Small Life Living {Guest Post by Tiffany Melvin}

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Howdy! Today I’m pleased to have Tiffany Melvin of Small Life Living share with you about her family’s journey to get out of debt… with their sights set on cruisin’ in a sailboat!

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If you ask people what small living is you are likely to get many opinions. Small living can vary widely and comes in many shapes and sizes. Small living for my family is living in a 28 ft. pull-behind camper.

 

camper living

 

Since selling everything we own and moving into our camper we have really learned a lot. We learned that our material items in no way make us happier. We can make it on so much less than what we think. Since become minimalist and having less stuff, we have felt free. We have spent more time outside as a family such as riding bikes, going for walks, and other activities. Our only regret is that we didn’t decide to do this sooner.

TiffanyMelvin_FamilyWatermark

When we first began to downsize many thoughts were going through our minds. We wondered why we chose to buy all these items or store them for so long unused. We really had to analyze what items were considered important to keep. This is much harder than you might think. What about my son’s nursery? His crib? My wedding dress? What was going to make the cut?

We made some hard decisions, but once discussing it we realized my wedding dress doesn’t reflect our marriage in any way. It’s just a dress. I think some people were shocked when we got rid of items that people deemed as important. We did keep photos of our wedding and a few small boxes of other items we decided to store at my mothers. But after going through every item we owned, all the items I thought represented our life, I realized it is all just “stuff”. Each item only has the meaning and significance that we give to it. And that reality really changed how we looked at the world of consumerism.

We are much more particular about the items we buy. Not just because we have to be because of our lack of space but because we truly only want to buy items we need or really really love.

As for our future plans, we want to live on our sailboat and travel the Caribbean while homeschooling.

We decided to downsize now to a camper so that we can get use to living small and also so we can save money for our plans to travel.

 

Although small living may not be for everyone, our family is growing so much from this experience. Our outlook on life is so much different now. Our main goal is to get out of debt and continue to live below our means, so that we can have financial freedom to not only do the things that we love but also to be able to give to others.

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16 Comments
  • Kariane
    July 16, 2015

    I love this! We’re also working on simplifying our lives so we can free up our resources (time, money, etc) to focus on the people and things we truly love. Thanks for sharing!

    • tiffany melvin
      July 16, 2015

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. We have loved our slower pace life. You will love all the free time and resources you will have from living small! Good luck on your adventure.

      • Evelyn
        July 16, 2015

        Thanks so much for sharing your story, Tiffany!

  • Cheryl Smith
    July 16, 2015

    This was such an interesting post! We, too, are on a mission to downsize, declutter, and journey more into minimalism. We just really feel God leading us that direction. So happy to read your testimony and to hear of our adventures! I am going to go check out your blog now. 🙂 God bless you!

    • Tiffany
      July 16, 2015

      Thank you! I agree that God does amazing things in our lives. And minimizing has made our relationships stronger and our life better. Thank you for checking out our blog and thank you Evelyn for letting us guest post. We have truly enjoyed it 🙂

  • Angela @ Setting My Intention
    July 18, 2015

    I too am trying to simplify and really resonated with your feeling about items and significance. As I’ve been decluttering I am realizing that the significance isn’t in the item itself but in the memory – and that is in my head and heart! It’s a process though, and not an overnight one! Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Tiffany
      July 18, 2015

      Yes it does take time to let go over sentimental items. But in time I have learned like you said it’s the memory not the item itself that you love. Letting go of material items gets easier as you go. Good luck with your journey!

    • Evelyn
      July 18, 2015

      Thanks for the reminder that it’s not an overnight process! I go through waves of feeling discouraged that I still have so much stuff, but you’re right. One thing at a time. 😉

  • Sasha
    July 18, 2015

    Wow! Very inspiring. We just sold our 4500 sq ft house in Iowa. We loaded everything in the largest UHaul truck after I sold a ton of items. We are waiting to move into our temporary home and we are living out of a 28ft camper now. I must say, I have enjoyed the outdoors and family time that we have had. I do believe I’m on a mission to sell sell sell our items from storage as I have not really missed anything. Finding the Minialism website has given me encouragement to downsize more. I’m excited to follow your blog and be inspired more. We moved to Florida and are discovering many things the nature has to offer us. Can’t wait to start this new journey.

    • tiffany melvin
      July 18, 2015

      That’s is so great. We have realized we don’t miss any of our furniture or material items like I thought we would. I haven’t even thought about them in all honesty. We have learned that experiences are far more valuable than any material items. Good luck with downsizing! If you need any tips on getting use to a more minimalist life let me know. Maybe I can think of some tips to help 🙂

    • Evelyn
      July 18, 2015

      Hi Sasha! WOW, that’s a huge change you just undertook. What an amazing journey! Looking forward to hearing more about what you learn during your transition. 🙂

  • Mark Anthony Harrison
    July 19, 2015

    I found this post truly inspirational Tiffany.

    I want to get where you are but I am a little way off just now but I will get there.

    The funny thing is, in England, we are at least used to living in tiny spaces because our country is so small but even so, we all accumulate just so many needless things.

    Best wishes to you and your family on your journey and I am sure you will get to where you need to be.

    • tiffany melvin
      July 19, 2015

      Just keep pushing forward. As long as you keep making progress you will get there. It seems overwhelming at first but once you get to the top of the hill it’s all down hill from there 🙂 you can do it! Good luck.

  • Bethany @ Online Therapy and Coaching
    July 20, 2015

    Evelyn, please delete my comment above…My computer freaked out…

    Tiffany, I got so excited when I read this!

    After living in our house for 10 years, we let it go and moved to the ocean (1300 miles away!) to live aboard full time. We have an 8 year old daughter, and we intend to cruise full time within the next 5 years.

    Minimalism, for us, is a means to an end. It is the vehicle that allows us to achieve our dream. Good for you for using it to reach your family’s dream as well!

    Bethany

    • Tiffany
      July 21, 2015

      That’s awesome Bethany. We want to be full time cruisers in the next few years. We are making changes now so that we can make that happen. Congratulations on living your dream. We can’t wait to live aboard full time and begin traveling. We decided to start our blog out before we start traveling because I always wonder what people’s lives were like before they began cruising. You should make a blog so people can follow your adventure! Good luck on your journey!

    • Evelyn
      July 22, 2015

      Done. 🙂 Yes, you two are kindred spirits!!

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