My Lesson in Less


At first being asked to leave our beloved home of five years was terrible and shocking news. Sure we had discussed moving closer to downtown and into a smaller space but as soon as the certified letter was opened any desires of ever moving were squashed by feelings of fear, uncertainty and guilt for even thinking of leaving our beloved home. But we had no choice. The owners of our rental home wanted to move back in. Why not, it’s an awesome house on a great street with a huge yard and a gorgeous pool? We had six weeks to find our new home and we didn’t even know what we were looking for. Smiley was doing awesome with our new eBay business and our stuff was shipping out piece by piece, however we still had a long way to go before downsizing enough to move into a much smaller space. The opportunity was here to make the changes I had been dreaming of. I just wasn’t ready yet! After a month of searching I was starting to panic. I wanted a small space but we still had a lot of stuff. I was considering an apartment but Smiley did not want an apartment lifestyle. We went back and forth between different neighborhoods. Rents had gone way up, we were not going to get the same bang for our buck and I was even hoping for lower rent. We toyed with the idea of putting everything into storage and staying in a hotel for a month or two. I went to visit the Extended Stay Hotel and the room was like a jail cell with a view of the freeway. We could not live like that! With two weeks to go we kept on looking but did not want to make a rash decision. Then we found it…our beach cottage!


We found a month to month furnished beach cottage under Vacation Rentals on Craigslist. The idea of putting everything into storage and living on the beach while we looked for our permanent home filled me with excitement. I went to look at the cottage the next day and it was adorable, pet friendly and very close to the ocean. It was paradise! Smiley agreed and with a lot of work and Smiley’s amazing Tetris skills we got our belongings into one storage container. We had to rent a second small storage unit to house our eBay items but we were all packed up, moved out and on our way to the beach!


Living in my 500 square foot furnished vacation cottage is teaching me a lot about what I like and don’t like. The opportunity to try Small living on for size has been such a Big gift. For example, I know we will need storage. I know we need a doggie door and some kind of a secure yard for Bongo. I know we need ample parking. I know that a pool or the ocean is very important to me. I know I love beach living and we had not even considered that before. I also need to have more patience for nearby neighbors. I know that I do not want to go any smaller than 500 square feet, for now. I love keeping the cottage neat and clean and not having any excess. I love having the small wardrobe I brought to the beach; however I am starting to get bored of my very limited choices so I would like to add a little more. I also know that I can live happily with a small closet and one dresser. I am learning that the simple life is for me. By storing most of my belongings I have learned to enjoy the world around me. Sure I miss some things, but by being away from my hobbies, my kitchen utensils and my boots I have learned that I really do not need any of these things to be happy. Adding them back will be nice, but not necessary and I will really think twice before adding these belongings back into my home and my life. We will continue to look for our new home and plan on downsizing even more once we move in. Meanwhile, we can be found on the beach, working on our killer tans!


You have read “My Lesson in Less” here first on Live Big and Small.  Please subscribe via e-mail to be notified each time I post something new!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *