“Would you take 3 bucks for it?’ the man said holding my stunning McCoy vase. It had come to this, all of my collectables, dishes, utensils and appliances lay out like lava on the kitchen counters, the result of a huge cabinet eruption. This was the final weekend before we moved to Costa Rica and our family of four could only take a few suitcases, so EVERYTHING else had to go.
My husband had already moved to start working, so I alone had to get rid of a house and garage full of things I never thought I could live without; a chef’s kitchen full of my favorite things, a library of books I’d collected over a lifetime, 10 boxes of Christmas decorations, and craft/art supplies (I just knew would someday come in handy!)
We were going through the forced downsizing future expats and tiny house residents endure, and it was rough. I thought I’d already gotten rid a ton of stuff, but once all of my remaining possessions were laid out the morning of the yard sale, I was shocked to see how much I still had to eliminate! I love thrift shopping and yard sales, and it showed.
Eventually, I got rid of everything and our family moved to Costa Rica with all of our worldly possessions packed into 8 suitcases!
We lived in Costa Rica for 7 wonderfully transformative years, running a taqueria in a popular coastal town. I visited with legions of tourists and almost daily I’d be asked, “What’s it like to live in paradise?” My answer was always the same, “We live very simply in a furnished apartment, have everything we need and try to keep the amount of possessions we own to a minimum.” The vacationers who heard my response would wistfully look at each other and sigh when the reality of their full-sized lives rushed back in.
Most Costa Ricans live in modest homes with minimal square footage and enjoy many of the benefits of what we now refer to as “tiny house” living. Those of us living in more developed nations have way too much “stuff” and it is one of the primary obstacles to happiness. You have to have make money to buy it, make room for it, clean it, maintain it, protect it, upgrade it and live amongst it! It demands our attention and distracts us from all that is really important.
Two years ago, when we returned from Costa Rica , I committed to maintaining a minimalistic lifestyle. Sadly, the materialism I was able to successfully shake for so many years abroad, seeped back into my life in two short years, so I tiny housed my full-sized life in 7 short days and you can too!
I began visualizing what my spaces could and should look like, which is the first step in this transformation process. I then began to address my jam-packed closets and drawers simply and methodically without getting overwhelmed.
Each day of this 7 Day Tiny House Challenge, I will provide easy prompts and suggestions to help you start thinking differently, and then offer exercises you can modify to address your own uniques chaos. The goal is to change the way you think about your home and possessions. I’ll help you begin to live in a serene uncluttered environment that will inspire and refresh you. That’s what “tiny home living” is all about, freedom from the stresses of a materialistic lifestyle..and much of it is a mental game.
On May 29th, I’m offering a 7 day downsizing challenge that will walk you through the same process I used to transform my life.
It’s free to join and self-paced. Sign up here: Tiny House Your Life 7 Day Challenge
Pura vida, Penny