If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that “tiny living” is ALL the rage these days! Nearly every time we peruse social media, we see articles and videos about reducing a home to the tiniest of spaces and enjoying the experiences instead of material things in life.
Personally, many of us are extremely curious about this lifestyle and grateful that we have our very own “tiny living expert” on Team MommyCon, Kate! Enjoy the interview below all about her transition to tiny living and experience thus far. Enjoy!
Tiny Living. Big Adventures.
1. Brief intro about you, your family and travel.
Hi! I’m Kate and I’m the designer of anything graphic related for MommyCon! I’m married to my wonderful husband, Matt and we have two dogs who travel with us, Scout – a white shepherd, and Lennard a small terrier mix. We currently live and travel around the United States (and sometimes Mexico) in a 36ft fifth wheel (300ish sq ft.) Previously, we traveled for a year in a much smaller motorhome that was only 18ft long. We are proud that we survived living in 130 sq ft for an entire year!
2. When and why did you decide to move into a tiny home on wheels? How long do you plan to live in one?
It was the summer of 2014, right around the time I started working for MommyCon! Matt had posed the idea to me previously and I thought he was crazy, but the more I thought about it the more it grew on me. We were tired of the “rat race”, missing out on time with each other and family and wanted to shake things up a bit, so we decided to move into an RV! Currently we have no plans to stop traveling, although we like to sometimes stay in one spot for a month or two to catch our breath. We assume that we will one day though, and are using our travels to scope out some place we’d like to settle down.
3. How did you decide what to keep/purge when you were preparing to live in your tiny home?
On my sad, neglected travel blog, I wrote a pretty in-depth post (http://wheeledandfree.com/downsizing-for-rv-living/) shortly after we got rid of 1800 sq ft of stuff! The easiest trick I’ve learned it to keep track what you use on a regular basis and get rid of everything else. “Do I use this now, and if so, will I continue to use it in the future?” Even now I do a pretty frequent inventory of stuff that’s being used. If it hasn’t seen the light of day in a while I’ll typically drop it off at a thrift store. It’s amazing how much stuff just fills the nooks and crannies of our homes that we don’t really need!
4. What was one must-have for your tiny home?
I love to cook, so getting functional cookware and spice storage has been a must for me! There’s a line of pots by Magma (http://a.co/1So7vxA), that nest into each other and have removable handles. Upgrading to these, made my kitchen cabinets WAY more organized! The other must was having an aesthetically pleasing and functional space. Our style is different than the standard RV vibe, so we just remodeled the used one we purchased to fit our own style.
5. How do you maximize storage space and decide what to keep/purge when traveling?
Not having too much stuff is the biggest factor. We’ve even gotten to a point where we have free space in areas where things get tucked out of sight. We follow a pretty simple rule to not buy things we don’t need. We’re very mindful about our purchases, because often when you’re about to buy something, but have to decide where it’s going to live, it typically makes its way back to the shelf. I’m a big user of bins and baskets because it keeps things from scattering everywhere on travel days and it helps to keep me organized. Similarly to downsizing, doing an inventory of items a few times of year also helps. This allows us to donate items we aren’t using that might be taking up precious space.
6. What is one surprising thing that you love about living in a tiny home?
It’s turned me into a neat freak! I’ve never been one to have a super organized living space, but after moving into a tiny home I was kind of forced into it. With just a few things out of place, the RV can turn into a disaster zone, so I’m really diligent about putting things away immediately so our space is neat and tidy.
7. What are some tips for traveling and saving $ on parking your home, etc.?
It’s so important to go with the flow. Travel days don’t always go as planned. Campsites are not always as advertised. I typical don’t book things more than a month in advance because our plans always seem to change a bit. As far as saving money (and the planet) goes, we have our RV outfitted with solar so we can stay in places without electric hookups! This is our favorite type of day to day living, because not only is it typically free, you’re usually surrounded by nature and not other RVs.
8. What is the favorite place you have visited?
At the beginning of this year we traveled the Baja Peninsula in our tiny motorhome. We were there for about 8 weeks and the landscape of Mexico was some of the most beautiful that I’ve seen. Parking in a small fishing village on the Pacific Ocean with no one around for miles and miles will probably be one of the best memories of my life. That said, as much as we love the beach, we also really love the mountains and are looking forward to returning to Colorado this summer.
Want to learn more about all of Kate’s adventures? Follow her on Instagram to follow-along!
Comment below and tell us if you are interested in tiny living and what the biggest challenge would be for your family!