Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 1110 – Tiny Living in a Big House – Tiny Step: Guilty Personal Storage

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas

Tiny steps are good until they lead to bigger steps.

In August, one of my sons left for college. He took only what he needed and (lucky for us) he left everything he didn’t need behind – most of it in our foyer near where he had done his packing – he likes to lay everything out on the porch and then repack. For weeks, whether despondent over his leaving or because we got busy ourselves with school starting, we’ve been living around his unpacked and piled up supplies.

Although I applaud the fact he’s realized he doesn’t need to bring a lot of things to college (that he’s in a military college certainly helps drive home that attitude) it doesn’t help me much with my goal of tiny living in a big house when someone uses your space as their personal storage area.

This weekend, I decided to start cleaning up his mess (the foyer proper will be another post as that is a rather intense tiny step.) My son had left a box containing 2 canning jars on the floor against a wall. He had been using the jars to make sun tea and for collecting herbs in the nature classes he had taught during the summer. That’s all well and good, but he couldn’t put the jars and box away before he left? I mean how much effort would that really take? And this was an area that saw heavy family traffic, what was he thinking?


Oh well, I set to my task.

In the box I also found a book I had been reading (I had wondered where it had gone to), some junk mail, and a trinket box of my son’s.

I threw the mail out, shelved the book, put the box in my son’s room, and put the canning jars in the kitchen. This is going to be an easy tiny step, I thought.

That was until I moved the box. Ah, so *that* was what he was thinking. This is why my son left the box with two canning jars on the floor. I suspect his racing bike that he’s parked in our living room all summer.


Hmm, so while getting rid of the box is in-line with my tiny living in a big house. I now need to figure out how to patch up a rather large hole in the wall (dear Liza.)

This tiny step has turned in a bigger-than-I-thought tiny step. But even though it’s going to be a little more work, it still fits in with tiny house living -

Get rid of what you don’t need, and maintain what it is you do

(and while you’re at it – stop trying to hide the work that needs to be done, just do it.)


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at [email protected]

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