I used to clean house for a friend of Shane's who at first lived in a very modest home of about 600 square feet. He had very modest, useful possessions and very few extraneous items. The house was a breeze to clean.
Then, through an inheritance of sorts, he moved into a much larger home, purchased some much more luxurious yet useful possessions, and still had very few extraneous items. The new house was also a breeze to clean, never looked cluttered and didn't tie him down when he traveled frequently for work.
So, obviously, a small space isn't a requirement for a simple lifestyle. But I think a simple lifestyle is required to live in a small space.
Enjoying our first weekend in the camper spurred a discussion about life as "full-timers" who live in their camper or RV year round, which morphed into a discussion of living in tiny houses in general.
Out of necessity, we'd quickly pare down, weed out and purge all but he most necessary or precious of possessions. Potential purchases would be weighed carefully to determine if they were worth the real estate they'd occupy.
Having not done it yet, we can't be sure, but it seems to us that living in a travel trailer would be somewhat different than living in a tiny house like this. An RVer would maintain fewer possessions, while the tiny homesteader, being tethered to a piece of ground in a more permanent way, would be able to acquire and keep more things since some could be kept outside the structure.
Naturally, there would be other factors to consider, like whether we're bothered by small spaces (we aren't) and how well we get along with each other (we think we could live this way, but we know couples who probably couldn't).
We like the idea, this "forced simplicity". At this time, we aren't looking to move, but if the time comes, we're pretty sure we want to down-size. Maybe not all the way to tiny, but to small, at the very least. While others might see a small space as confinement, we think this type of simplicity would be liberating.
Which raises the questions, "Why aren't we simplifying already? If size doesn't matter, then why not begin now?" I'm not sure we've even begun to understand all the answers yet.
What do you think? Could you be a full-timer in an RV or live in a pint-sized house? Do you think you'd enjoy it, either alone or with another person? What about non-essential possessions -- how easily could you give them up? And maybe more importantly, if you think you'd enjoy "livin' small", what's stopping you now?