The Stigma to Mobile Living

Recently tiny homes and mobile homes have become a rising trend in housing and has become something that people are starting to enjoy. However tiny homes remain pretty stationary they aren’t built to be constantly moved or lived in on the go. So yes, people have become to adjust to the idea of tiny houses because the shift is only downsizing the home, where as mobile living is still classified as “trashy” and unorthodox. I’m not talking about an RV or a trailer, I’m talking about true mobile housing where the entire structure is meant to be on the go constantly and is built to travel.

I’m curious as to why these types of living are classified below others, it isn’t living in a trailer park and it isn’t camping. The idea I’m thinking of is much better, it is taking a large vehicle and creating a home within it and then having the ability to travel with it wherever you need. Making a complete living environment and creating an elegant living situation that allows for one to reside at little or no costs. This would make anyone’s time in the structure rent free, bill free and mortgage free, which allows them to have a period of time where they are able to make and save money, no real costs other than food and general needs. The idea is cheaper than regular housing which may be why it is frowned upon, not many have come to the point where they will accept cheaper ways to live and that a house, mortgage and debt aren’t necessary.

Mobile living spaces are optimal for many young people with multiple aspirations, a space to live, work and also travel with. The idea covers everything you could need with a pretty decent startup cost of around 15 thousand dollars. However it is a one time cost and after that there isn’t much need to pay for anything else. For young people who are taking time off to work and find themselves doesn’t this make perfect sense? Why would you want to work long hours for a job you probably don’t like only to lose over half that money to bills and rent. It doesn’t make sense to spend so much of that money on something you won’t be keeping. Why are we all so accustomed to paying for temporary housing or something that won’t last. Young people can rarely afford to purchase property or land, so they are caught in the cycle of renting something. Where this option allows you to own both home and vehicle in one and go through however long you want with something that you own, something that is yours. Then when you feel done with it you can sell it off and make some return off it. You’ll never see any money from an apartment come back, so you’re already a step ahead.

If there is so much good to them why are they so frowned upon and why is there this stigma as to people who live in mobile structures. My fear is that you get classified with people who live in trailer parks or such stereotypes. Either you are low income and you can’t afford a real house or other such reasons. Mainly there are say 4 or 5 homes built like the way I am talking about and this means that it one isn’t popular and it is still unknown, for it to be a more acceptable idea there needs to be more higher income or top of the chain kind of people choosing to live in these. Or they need to become something that trends just like the tiny house movement.

Finally the greatest difference between tiny houses and mobile living is exactly that, one is a residential unit placed in a stationary position while the other has the ability to function on it’s own and can go anywhere you want. Which in my mind for every young person looking at these options would be the better option. Trips and so forth all become simple and really easy to just pick up and leave. If the mobile living idea could catch some more attention and become a trend like the tiny houses maybe there wouldn’t be such a stigma to what kind of people would live like this.

Once again thanks for reading and thanks for checking in! Love sharing thoughts and opinions and as always I hope you have an amazing day!

Downsizing and Tiny Homes

I have previously discussed the ideas of life editing and downsizing, today we will specifically touch on downsizing. The main idea of downsizing is to take a space and bring it down to a sustainable and manageable footprint. So through the statistics business we have determined that the average person needs 150 square foot per person. That’s fairly small but that is the space needed to feel comfortable, and yet the standard in most cities is a home cannot be smaller than 1000 square feet even if it is a one or two person home. So why has the standard becoming 6 and a half times what we need? Where did the standard suddenly rise so dramatically and when did our society get so greedy about space.

Many people look at the tiny homes, living spaces and hotels in Japan and think it is madness, yes its crowded but it is a good system. In under 400 square feet you can sometimes find up to 6 or more people, it is crowded but it is livable. Then we shift back to North America and we see average of 1000 square feet and upwards for a home. Most cities won’t even allow a tiny space to exist. Many building codes prohibit the existence of spaces under a certain square footage and there are very few codes that allow it. Most of the tiny house movement would be considered illegal if they weren’t built and classified as trailers. It’s unfortunate for those who want to downsize to such a good level but can’t due to their cities limitations. See our current society is actually working against the potential for small spaces and small space development.

