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I live in a backyard ‘tiny home on wheels’ for $725 a month—here’s why I’m the happiest I’ve ever been – UnlistedNews

In 2018, when my marriage of 18 years ended, I moved out of my 3,000 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home and began looking for a new home.

The places I saw were out of my budget, so I had to get creative. When I saw a tiny house trend on social media, I realized it could be a great way to get that luxurious space I’ve always wanted at an affordable price.

Today I live in a tiny 520 square foot house on wheels that I built for $175,000. I pay $725 a month in housing costs, which covers my parking space (in someone’s backyard), internet, water, and electricity.

Overall, it cost me about $175,000 to build the house, which included the prefab frame structure, labor, and material costs.

Photo: Sean Farney for CNBC Do It

At first, my biggest concern was that I would have to give up a large part of my belongings, as they would not fit in the new space. But that worry quickly faded, and it’s actually the number one reason I’m happier than ever.

Limited space makes me appreciate what I already have

After my now-ex-husband and I sold our home in April 2019, I had to start debugging my belongings. I had a closet full of clothes and shoes, but I quickly realized that I only wore about 30% of them.

So I went through my wardrobe, filled eight large garbage bags, and handed them over to Goodwill. To my surprise, I immediately felt a sense of relief. And to this day, I couldn’t even tell you what I donated.

Since the downsizing, my online shopping habits have changed. My biggest rule of thumb is that I don’t buy anything unless I know exactly where I’m going to put it.

Photo: Sean Farney for CNBC Do It

When I lived in the biggest house, I was constantly buying things that I never ended up using. I would hold on to some of them for years, in case I might need them one day. They seized spare drawers and cabinets. Our basement looked like a junkyard.

The soaking tub is one of my favorite parts of this little house.

Photo: Jen Gresset

Now that I have less space, I no longer compulsively throw things in the shopping cart. If I know I don’t have a place to put it, I just won’t buy it.

This change in mindset has not only saved me money, but it has helped me feel more gratitude and take even better care of my things.

We installed pull-out cabinets in the kitchen and added lots of hidden compartments in the loft stairs.

Photo: Jen Gresset

Replaced constant online shopping with local shopping

I have become more thoughtful about where I buy things that do need. I love shopping on Amazon, but every little item arrives in a package, which is in bubble wrap, which is in a box. All these things take up space in my house and in the dumpsters.

I used to haul a trash can the size of a dumpster to the curb once a week. I now have a 13 gallon kitchen trash can and a 13 gallon recycling bin. That’s all.

My kitchen counter becomes a round, built-in dining table, where I also do my work as a freelance designer.

Photo: Jen Gresset

I try to buy small items locally, even if they sometimes cost more, to reduce packaging. It feels good to support small businesses and eliminate packaging waste.

If what I need is only on Amazon, I will wait until I have a few items in my cart before ordering.

Making the bed takes less than a minute. I just sit, straighten the pillows, and fluff up the duvet.

Photo: Jen Gresset

I have room to entertain, let alone clean

I loved entertaining in my 3,000 square foot home, which had a great open floor plan. But it also meant endless hours of scrubbing, vacuuming, and putting things back.

I love that my children sleep over. One of our favorite things to do is cook together, especially homemade pasta.

Photo: Sean Farney for CNBC Do It

In my small house, less space means less cleaning and less things to organize and maintain. I designed my kitchen to be the largest part of the house, so I can still comfortably host up to five guests at a time. Cleanup is easy and takes no more than an hour.

Your little space can be whatever you want it to be. My best advice is to start by asking yourself where you spend most of your time and focus on that first.

Photo: Jen Gresset

As I started my little journey home, I wrestled with the idea of ​​having to downsize. But little by little, I became less attached to material things, which in turn gave me a feeling of freedom that I never expected.

I have learned to truly appreciate the significant things in life: time with my children, space to breathe and meditate, and a home that is uniquely mine.

Jen Gressett is a graphic designer, copywriter, photo stylist, and content creator based in Colorado. During his spare time, he enjoys trail running, hiking, and training for races. find it in instagramwhere he shares his life in a tiny house experience.

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Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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