Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life · 7 Day Challenge

Day 7 · I’m free! Today marks the final day of our 7 Day Challenge, but hopefully, this is just the beginning of your “Tiny House Lifestyle!’ Check out all 7 days of this challenge at http://pennyspuravida.com Transitioning into the “tiny house mindset” is a process, but hopefully, you’ve begun to experience more freedom and less stress as a result of your downsizing. You can now move through your home with ease and are appreciating the single keepsake you have on display, rather than cleaning and dusting a bunch of chotskies. You feel joy and pride as you open your closets and drawers and have set up hidden storage for all of your craft supplies in an unused closet. You’re shopping smarter because the thought of bringing something else into…

Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life · 7 Day Challenge

Day 6 · Explore, investigate and try new things I used to watch house hunting shows and agree completely with those homebuyers who would say, “This whole kitchen is so dated and small! Who could live here?” After living abroad I now know the answer to that question, we all can. Our family of four (including two teenagers) lived quite comfortably in a tiny apartment in Costa Rica, and we thrived. The house hunters on makeover shows, dismiss cabinets, flooring, and countertops that are in decent condition and functioning well, for being 10-20 years old.  When “demo day” comes, they destroy everything, proudly swinging sledgehammers through walls and cabinets without a thought of salvaging the perfectly good (and often much better quality) lumber from decades…

Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life – 7 Day Challenge

Day 5 · Impede the Impedimenta Impedimenta – plural noun 1. baggage or other things that hinder one’s progress, things that impede, encumbrances, junk, obstructions, baggage.Now that you’ve begun to streamline the flow through your home, remove excess decor, and tackle your “clutter clusters,” you need to think about how all those items landed in your home in the first place. It’s time to start shopping intentionally. For those of us living in developed nations, having too much stuff is one of the primary obstacles to a happy life. You have to have make money to buy it, create space for it, clean it, maintain it, protect it, upgrade it, and live amongst it! Stuff rules our lives, demands our attention, and distracts us from what is really…

Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life – 7 Day Challenge

Day 4 · Take a sentimental journey “When I go, I don’t want to be remembered by the stuff I left behind, but how I loved while I was here.” – Courtney Carver It’s Day 4 and so far we’ve discussed streamlining the flow through your home, reducing the number of decorations in your home, and you’ve begun to eliminate the “clutter clusters” (both seen and unseen.) Hopefully, you’re beginning to feel less overwhelmed by your full-sized life and can see what a difference less stuff in your life makes. It’s now time to address the things that are most difficult to eliminate from your life: sentimental items and keepsakes. That includes the items that you’ve boxed up and sent to “Exile Island.”  When we…

Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life · 7 Day Challenge

Day 3 · Manage the Mélange One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. – A.A. Milne I thought about this quote as I unearthed a combination lock from what has evolved into my bedroom junk drawer. I’d been looking for a hair clip, and although I own 5+, I couldn’t find one. But there was that lock I’d been looking for!… Now, what was the combo? Being disorderly is not exciting or peace-inducing, so let’s make some changes! There are some popular organizing strategies floating around these days, like focussing on only keeping the things that “bring you joy.” Unfortunately, this approach fails to address functional versus enjoyable items and may leave with organized spaces, but not…

Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life · 7 Day Challenge

Day 2 · Decorations, chotskis and other treasures Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.      – William Morris Decoration = elaboration or amplification. If you need to buy something to make a piece of furniture you already have more beautiful or useful, it’s time to rethink things. An attractive piece of furniture should be able to stand alone in its function and appearance. Decorations usually fall into two categories: those that are strictly decorative and those with sentimental value. Regardless of which category your treasures fall into, (and even though this may sound scary) some of them will need to be removed for just a little while. You’re going to be using the “Exile Island Removal…

Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life – 7 Day Challenge

Day 1 · Streamlining In 2007 our family was presented with an opportunity to move to Costa Rica and we decided to “go for it,” without understanding how much downsizing we’d have to do to make such a move. We had to empty out our 3,000 sq. ft. home and get rid of everything, except those items that would fit into the eight suitcases we were able to take with us. Our family of four (including two teenagers) lived in a 450 sq. ft. home in Costa Rica for seven years and we thrived. We were “Tiny House Living” before it became trendy, and I’m going to tell you how you too can enjoy the benefits of “tiny living.” Each day of this challenge I’ll…

Free Local-Led Private Tours of the World’s Most Fascinating Cities

Moving out into the brisk morning air, our private tour guide Daniel, directed us north onto the bustling sidewalk. Reviewing my multiple layers in my head, I was ready for an 80° temperature shift in either direction…bring it on!  Our Big Apple Greeter was here to spend a couple of hours with us showing us around his city, like only a local can. Daniel met us 30 minutes earlier in the lobby of our hotel to share some basics and give us a lay of the land, literally, explaining how strategically Manhattan’s streets had been laid out in 1811. “20 Street blocks = 1 mile (1.6k), Avenues run North and South – Streets run East and West. Distance between avenues is about 3x as long…

The Stunning DIY Wedding Gift, Couples Will Treasure

Racking your brain for the perfect gift for that special couple? This easy to create DIY statue of the bride and groom’s hands is a one-of-a-kind piece of art all couples will love! Even if you aren’t confident in your crafting skills, these unique hand statues are practically mistake free to create, and turn out stunningly every time. First, order the kit on Amazon: Ask the couple for ten minutes of their time, ideally more than a week before their wedding. No worries, if you only have a few days, you can still make this! Meet them somewhere that has a sink and running water and bring the following with you: The moulding kit in the moulding bucket, with the label removed. (Keeping your gift…

Resisters: Read This Before Your Next Visit To Washington D.C.

“Zip up your jacket before you go into the gallery! Your t-shirt can’t be seen in there.” This was the third time I’d been admonished this way by security, as we made our way into the U.S. Senate gallery. THE THIRD TIME. HOW DID WE GET HERE? Honey, I got us tickets to D.C. for our anniversary this spring! My well-meaning husband waited patiently for my enthusiastic response, but I sat frozen and conflicted. Why can’t I jump up and gratefully throw my arms around him? The last time I was there as a tourist was in 1973, the cherry blossoms would be in bloom, and he got an amazing deal on our two tickets, but visit Washington, D.C. now? We lived abroad for most of…