So why is our society so against small spaces and tiny houses? What happened that our society can’t deal with the thought of downsizing? Well it turns out that generally there are two mentalities associated with tiny homes. Either these are poor people, or hippies, most people assume living in a tiny home is a choice made through poor life choices or homelessness or being a “hippy” when the reality is quite the opposite. The people moving into and building these usually are well off or doing okay, these people are conscious of their footprint or like me fed up with using so much space. Often these people are forward thinking and understand the movement and that it can save us lots of money to do something like this.

The real problem is that tiny homes aren’t profitable, to take up space and set up a tiny house community wouldn’t be a lot of space but for the same space someone could build a more profitable “resort” or even an apartment structure. Both of which are far more profitable than a tiny house community. It’s an unfortunate reality in the business world and anyone who has the space will want to create something that makes them the most money, since it is an investment.

But back to downsizing, downsizing isn’t expensive, anyone can do it and anyone can begin to simplify their life like this. It starts with need vs want. People who live in tiny spaces and people who have already simplified their lives still have stuff, but this stuff has some use. They have learned to bring it down to the necessities, not bare necessities but the things that are most needed. Just because you live in a large home doesn’t mean you need to fill it with stuff, take a look at minimalist decor and you’ll see that less is really more. This is part of the excess mentality where we are convinced that more stuff is better, the more you have the better you are. But it isn’t that, long time saying of quality over quantity, let’s learn to keep quality and useful items instead of junk and random pieces to fill space.

Start downsizing, you’ll learn how free your home feels and how relaxing the process can be. If you haven’t used something in many months chances are you won’t be using it much down the road so why keep it? What purpose does that hold. If there is something that sits around and collects dust don’t you think it is time to get rid of it? Maybe one person’s trash is another’s treasure, so why not offer someone a treasure today? There is no value or purpose in keeping junk and it is a mentality that needs to change, we can’t continue to amass more without getting rid of something. One of the best rules once you’ve downsized is for something new to be purchased and brought home something old needs to be removed. It makes sense because the more you buy the less of the old things you will still use, they lose their lustre. So why do you still need them around, well you don’t.

Downsizing is very freeing, you can look around at your open space and know the things you have are of value and are useful. You can breathe easily if you ever have to move because you have less to worry about moving. You know that everything has a purpose and a value and it makes for a better home. Plus you can come home and relax knowing there is less to clean and less to organize. Let’s be real who doesn’t want more relaxing time?

I feel the benefits to downsizing really outweigh having junk around, so really what’s stopping you? One or two days of sorting and hard work, some donations to a local thrift store or selling some old stuff and wow look now you have a more open and relaxing space!

Thanks for reading and as always I hope have an amazing day!
Next I want to dive more into the subject of tiny space living and also the idea of flatpack!
Stay tuned!
Thanks

Downsizing and Life Editing

Today I really want to touch on the concept of life editing and the need for such a thing in not only our lives as North Americans but also for really anyone. The 21st century is completely obsessed with commercialism and advertising and consumerism. Now I won’t convince you to run away and live in a cabin in a forest far from the tax man but I do want to talk about life editing in a world where we have been taught to consume.

