Guest Post from Tina Martin
On average, Americans work 47 hours per week, or the equivalent of an extra day of work. That supercharged work schedule isn’t compensated for, no matter the salary, because of our limited down time. However, many Americans are trapped in a cycle of debt, living paycheck to paycheck. Consequently stress, and the physical and psychological complications that go along with it, are part of ordinary American life. We’re busy keeping pace with unrealistic expectations and paying for things we don’t need.
The minimalist living movement grew out of a reaction against the status quo. Tiny house families have opted out of the grind to make the most out of their time and to devote more energy to making meaningful debt-free lives. Here, Ohana shares some of their strategies.
Join the Trend
The tiny house movement may be the ultimate expression of the minimalist ethos. It’s as much a social movement as a financial choice, driven by a rejection of the notion that more equals better. Tiny house owners embrace simple, efficient living in houses with under 1,000 square feet (some are as little as 100 to 400 square feet), a mere fraction of the typical American home (approximately 2,600 feet on average). It’s also a form of sustainable living and an environmentally responsible use of available land.
Tiny houses are an increasingly popular option with people over 50, who represent roughly a third of all tiny home owners. Many of these small abodes feature solar paneling, which enables them to go off the grid, another popular feature of the minimalist movement. And lest you think people living in tiny homes have to make do without modern conveniences, consider that some of these architectural gems feature hot tubs, covered back porches, and some of the same comforts typical of much larger houses.
Uncluttered and Mindful Living
A minimalist approach to living doesn’t stop at tiny homes. There’s also a growing trend toward responsible living – doing more with less and embracing a clutter-free life. It’s a mindset that emphasizes getting rid of the excess in our lives: according to a Los Angeles Times article, Americans own an average of 300,000 objects. Freeing oneself of the clutter means being honest about one’s belongings. A minimalist might ask whether a belonging has been used within the past year. If the answer is no; it’s got to go. Shedding unused and duplicate items through donations or recycling is an act of environmental responsibility and fiscal prudence.
If you’re running a home business, you also have an opportunity to adopt a clutter-free lifestyle. The best strategy is to organize your time and your stuff. You can cut back on how much paper you use and files you need to keep at home by using digital filing systems. Make sure that you put important things – including a weekly time to tidy up – on your calendar, too.
Trade in Technology for Nature
Living simply is about freeing up time so that we can spend more of it with family and friends, and doing more of the things we enjoy. In other words, leading a more rewarding and enriching life. For many, the minimalist lifestyle includes being mindful of excesses online as well. The average American spends more than two hours per day on social media, from Facebook to Snapchat and Twitter. Spending less time on social media sites can free up a considerable amount of time for more productive pursuits. There’s a lot to be said for unplugging and just enjoying a little solitude every day.
Research shows that there are great benefits of being in nature. As you continue to unplug, take advantage of Mother Nature by spending more time outdoors. But when you need to be inside, open some blinds, bring in a few strategically-placed potted plants, and decorate with nature to keep your blood pressure low and your mood high.
Selling Your Home to Downsize
If you’re downsizing to a tiny house, you may need to sell your current home. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prepare your home for sale and get the best possible price. First, it’s important to understand the current housing market. Are prices rising or falling? What types of homes are selling quickly? Knowing this information will help you price your home appropriately. Next, take some time to depersonalize your space. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, and that’s difficult to do when your personal belongings are everywhere. Finally, make any necessary repairs or upgrades.Fixing that leaky faucet or repainting the kitchen will make your home more appealing to potential buyers. By following these tips, you can increase the chances of selling your home quickly and for a good price.
Allow Movers to Remove Stress
One of the biggest things that stands in the way of people downsizing to a home that’s a better fit for them — or any move, really — is simply the stress of moving. All that planning (and all those boxes) can be pretty overwhelming, but don’t let that stand in your way. Simply search for movers online and browse the ratings and reviews to make sure you’re hiring the affordable, qualified professionals you deserve.
We don’t have to live in tiny houses to embrace a simpler, less chaotic lifestyle. It does, however, take a commitment to push back against the traditional demands of the 47-hour workweek and the glut of rampant consumerism. Minimalism offers a way to slow the pace of life and to live contentedly within our means.
Are you looking to purchase a tiny home of your own? If so, Ohana can help you get started! Explore our site to see the different tiny homes we currently offer.