Have you ever heard the saying, “You can have things fast, cheap or easy, but you can’t have all three?” I’m not 100% sure that’s the exact saying, but that iteration would be the short version of why we chose to live in an Airstream instead of a tiny house. But lucky for you, I’m going to tell you the long version of the story like a grandma who has had too much wine. Continue reading
For over 2 years my husband, my dog and I have lived tiny. We went from living in a beautiful (and big-to-me) 1,200 square foot loft to a 188 square foot Airstream Sovereign. I’ve learned so many lessons during that time. Some of those lessons were expected and some of those lessons were totally unforeseen. Some of the lessons have been easy and some of them have been hard. But more than anything I’m thankful that I’ve learned them. Living tiny has made me a better person. So today I’m going to share just a few of the lessons I’ve learned by living tiny. I’m sure there are so many more lessons in store. Continue reading
We’ve been living in the Airstream for almost two and a half years. Years, people! Some days it seems like so much time has passed and other days it feels like no time has passed at all. One thing is for certain: we’ve adapted well to living in just 188 square feet. We know how to declutter. We know when problems arise, we can solve them. And I know it seems strange to outsiders, but the Airstream truly feels like home.
In terms of upkeep, the trailer has held up pretty well. We’ve had some bumps along the way. (See: our leaky hot water heater.) We need to repaint when it warms up a bit. (See how our paint has held up.) But overall, the Airstream has allowed us to save money to travel and to build up an emergency fund. We’ve been to Austin, took a roadtrip to Florida, Charleston, Memphis, Portland and most recently we went to Iceland! And most importantly, we’ve built up an emergency savings and another savings account. And I know it sounds cryptic, but we’re trying to decide what to do with our other savings account. What a wonderful problem to have!
Let me explain a bit: at this point we’re getting the itch again. The itch to do something different. The itch to be brave. And if we’re being honest, we don’t know if we want to live in the Airstream forever. It’s wonderful and our home, but is it our forever home? We don’t know. We’d love to have some land of our own one day. (I want animals! And a big place to grow our own food!) We’re also really interested in other alternative dwellings, like tiny houses, cordwood cabins and shipping container homes. And we love to travel! So much so that we bought a van to convert into a super tiny home. We aren’t moving out of the Airstream yet, but maybe. One day. Sometime.
Are we indecisive and insane? Maybe. I truly don’t know what the future will bring, but I am excited to find out.
We’ve been living in an Airstream for two years now… two years! Sometimes it feels like no time has passed and other times it feels as if we’ve been living there forever. Most days it just feels normal. I go to work and come home. I come home to a home that is much smaller than average, but it still feels like a very conventional life.
Sometimes conventionality is good, but if I’m being honest, I am getting the urge to switch things up a bit. I get this urge every couple of years. We’re not planning on moving out of the Airstream, but we’d love to get a larger plot of land where we can do more gardening. George and I are also thinking more about the future of our family and what that looks like. We don’t know what the future will hold, but it’s good to question your priorities every few years.
Anyway, on to more shallow things! I’ve been getting some questions about how well the Airstream has held up after two years. The answer is: surprisingly well! We’ve actually switched very little around since we moved in. We did have to replace the hot water heater and the AC unit. Both were costly, but both were original to the Airstream, so it wasn’t a huge surprise.
The paint on the walls and on the storage units has held up well. (You can see what products we used here.) It looks mostly the same, but slightly less white from use. We’re big fans of Magic Erasers for getting dirt and marks off the walls. The paint on the counter and the paint in the shower has begun to chip a bit. (Pictures below.) We used oil-based paint on the counter (not something like this product for counters), so it is to be expected. I also put a hot French Press directly on the counter every day for two years, so I’m not surprised about that one either. This fall, when it cools down, we want to do a big repaint and clean. It’s surprising how dirty a tiny space can get.
Since living in the Airstream, we have accomplished our goal, which was to get ahead with our savings. We have jumped ahead savings-wise, but we’re still not at a place where I feel comfortable. (Will I ever feel comfortable? I don’t know.) I’ll have an in-depth savings post on how much we’ve saved on Friday.
Do you have any more questions about how the Airstream has held up? Talk to me in the comments!
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Today’s question is from Grazia. She wants to know some tips and tricks for reducing books and art supplies. Today I’ve got George, my husband, helping me out. He’s the artist in the family. Take it away, Grazia!
Hi Melanie, happy to see you go on with your blog and thanks for doing it, it’s always a good reading. I know it’s hard to do it with a full time job and a life, thanks so much! I’ve read all your last posts this morning (it’s 5:30 am here in Italy, my time for reading peacefully) and want to thank you for your commitment in telling this life choice of living simply and small…
I’ve two questions for “Ask Melanie” – ok, I’m pretentious! But they aren’t anything urgent, I hope only to inspire one of your good articles.
1) You’re a reader and I’ve read you use library and ebooks. But is it enough to reduce the number of books? I’ve this trouble in living small… I’m a writer and a painter, so I have a lot of books that I need for my jobs. I tried to reduce them, especially huge art books, but I still have a full big bookshelf. I can’t find them at the local library and they do not exist as ebooks (in example Taschen art books). How do you manage this in the Airstream? I’d like to hear all your “techniques” to reduce the books space!
2) This question is mainly for George: how does he work in a so small table? I’m really impressed! 😀 He has a secret, I’m sure! I’ve a table for Mac and 2 monitors, another table for painting, a shelf for all the ‘minimum’ I need for painting, a big bookshelf and a big, old bedroom 4-drawer dresser to store my paintings and papers, with the printers on it. May he share his “tips and tricks” in working from home in a small space? Thanks!