Living Small With A Partner Who Wants to Live Large

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Living Small With A Partner Who Wants to Live Large

All Life is An Experiment

One of the biggest challenges of living small, for me, is co-habitation with someone who is #1 a fan of living large and #2 a hoarder. I do not say this lightly. My man keeps EVERYTHING. I must admit that during the “struggle of the stuff” over the course of the past six years, he has improved his hoarding ways — but there’s such a prevalence of it, that it would take HUGE improvements to notice a difference with the naked eye.

I’m just sayin’…

This is a recent discussion of my tiny house dreams…

She: Oh LOOK!!! This is a tiny house floorplan that would work for us!! I love it.
He: *ignores her*
She: Look, seriously! Look at the kitchen counter space and the bed pulls out here. And LOOK at the built in storage space … and you will like this part… a clawfoot soaking tub! LOOK!!!
He: You know what kind of tiny house I would like?
She: *excited* What kind?
He: One that would fit inside my big house and would be your playhouse, then when you finished playing, you could come out into the big person house and live like a normal person.
She: * glare*

A Place for Everything

The man has stuff scattered everywhere. And he’s my *favorite* example of why living small and simple is better. For example, I have one hairbrush and I always, ALWAYS know where it is. So my man, who owns multiple hairbrushes, can never find his. So what does he do? He asks for mine to use. Obviously. (Then he brushes not only his hair, but his entire bearded face… which totally grosses me out — and my gross out offends him… but I digress.)

I believe that it’s easier to keep up with one thing that has a permanent place than to keep up with six that could be anywhere. The hairbrush is just an example. There are duplicates of everything he owns. And, when he can’t find one of them, he says it’s “easier” to just buy another one. No matter how much I fuss and complain and talk logic, he persists. I say, “If you buy another one instead of finding one of those that you already own, you are just adding to the volume of stuff and you will just lose that new one too!”

He has perfected the skill of ignoring such logic. (All I can say is it’s a darn good thing he’s cute.)

My point is, I can find my charger cable. I know where my nailclippers are, I know where my pen is, I can find my shoes/clothes/jacket/etc.

The Battle of the (Clutter) Bulge

Our home isn’t huge, it’s 768 square feet, but at the moment it’s INCREDIBLY cluttered — which I find depressing. HORRIBLY depressing. We moved into the cabin together in May (leaving a rental place in town that was closer to where we work) and there are still boxes piled everywhere. We have lived together for a couple years, so the struggle for space (him wanting more and more and me wanting less and less) is nothing new.

Now, granted we work ALL the time, but I believe that if we could downsize, we would have to work less — because less “replacement” stuff would have to be purchased.

Seriously, it’s a vicious cycle.

Building to Stay Small?

With the current challenges of “downsizing” for us both to fit comfortably in the current small house, talking about going even smaller and getting a tiny house on wheels makes him cranky. So I have to dream about it solo much of the time. But, I have every hope that he will come around. I also am realist enough to know that the ONLY way it’s going to work is for him to have a barn or a storage building (AKA a “Man Cave”) on the farm to store his treasures.

I resisted building ANOTHER building in order to live tiny — it seems so counter productive. But, right now, he has a rental storage unit, has his stuff piled ceiling high in my tiny freestanding office building by the creek, has stuff stored at his parent’s house and we are STILL overflowing.

For my part, I continue to downsize so that ALL of my possessions will fit neatly inside the cabin. I think I can, I think I can…

My approach now is to eliminate personal belongings (his and mine) from all common areas – the kitchen, bath, laundry area, and bedroom in order to hang onto what’s left of my sanity. We each have a study (7×10) from which to work when we are on the farm. I’d like to have our “personal” belongings reside in the tiny spaces where we work. It makes sense that my books need to be in my office. The few personal knick-knacks that I’m not willing to part with can be there to decorate my office. I’m asking him to do the same. And I’m waiting for him to cooperate…

So far, there’s a little progress. Not much, but some. Patience has never been one of my strengths, so I’m sure this painful waiting and hoping process is VERY good for me. Like eating okra or something equally disgusting.

Future Tiny Dreams

And, eventually, I will have a tiny house – on wheels (THOW) so I can explore the world and be the turtle I’ve always wanted to be. He will come around… eventually. I’m sure of it! 🙂 And if he doesn’t… I might just get my tiny “playhouse” anyway. Once I do, I know he will be up for an adventure… and maybe, just maybe he will become a convert. 🙂

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