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Whidbey7_1024x1024 557 feetHave you ever thought about how much time you spend just taking care of your stuff? Cleaning it, fixing it, insuring it, keeping utilities (or gas) in it or just putting it away after you use it?

Then there’s all the time you spend shopping and wishing for new stuff that goes with the stuff you already have. If you’re like me, sometimes you have so much stuff that you have to donate the older stuff to make room for the newer stuff. And, of course, there are the countless hours you spend working to make the money that buys all this stuff.

I never realized how much stuff I had until I traveled abroad and saw how simply people in other countries live. Weekend junkets where we have stayed in old cottages with no closets or storage also remind me of all my stuff. The people who once lived there probably had two or three changes of clothes–one for school, one for work and one for church.

A few months ago, I felt brave when I committed to limiting most of my purchases to used or DIY clothes–a great move toward a more sustainable way of life. But that’s not good enough, especially if I ever hope to fit in my dream home. Which is. A Very. Tiny. House. Between 130 and 554 square feet to be exact.

Here’s the cool thing about these homes: you can choose between a mobile option or one that sits on a permanent foundation. Since I work virtually, how cool would it be to haul a mobile version to different locales a few times a year? Or simply to try the permanent version as a weekend getaway on a lake somewhere?

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This summer I’m attending a Tumbleweed Tiny House workshop where you can learn how to build a tiny house yourself. Meanwhile, I find myself more attached to my stuff than I ever realized as I try to picture giving things away. And rationalizing. I thought, “Hey, we’re not getting rid of our current house, so I wouldn’t really have to part with my things.”

This is the whole paradox of the sustainable living movement, isn’t it? Often, we’re ill-prepared to make truly revolutionary changes. We want to hang on to our old lifestyle while pretending to live differently. Some people, like Jay Shafer, the owner of Tumbleweed Tiny House, have found a sort of middle way by renting out their original home and living in a tiny house.

What do you think? Could you ever live in a house this small? Do you think a fashion nut like me could ever part with most of her clothes and accessories to live this small? Which would you choose–a mobile small house or one on a permanent foundation?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.