Why “Go Little”?
The most common reactions we (and probably you too, if you’re a small-space dweller) have gotten when we tell people that we plan to live and work in a 160 square foot camper is 1) wild mutual enthusiasm or 2) utter confusion.
The majority of people question why anyone would voluntarily live in such a tiny space, and how we could possibly remain sane sharing it with another person and three dogs!
After doing a complete 180 away from the conventional belief system that “more is more”, we wanted to first share our unusual views, then hear yours about what it means to “go little”:
The lifestyle revolves around a philosophy of producing more and consuming less. When you have so precious little space, you can’t just mindlessly buy things without first getting rid of something else. You start to lose the desire to shop and instead turn to hoarding experiences as fulfillment. After all, the only space they take up is inside your own mind. You’ll never end up on a reality television show for hoarding memories!
Limiting your physical space forces prioritization. This means more usage and appreciation for what items you do already own, and not keeping things you don’t need. When you lose the rabid consumerism tendency that we’re all taught to place so much emphasis on, growing your wealth by way of personal experiences takes center stage and your stuff stops owning you.
It costs less to live smaller, not just because you don’t have to buy as many things to fill a bigger house, but because you also don’t have to heat and cool it, pay for as many repairs, get hit with a huge tax bill every year, or carry insurance on it. Your initial investment or monthly rent is likely to be much less as well.
Spending less money upfront or financing less on your housing means better financial stability in any times of slow or no work, and more to sock away in savings or investments. That savings “buys” you peace of mind, less daily stress, and ultimately, better physical and mental health – which also saves you money!
Saving money means you can work less if you choose, and live a life balanced with work and play, instead of working to live – a trap that so many people fall into. The cycle of making more and more money to support the lifestyle others tell you that you deserve continues to perpetuate itself, creating spending habits that are always equal to or greater than the amount of money you make.
Having a smaller home also means less time maintaining and cleaning it, so you have more time to play, de-stress, be with you family, and contribute to your community and the world. It’s been scientifically proven that all these things make us happier than even the best bonus or raise at work.
Lastly, and most importantly in our opinion, are the many ways that living in a smaller footprint helps the environment. Less energy for heating and cooling, less “stuff” that has to be manufactured out of non-renewable resources to fill the home, less water, fewer chemicals for cleaning and maintenance, and it frees up more space for the rest of the world’s inhabitants to enjoy.
We want to hear your thoughts too: Why did you do it or why do you want to do it? What is the best benefit in your mind of “going little”?