First why is downsizing important? Why should I downsize when I can own three cars, a mansion and have tons of money? Well downsizing is important for so many different reasons, first off it is important to our own sanity. Why is it that our homes are much larger than 20 years ago and yet we still can’t find a spot for all the things we own. Doesn’t that tell you that maybe you have too much stuff or maybe you are possessing too much? The american dream is no longer of freedom and expression or acceptance, it has become about consumerism and possession. It is not a healthy thing to keep as the “american dream” because that means many other people are trying to accomplish this dream all over the world because they see how wealthy our nation is, and yet no one sees the damage of this. Many current issues with society and the way we consume things has caused a ripple effect, we are causing problems in other countries and other places because of our consumerism, this isn’t healthy and not something we should be proud of let alone inspiring the rest of the world to partake in. Downsizing is important because it is trying to make a mentality shift in people and show the world that consumerism and possession isn’t a happy way of life, it isn’t fulfilling to own a lot of things, it is nice and something to brag about, but it isn’t happiness. We need to start taking steps to show that the american dream isn’t about multiple cars and big houses, we need to show them that it is about a happy, comfortable life, living within means and having the essentials. The american dream should be something like having freedom, expression, and essentials, shelter, water, food, security and love. Some places don’t even have proper water.

Now life editing, that is a fairly new word isn’t it, well the definition is simple it is exactly editing your life. This is important because many of us do not live a sustainable lifestyle, especially the ones who are the biggest consumers, it is hard to live sustainably when all your meals come in packaging and your waste is more than your actual possessions. Life editing is all about learning how to bring your life down to a manageable, sustainable and happy lifestyle. Often a critical point is the actual space we use, we don’t need 2000 square feet to live, in fact many people are living and managing quite well in under 500 square feet. So evaluating the size of space you need to live, this is something that helps your finances and also teaches a lesson in frugality, you learn to keep the things you need and nothing more, you buy something, you get rid of something, there is no excess, there is just balance. Learning what we need instead of what we want is a very freeing experience and we learn just how much consumerism has taken over our lives, once you realize that it is amazing.

These two steps don’t mean you have to live in a studio apartment, with the bare essentials and so on, it just means that you take steps to make your life more sustainable and easier to manage. You are taking steps towards a better life through simplicity and downsizing. Discovering that there is more to life than that sale or that new product, instead we start living with what we need, we become more relaxed and more comfortable in our space and we realize that excess doesn’t bring happiness.

As always thank you for reading, I know today was short but I plan to continue this thought in other articles. I hope you either learned or gained something and I hope you have an amazing day!
Thanks

A Sustainable Life is a Good Life (Introduction)

Have you ever seen a landfill? A junkyard? Or for that matter any other place we dispose of goods and waste. Well if you have you will see these mountains of trash, these huge spaces covered by supposed garbage. If you have seen these than maybe you will have thought about how much excess we use, just how much we waste and that there must be some way of changing that. It’s so true, there is a way to change it and it starts with learning to live a more sustainable life.

I don’t want to go into huge details but I want to visit this subject along the same lines as simplicity and minimalism. By simplifying our life and bringing things down to the essentials we can maybe learn to minimize our impact on the environment. The benefits of consuming less is pretty clear, I mean you have less stuff to organize and clean, you have fewer but more valuable possessions and you are saving money. So in theory a more sustainable life is better right? So if it is as good as I say then why haven’t more people hopped on board? Well the reality is that as North Americans we have just grown accustomed to excess, we are used to having too much, whether that be space or possessions, either way we have learned to want and possess more.

Some small facts about excess include: Westernized places account for over 60% of the world’s spending. The US accounts for 5% of the population in 2004 and 33% of the world’s consumption. We are targeted by over 1500 commercial advertisements per day, as opposed to 500 in the 60’s.

I don’t know about you but those kinds of statistics scare me, the fact that the North American population isn’t too big but yet accounts for the majority of the world’s consumption is terrifying. Places that are extremely dense with population still consume less than us, as a whole we are obsessed with consumption in the forms of fast food, products, and housing. Even in housing we have changed drastically. In the 1900’s the typical american house consisted of 700-1200 square feet for 2-3 bedrooms and a whole family. Now the typical american house is around or over 2000 square feet, and this is for a small family and even just a couple. Did you know that when building a home in the states there is a minimum square footage required for building a home? Most of these are above 1200 square feet minimum depending on the area, that means today’s minimum is bigger than the 1900’s maximum. Two people can somehow occupy 1000’s of square feet and it’s completely okay, but if someone tries to build something less than that minimum it isn’t zoned properly and it doesn’t classify as a home. See how we are working against sustainability here?

