He surprised me and said yes, but only if I could get our place rented out. I had a week!! So I did what any woman in my position would do. Clean the house, take pictures and do all the research to become a property manager. Within a week I had it rented to a lovely couple, moved ourselves out and into the new place! It was an insane couple of weeks. We moved into the house on January 15, 2016. You can see some of that move documented on my instagram if you go back.
We loved our rental house and for the first half of the year couldn’t wait to find one of our own in the same area. Probably a lot like other young families though you look around at this moment in time and the home prices are outrageous. I looked for a while anyway, but didn’t find a house I was in love with. Around the middle of the year a more dramatic change in mindset started to take hold. We went into this rental thinking we would want to buy a bigger house, but now we weren’t so sure. Did I really want to spend all day cleaning one? Or have my husband working long hours in his prime years taking precious time away from our family just to pay for one? What if we don’t have to do it this way?
There have been so many different influences, but one that stands out is a documentary called Minimalism film We watched it early last year when it came out in the theatres. It is an amazing film about the important things, and living life with less. After watching it I honestly wanted to get rid of everything I owned. It really changed my mindset even more about possessions, what was in my home and about what I really wanted for our future and our family. The movie is a must watch for anyone.
Here is the trailer to give you an idea of what it was about:
One of the many things I learned more about while watching the film was that maybe we didn’t have to do things the “traditional” way, maybe there was a different way. Something outside the box. That is where I learned more about tiny homes. I knew they had the Tiny House show on HGTV, but I never really watched it. I was very intrigued and began dreaming about maybe living in one. So funny because I had just moved into a beautiful house with such a spacious living room that I loved, and now here I was dreaming about living tiny! What a mind shift. Why the change of heart? We loved the thought of being able to build a tiny home of our own with ample outdoor living space, pay cash for it, live completely debt free and be able to use our resources and time for other causes that we were passionate about. So I began doing research on tiny houses only to find out the many laws and regulations making it super tough to even find a place to park one in our area. Over the course of several months we began thinking about other “tiny” solutions we could move our family into to try out and see how we really like tiny living. We looked into them all! A yurt? A teepee? I was looking into every possible option and met and got a chance to see some incredible people along the way who actually owned them and some live in them. There are some really awesome and helpful people out there and I am thankful to have met them. We also began to think about something a little more mobile that we could live in and potentially use on a property we would buy in the future. We remembered our friend owned an Airstream travel trailer, so we went to check it out at her place and I immediately knew this was IT! And we had our mind set on buying an Airstream that we could live in. This was around November.
I immediately went home and began going through my items getting rid of more things and doing some research on airstream living. In October I did the Project 333 challenge to start minimizing clothes which was very helpful. I was ready. I was ready to let go of a lot of my possessions. The things that held sentimental value or I thought were “useful” I now was ready to say goodbye to. It was pretty easy to let go of a ripped, stained shirt now, but what about the ones that I still had tags on that just sat in my closet or cost me a lot? What about my high school and college sports jerseys that have been sitting in a box collecting dust? As time went on and we began getting closer to purchasing our airstream things just got easier to let go. I watched a couple videos to pump me up and inspire me. I began following others on instagram and reading blogs about other families who also lived in airstreams to know that this WAS possible with 2 kids. This was going to be a leap of faith, but we were ready for it. We knew this was going to be a challenge for ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and live even more simply. My husband was thrilled because he has always been the one pushing for a more minimalist lifestyle.
Check out this video that really inspired me to want to do this:
We were excited and a bit nervous about this adventure because of all the unknowns. I mean we had never even slept in a trailer before! Haha But we knew this was what we wanted to do. So we searched around for Airstreams and found a 1967 Airstream Safari named “Audrey” @sbsilversafari (she had her own instagram from a previous owner who used it as a rental at weddings). We loved that it was a vintage trailer, but had a nice updated kitchen in it, updated floors in the living area, a small tub and shower that would fit both of our boys and it also had space to sleep 4-5. So we bought her!! We still have plans to do a few updates, but we were glad that it was in move in ready condition. She arrived on December 15 (our 9 year wedding anniversary!) All of a sudden it was real. We were going to really do this! We had a month to really get down and dirty decluttering and minimizing our belongings even more so we would only take what we truly loved and needed in our “Tiny Home.” We also had to figure out where in the world we were going to park her! We were blessed enough to have our friends allow us to rent space (with hook-ups!) on their beautiful property in Simi Valley, Ca. We moved out of our house on January 14 and officially moved into the Airstream on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.
It’s been a little over a week since we moved in and if any of you are in California, you know what the weather has been like! I told myself, “Well, if we can survive our first week living in an Airstream with all this rain then the rest of our time here will be a breeze! Haha I am happy to say we are doing well and adjusting nicely. I could do without the commute to my boys school, but will make the sacrifice as long as they want to go there. lol We are excited to see how this will all unfold and what it will be like living in such tight quarters with each other, especially with two kids! So far, so good. We know that there will be challenges, and it won’t always be butterflies and rainbows, but we are ready to face them, learn from them and to grow as people. It’s only been a week and a half since we moved in and have learned so much already. Like how to grocery shop and store things in a mini fridge and how to cook dinner on a tiny 3 burner stove top! We don’t need a large space to be happy. We truly believe in the importance of quality time with our family and we look forward to hitting the road over the Summer to travel around and see the country. I know these will be special memories that we will cherish for a lifetime. We will take all of this month by month and see where God leads us.
With all that being said we do have other plans up our sleeve (like selling our home and pursuing a land purchase)…but more on that in a future post. We know this is what God is calling us to do at this time in our lives and we are rolling with it! We don’t know exactly where God will take us, but we know it will be an adventure. We could use all the support, positive vibes and prayers we can get. Thank you in advance. We are very excited about this new journey that we are on and look forward to sharing it with you. If you have any questions about anything feel free to ask and I will try and answer some of them in upcoming posts. Below are some pics of our Airstream. The beginning ones are from when we first got it. Now it has all of our stuff in it so it looks a bit different now. You can also follow me over on Instagram as I will be posting more photos of what we are up to on this new adventure. Cheers!