Our Tiny Little Cottage
This time last year we downsized to a little house that is one fourth the square footage of our first house. It’s just barely over 600 square feet to be exact. We have loved the change! We loved our first house, too, but a combination of factors caused us to think smaller and simpler concerning our home. One of those factors was Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class we took several years ago. It was awesome! Andrew and I have never been extravagant, irresponsible spenders in the first place, but the class definitely took things to another level. It helped us to see the bigger, longer term picture for our finances and gave us a stronger value for living below our means.
We waited about two years for our house to sell, and our prayers were finally answered this time last year. Downsizing has cut our cost of living TREMENDOUSLY. It is now a fraction of what it used to be! We had a few moving sales and a yard sale to get rid of the furniture and other stuff that wouldn’t fit into our new place. It felt so good to let go of so many things. In a lot of ways, the move was an exciting fresh start for us. The sell of our house combined with our new, much lower cost of living (as well as a few other exciting things God did) opened the door for me to transition out of work and into full time seminary.
A lot of people say that they could never live in place so tiny…and maybe that’s true if you have children. But I have seen for myself that everyone can live in a much smaller space than they might think. It simplifies life when you live below your means and when your home is just what you need. My dad built the house four or five years ago, and I was drawn to it as soon as I saw it! He did a simple two-room floor plan to maximize the space, and it’s just so cozy and perfect! He has actually built several houses like this one in the past two years or so. I think the economy has caused a lot of people to rethink things and downsize.
Andrew and I (but especially Andrew) pictured some of the adjustments to the new house being hard (like not having a garage, the smaller space, etc.). But it actually was a very smooth transition. The only challenge for me has been adjusting to much less closet space! Anyone who knows me knows that I am all about organization! My closet at the first house was a dream closet. It was so spacious, and everything had its special place…and all seasons fit easily into that one closet. This house has forced me to come up with creative, space-utilizing ways to store things (which I actually enjoy). One thing I love about the house is that, despite its size, it still has one and a half bathrooms. A second bathroom is always nice – can I get an ‘amen’?! People who have come over are always surprised to discover the second one. Another awesome advantage of this tiny place is how quickly we can clean it. 🙂
Neither of us really knows where we will go from this house. We are in no hurry to move – that’s for sure! Though I knew it already, our time in this house has tangibly demonstrated that bigger is not always better. I guess it also illustrates one of my all time favorite sayings: LESS IS MORE.