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    Posted July 20, 2012 by
    TinyHouseFam
    Location
    Virginia
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Living in small spaces

    Tiny House Family

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     TinyHouseFam says there is so much freedom when it comes to tiny living and being mortgage-free. "Our cost of living is much less than our previous 1500 square foot house, and we feel good about having a smaller environmental footprint," she says. "The particular thing I love about living tiny is that it forces us to find creative solutions to everyday life."
    - Anika3, CNN iReport producer

    We are a family of four (plus one large dog and one cat) living in 168 sq. ft., plus sleeping lofts. The tiny house is our first structure on our small, mortgage-free homestead. In order to move onto our land and live rent and mortgage-free as soon as possible, we decided to build a tiny house. The solution was a good one. We have lived in our tiny house full-time since May of 2011 and can report that our lives have been deeply enriched by this lifestyle.

    Living mortgage-free has given us the freedom to make decisions based on what will make us happy, not what we have to do to pay the mortgage. I have cut my outside-of-the-home work to 20 hours a week to allow for more time to tend our large garden, to write, to keep chickens, put away food for winter and to have fun with the kids. Karl has been able to move from a stressful job to one where he is able to have lots of creative input and healthy challenge. Freeing ourselves from consumer debt and living mortgage-free has cleared the clutter to help us see what is truly important: our relationships, our happiness, each moment.

    We love living with the just the things we need, and not more. When we need to cook, everything is at arm’s reach. Tiny house cooking is efficient and fun. The things we have are beautiful, enriching our tiny space. We got rid of so much and kept the beautiful things. For example, the fancy wedding China that we used to keep behind China cabinet doors now graces our daily table.

    We have combated cabin fever in the middle of winter by digging out a large fire pit just off the deck, so we enjoy sitting outside year-round. We retreat to our lofts to read, nap or watch a movie. The kids play in their loft and have a small DVD player with which to watch movies.

    Family time is centered around our built-in couch, our large deck, the chicken yard, riding bikes, swinging in trees, and walking the hills.

    The adjustment to living this way has been a great adventure and joy as we journey back to a time where people lived close, grew their own food, spent lots of time outside and worked close with nature--not distracted by excess.

    You can read more about our adventures in living tiny on our blog: tinyhousefamily.com

    Thanks for reading!
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