Did you know over half of Americans reported they would enjoy living in less than 600 square feet of space? That’s approximately the size of a typical three-car garage. What families don’t get in square feet, they make up for in money saved, journeys taken, and memories made.
If you’ve ever pondered what it would be like to join the ranks of RV and tiny home dwellers, then check out these top tips from real families living large in a small space. Below is a collection of data, interviews, and advice that will give you insight into the world of minimalist living from families who are doing exactly that.
Practical Tips and Favorite Aspects of Minimalist Living - From Real Families
I recently interviewed four Home Reserve customers who just so happen to live full-time in an RV or tiny home. Their passion was evident as they answered each of my questions. Below is each family’s response, as well as images of their beautiful home.
5TH WHEEL FAM - CORY & ERIN - RV
“The most practical tip out there is to let go of the stuff you don't need! When we decided to full-time in our RV, we didn't think we had that much stuff - until we had to figure out where to put everything. RVs and tiny homes all have weight limits, so you literally can't take everything with you.
Find ways to reduce the clutter. We aren't a large family, but it doesn't take long for a little bit of each person's stuff laying around to make the RV super cluttered (and clutter stresses me out!) That's one major reason we chose a Home Reserve couch; we were able to use the under-seat storage in both of our couches to tuck away things.
The final tip for people thinking about moving into an RV or tiny house is to just do it! I think everyone has their own "why" that pushed them to full-time, but there are so many people who tell me, "Oh, I'm so jealous" or "I wish we could do that too". You just have to go for it. For us, our "why" happened when Cory had a medical scare last year that made us realize we wanted to live life now, not someday in the future.”
“Our favorite aspect of living in an RV is the flexibility. We're Michiganders. If you've been through a Michigan winter, the flexibility to go somewhere that is warm and sunny in February is amazing! Then, we're equally flexible to head to the next location when we want to see something new.”
Practical Tips from tiny home owners, Molly and Ken:
“It’s extremely important to think about 5 things in your new home and design your home around that. For us, it was:
To fit our king sized bed
An L-shaped couch
Find a place for our sauna
Have as many windows as possible
Find a place for all our plants!
You’ll have to be living in your home every single day so it is important to prioritize how you’ll live in it and what will make you happy. Ken and I do a lot of entertaining and lounging around in our living room so It was extremely important we had a cozy couch that could fit our friends or allow us to stretch out! This was by far one of the first things we made sure we had space for when moving in and wouldn’t change a thing.”
Favorite aspects of tiny home living:
“A few aspects that make our home so perfect for us is that we designed it to fit us. We love our interior design and the layout of our home. Not to mention it only takes 30 minutes for a DEEP clean, not just surface level.
When the sun goes down we turn on our Edison bulbs and light the candles in our home—the vibes in there are just down right cozy and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Downsizing is such a freeing and fulfilling feeling.
Another reason why we love our home is the money-saving aspect. Ken and I wanted to own our home; however, we weren’t ready to take the plunge into a 30-year mortgage. Instead we opted for a tiny house mortgage of 7 years we will have our home, fully paid off. Even though we are paying a small mortgage, we are saving close to $600 a month living this lifestyle then when we were renting.
Practical Tips from RV owners, Briggs and Rhylissa:
“For someone about to move into an RV, our first tip would be to go to an RV show, if at all possible. This was an absolute game changer for us. It felt like buying a house, because that’s what it is really. You can research online forever, drool over those “perfect” spaces on Instagram, but nothing tops seeing and physically feeling the space in person.
After living in our trailer for about 6 months we decided to make some changes. We painted everything, replaced the couch and dinette with a regular table and a Home Reserve couch, added backsplash to the kitchen and bathroom to make it feel more like ours. With all that said, find what works for you. Our routines have changed several times over the past 1.5 years as we’ve gone from living in an RV with a 1-year-old and a very pregnant mama, to traveling with a newborn, and now having two very mobile tiny humans.
Life and needs change, and so will your space. Don’t be afraid to update and tailor it to your needs.”
Favorite aspects of RV living:
“We love that we have our home with us wherever we travel. It gives us the freedom to be adventurous while knowing that, no matter what, we get to sleep in our own beds at night. This has been great with the kids in allowing us to maintain their routines and keep the anchor of home.
We love using every inch of our space. Do things get cluttered? Absolutely, we have two kids after all! But what we really mean is that there isn’t an inch in our 32.9ft travel trailer that’s unloved or unused. We liken it to having the perfect meal. It’s not too heavy, it satisfies your hunger, and you’re left feeling refreshed and energized.”
“I would suggest going to the rig you are thinking of purchasing and going through a typical day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and really picture what that looks like. That will help you pick the right RV and see what things you are willing to compromise on.
I also suggest finding an RV with a large refrigerator. That's probably our biggest hardship with being a family of seven.”
“I love that my inside remains the same and my outside always changes. We have met so many amazing people and experienced so many new places. We have been to 16 states so far, and we never would have been able to do that without full-time traveling. I love that our Home Reserve couch makes us feel like we are in a real living room. It is so comfy and we can all lounge comfortably together.”
See where your curiosity takes you.
Now that you’ve heard from families who are enjoying the minimalist lifestyle, share your own ideas with us. We’d love to hear what aspects of RV or tiny-home living pique your interest. You can leave a comment below or check in with Home Reserve’s Facebook page here.
Want to learn more about the type of furniture you could fit comfortably in a small living space? Home Reserve’s customizable sectionals are a great place to start.
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