Ever notice that while living in a large home you still can’t seem to find a place for everything? We somehow still have too much stuff, and it isn’t even like people this is material items. After the statistics above how is it even possible that two people or a small family can have too much stuff to fill a space that is bigger than ever before. So why is it that we still have too much stuff even though we have more storage space than ever before? This is where a great term called life editing comes in. There is a man named Graham Hill that I stumbled upon a while back, he lives in purposely small spaces and manages to live and work just fine, he is still demanding a home office, living room, bedroom, spare room, full kitchen and not giving up amenities but yet he still manages to live in spaces that are under 500 square feet. Now yes Graham is a single guy in these situations but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to downsize. There are couples living in tiny houses built on trailers that are less than a 100 square feet, so what’s your excuse for needing more than a thousand? How is it that you still have too much stuff?

The concepts of sustainable life are simple, you edit your current lifestyle, you remove the junk from your life and you learn to let go and downsize. I will never stop throwing the idea of letting go out there because it is so vital to life. You can’t hold on to the material goods in our life, is that waffle maker increasing your daily happiness? Probably not. I went from a busy family home, and I’ve moved and rented spaces all over, from people’s houses, to people’s basements to my own house. Through each experience I was surrounded by excess, not my own per say but everyone else. It is ridiculous that someone can have a house so filled with things they never use.

For a sustainable life we need to learn to edit, let go and find multipurpose. These aren’t difficult, because once you learn to let go the rest is really simple. Bringing things down to the bare essentials is great because it means that you have everything you need, which means everything has a place and everything has a use. Finding multipurpose is also really important because it means that we can have even less without sacrificing everything we need. Whether this means a sofa that is a bed, a table that changes sizes, and so on, it just means we can have less without sacrificing our needs. I believe to this day I could pack my entire house into the back of a van and move on without a huge hassle, to me that is a beautiful feeling, I can pick up and move on at a moment’s notice without losing everything I need.

I hope you are beginning to see how simplicity and minimalism can be more beneficial than excess, and maybe you too will eventually be inspired to change your habits and maybe downsize a bit. With an ever growing population and a shortage of space we need to learn to downsize otherwise the future is going to be really difficult. When the future comes I would rather be living in a really nice, multifunctional, small space than in a big house. While the world is struggling to find space and everyone needs a spot to live I would rather know that I am doing my part to live small and not being one of the people who are living in excess. I want to be an innovator, I don’t want to be stuck in the same trend as the rest of the nation. For the future to go smoothly we need to learn to downsize and take the space we need as opposed to the space we want. This all starts with downsizing, life editing and multipurpose planning, these simple concepts can be applied throughout our lives and will help us move forward into a more secure, more sustainable future.

I’m going to continue a series on sustainability here and we will address many different aspects of the life that could go through some editing and downsizing. Stay tuned for those articles.
Thanks for reading today’s kind of lengthy article and I hope this opened your eyes a bit to the crazy changes our world has made in a short span of time, maybe this has inspired you to take up some changes, even coming back to read more on sustainability is a step and I thank you for being here to take it.
Have an awesome day!

Simple Routines for a More Productive Day

Have you ever found that when you have a schedule or things scheduled during your day you produce more? Do you ever wonder why? Do you get this feeling at the end of the day that you accomplished a lot? Do you want more of that feeling? If you answered yes to any of the above than this may be for you.

When we have a schedule we know when important things are happening and it drives us to complete more tasks before that time. We know that we need to stop everything we are doing for that time and can resume after it is done. So our minds are driven to work harder. We want to accomplish as much as we can before our deadline, that time when something is scheduled. So how does this work? Well our mind is aware that other things have to get done and it gets us to work on whatever it is we are doing harder until that point and time. For example I schedule no more than an hour to write each day, this means that during that hour I have all that time to focus and finish writing. I won’t let it go past that time because I know something else needs to get done. So my mind is in overdrive for one solid hour of work, no interruptions just work. I get so much more done knowing there is a deadline.

