Monday, August 9, 2010

Tiny Homes.. Tiny Living... Simple Life

I've been thinking a lot lately about simplifying my life. How can I get the most happiness out of my dollar? Do I really need all the things I have to get by in my life? I work hard, I want to learn to live smarter. I just think... there has to be more to life then being on the hamster wheel going round and round constantly. Worrying about finances, paying bills, and if your job will still be there tomorrow. How did it get like this? Is this what it means to be a grownup?

I can't help but remember that some of the best times in my life involved making just enough money to get by, living in a tiny little apartment with very few things, and driving a 1973 VW Bettle. I was still happy even without lots of money and things.

Perhaps that is why I enjoy collecting vintage's the ultimate form of recycling and I personally only buy cheap things from auctions and such. I've never cared much for the competitions that some vintage inclined people get into with each other. I like my vintage simple and I do what I do for me and not to impress anyone else.

I think I want to start a new trend...who can live with the least amount of vintage things???

An article in the New York Times, But Will It Make You Happy?
A blog about living a simple life...Rowdy Kittens
A blog about ...thetinylife
A blog about...Tinyhouseblog
Another article in the New York Times..Think Small
Small house plans...Tumbleweed houses

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

~The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.


  1. I agree, and I was gonna write about this issue as well. After watching the show "Hoarders" I could'nt help but think of a few folks in the blog world that perhaps have too much stuff. My wife and I collect, but when we purchase something that we like better we sell our old stuff. And even further, we only buy things now that are marked or important, as opposed to a bunch of kitschy crap that we don't need. A lot of people forget that the appeal of living a throwback lifestyle is modesty. Even in the booming consumer market of the 1950s, people lived simple lives.

  2. Great post. I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment in NYC, and having lived here most of my life, I've learned from very early on to pare down. The cost of living here is high (compared to other parts of America), and I've learned that accumulating loads of stuff doesn't necessarily make you happy. I've also never had the physical space for accumulating stuff.

    The prime amount of my spending (other than rent) seems to be clothing, so this year I taught myself how to sew. I stopped buying ready-to-wear clothing and thrifted clothing and have been sewing from vintage sewing patterns. I definitely have less items now since I have to make everything else, but I think about each item that I want to make and I treasure it more. (And am happier than spending hours at Salvation Army/H&M/etc).

  3. Ive seen several stories about small homes and its amazing. I love the idea of living simply but with 2 small kids, nothing is simple.

  4. I have always wanted to live in an Airstream or Spartan trailer. I think this obsession comes from watching The Long Long Trailer too many times as a kiddo! I've seriously been considering the possibility lately its just a matter of where I would park the thing!

  5. Wow thank you for that. I am just in the process of moving house today and could cry after realising just how much stuff I have hoarded! To be honest I feel like I am drowning in everything that I have... and yet I of course continue to collect more. I think I am seriously ready to downsize! I have always absolutely loved small houses (the smaller the better), in fact for as far back as I can remember I have wanted to leave in a trailer. Naturally everybody thinks I'm quite mad! My boyfriend (who dreams of living in a huge house) joke about the fact that he would build me my own small house to live in in his living room!

  6. So interesting and so along the lines of clearly what many of us feel at the moment. We're very like you, we buy what we like - not what is in 'vintage' fashion - we don't have much money so never pay a lot and we sell many of our excess stuff.

    Clothes has been our problem, and for me owning so much stuff that doesn't fit as I've gained weight which is ridiculous! Don't even get me started!

    I often see people buying stuff because it's 50's or 40's or whatever, just buying for the sake, it will get overwhelming. Our stuff has got overwhelming and we have never been like that but we have been buying for so long - and selling as well - that eventually it gets too much. Slowly but surely we are selling a lot, although I have to say that we have sale regrets too!

    I couldn't live in a tiny space, I don't like it, I've done it and I like my space, but I could certainly live with less stuff!

  7. I love my small house, it's not as tiny as those, but just a nice 1950 built 2 bedroom, I don't wanna ever live in a big or newer built house.

    I don't think I'd do good at living without vintage stuff though, lol! But I do only buy what I truly love (although sometimes I end up with something not right, pretty rare though)

  8. Very interesting post. I love the pic's design cabin you choose. I dream about a tree's cabin in Hawaii :)

    Back years, i lived in a little one room with only a longskate as a car. All my money goes in travel and rockabilly fest, surf trip, restaurants... Behind the society, i look a like a retarded teenager and poor because i could not show to the society a nice house full of things. It's very disturbing for the whole society someone who refused the "prison rules of consummation"
    Now, i lived in a real flat, i'm still a retarded teenager ;) but i didn't travel anymore because all my money goes in rent and taxes. I'm feel really stucked and i could say that i was more happy in my old tiny place. Respectability cost a lot ha ha ha ha !!! :)

    I could easily lived again in a tiny place as i will stay single of course.

  9. This post really resonated with me. I'm an American living in Germany, and over here a lot of people spend most of their lives in apartments rather than houses, and even when they do live in houses these tend to be a lot smaller than many of the suburban homes I remember from the States.

    I, too, see buying vintage furniture (and other things) as a form of recycling, and oftentimes what you get for your money is much better made and more treasure-worthy than something picked up at a large flatpack furniture store. Nevertheless, those of us who collect things (I'm into West German pottery and chronicle some of my flea market finds on my blog would probably do well to occasionally consider whether there's a point when enough's enough. I'm trying, really I am :-)

    Have added your wonderful blog to my blogroll, hope you don't mind!

  10. I love this post!
    I can totally agree when you said your happier times was when you just barely made it by.
    When we first packed to move,I realized how much stuff I had hoared. I was stunned. I had a coworker who,about that time hubby lost his job and they were looking to sell thier possesions to make money. I gave them a truck load. I felt sad initially at the thought, but after it was done I felt elated.Our new home is more spacious without it and our life is simpler.

  11. So true, so true. I would love to have a small cottage, grow most of my food and have solar panels, living a simple life sounds so lovely.
    I hoard so much crap, but I just can't rid of anything! I suppose I should be more ruthless, but a lot of the stuff I have has sentimental reasons attached to them, hence why I find it hard to throw anything out!

    A friend of ours wants to build an earthship, I don't know if you have ever heard of them? I think he wants to build it out of old tyres and old materials and produce his own energy, I really hope he gets there as it sounds wonderful.