Then at the end of the day you feel like you have actually done something right? Well this is because you can look back at a schedule and know that between certain times you accomplished this, then you went to your next scheduled item and worked on that. You can see a separation of activities and it makes your mind aware of the multiple things you did. If you say worked from home, did dishes, cleaned the house, made food, and then wrote but just as you felt and as it happened you wouldn’t be able to look at the end of the day and see concise items of what you did, because it is all jumbled together. By having a schedule and having a routine you are forcing your mind to recognize the work you are doing and the things you are accomplishing whether they are big or small.

Let’s talk routine, everyone has something in their head that they do, one after another, say you shower, get dressed and do your hair, then you eat breakfast. In your head you are aware of this and you are aware that it happens, however at the end of the day it just seems like 4 things that you always do. My day is scheduled from the time I wake up, I have a calendar and from the time I wake up (same time) everyday it starts my schedule. I do certain things in a certain order and now there is written proof that it happens. I stick to this schedule religiously and I do not stray from it. Then at the end of each day I can look at the list of scheduled items and know that I accomplished those things today. It helps to use your time wisely and productively while accomplishing the things you need.

So try it, schedule your days for even a couple days to a week, then take a look back at the schedule and you can look at each item and remember you did those things, you will be able to look back and know you did these certain things. This can be of benefit to anyone, whether you want to be more productive, limit how much of something you do or even if you are just forgetful. It helps having evidence that you did things and it will lead to a more productive day.

Just an idea I wanted to present!
As always have an awesome day and I hope you learned or were inspired by something here!
Thanks for reading

Being Young and Staying Refined

Everyone is always trying to seem older, act older and be older than they are and often this fails miserably. It’s often quite obvious when someone is trying to be older than they are because age is experience and we are still to young to have the experience to act that age. However something I enjoy is refinement, because being able to look refined is easier to do and gains so much more attention.

Let’s think about this when standing on the street would you be more likely to ask the young man dressed in a hoodie and sweatpants with his cap tipped to the side or the young man in a button up and tie carrying a shoulder bag and seemingly important? Well for most the man in the tie is much more approachable and has a more friendly appeal to him and that makes him seem better to ask. So in my mind refined is what makes a person approachable.

If you’ve read here before you will know through my writing on minimalism that a simple but refined minimal wardrobe is great. It is multi-functional and fits all occasions. It is rare that someone will complain that you are overdressed for an occasion, however underdressed is a complaint we hear all the time. We would all rather see someone who looks classy then sloppy. Also you may have discovered from my writing that it is actually affordable to have a minimal wardrobe. You pay reasonable prices for well made pieces, you buy functional accessories and everything can work together when need be.

There is absolutely no fault in wearing a tie everyday, if anything people will mistake you for much more important than you are, which hey in my mind is much better than being mistaken for same homeless. The stigma associated with teenagers is already bad, our reputation isn’t great because people expect us to be the generation of mistakes and figuring it out. For the most part the way teenagers dress does nothing but reinforce that opinion, we aren’t doing anything to prove them wrong.

As a young person just recently out of school and just living alone while working I have learned that things that are so simple such as hair and clothes make a huge impact on how we are treated by older folks. I have never received any disrespect for wearing a tie, I’ve never been stated as childish or immature, because well looking refined and put together is nothing bad. We all admire these well addressed men in magazines, tv shows and such, and look they are all really well put together and refined looking. The best part being that this look is easy to obtain, not all of us can afford gucci or Louis Vuitton but that doesn’t mean that we need to look bad. There are more consumer based brands that provide these options and they are easy to come across, a good dress shirt or vest does not mean you need to buy from a professional suit place.

For example I wear simple denim pants, some are a little too tight admittedly, button up shirts in either black or white, vests and nice sweaters, I top these off with dress shoes and a nice tie. This look isn’t hard, denim isn’t expensive, vest can be found at so many young retail places and well ties and dress shoes are also really simple. The difference is that many people own a nice suit or dress clothes and yet they reserve it for a fancy occasion, instead they are wearing sweaters, and jeans all the rest of the time. Both of these styles of dressing can be around the same price, it really isn’t all that hard.

What I really want to convey here is that looking refined and looking like you know what you are doing isn’t difficult whatsoever and in fact in my mind is more favourable both to look at, as I said it is more approachable and for not that much of a change in cost you can change the way people see you drastically. It isn’t really a challenge to button up a shirt and put on a tie compared to just pulling on a hoodie, so why not?

A fun fact is that many jobs nowadays base your interviews off so many different aspects, and one is how comfortable you are. Many employers have noted that they can tell when someone is clearly not used to dress clothes and this can impact their decision, because in theory looking good all dressed up helps confidence but if you don’t do it often than it can seem foreign and it can really impact how people view you. However on the flip side if you are used to wearing nice clothes and dressing refined you will seem so much more comfortable and it will show in your confidence.

Dress clothes and looking refined also doesn’t mean a tie everyday, it is simply a way of combining clothes to look put together, matched and approachable. Dress clothes have never inhibited my abilities and I have managed to do heavy lifting, moving, and physical labour while wearing a tie, they don’t stop you from anything and hey whatever your doing you will most likely look damn good while doing it. So why not?

As always thanks for reading today’s post and thank you for coming back if you’ve read here before. I hope you’ve learned something or found a new idea and I wish you another awesome day!
Thanks

Minimalism in Housing

This is a subject I completely forgot to touch on and it’s weird because it is a topic I feel pretty strongly about. The idea of minimizing not only your lifestyle but the space you take up. Small space living is a phenomenon that is only now starting to turn heads and get noticed.

Small space living is simple, you take the size of any house and bring it down to a couple hundred square feet. Some of these are under 100 square feet but generally small space living counts as any space under 1000 square feet. So it can be a pretty broad area to play with.

Living in a small space does not mean sacrifice, especially if you are already embarking on a minimalist lifestyle. If not, it is still possible, most people who live in small spaces just get really good at hiding the things they need but not constantly. Many tiny homes are built around the idea of storage. So if you do still have a ton of stuff then find a way to hide it.

One of the main reasons that this trend may not be catching on as much as we’d like is that small spaces aren’t commercially available, they aren’t easy to find. For the most part people design and build them all by themselves. So really a small space is a decision and something you need to dedicate yourself to, there are many misconceptions about small spaces and I want to address a couple of them.

First off, small spaces aren’t like living in a bad studio they are created to take an entire house to a mobile or small footprint setting, without sacrificing the feeling of being in a house. There are still divided spaces, height, dimension and complex ideas.

The people who live in small spaces, there is no stereotype of people for small spaces, people think it is just a bunch of cheap hippies or near homeless people. There are so many different people, and let’s think by living in a small space if you were already rich you would just have even more money to save, making it a great idea for anyone.

Next if you have seen any small spaces there are many that are built on trailers and kept in one spot, however that doesn’t mean all small spaces are built on a trailer. There are many different formats, from small apartments, to small trailers, to small structures, the number of options is really limitless.

So to conclude small spaces are a cool option that are both up to your own needs and design, budget and are limited by your imagination. They are great to save money or live smaller and they teach us lessons in frugality, space management and multi purpose. They are really great to go with the idea of minimalism and below I will be posting some links to some really neat tiny house projects. Let’s hear some feedback, would you ever consider living in a small space? Could you sacrifice your current home for smaller spaces? Let me know in the comments below.
As always have a great day and I hope you learn or find some inspiration here
Thanks

http://tiny-project.com

15 Terrific Tiny House Projects of 2011

http://faircompanies.com (my personal favourite, these videos are amazing)