Why we walked away from the traditional Australian dream and built our Tiny Haus?
For as long as I can remember, I had to have something to look forward to, the elusive purchase that was going to change my life and make me happy forever. Was it the Jimmy Choos? Nope, that didn’t work. Maybe a new lounge or the cushions that would make the new lounge pretty, that will surely work! The purchases and the stuff weren’t having the effect I was hoping for, I was longing for more. When was it going to end, when was the stuff going to make me happy?
We lived in a rat race, working long hours rushing from here to there. Ella attended day care, she was the first one there in the morning and the last one to be picked-up in the evening – our life was at an uncomfortable pace and we were struggling to find the right balance.
We sat down and evaluated our lives, wrote down what was important to us and what our values were. We discovered that what our life had become was not aligned to our values…we needed a change!
Firstly, stop buying. We started putting thought into every purchase we made and it had to have purpose or add value to our lives. Straight away I felt a little weight off my shoulders and found I wasn’t searching for the next thing – we were just enjoying what we had and this wasn’t any physical belongings, it was each other.
I found I was still spending a lot of my time tidying the mountains of stuff we had accumulated over the years. I was enjoying life with my little family, did I really need all this stuff? Or was it holding me back? So, I took to my wardrobe and I kept only the things I wore which was lucky to be one quarter of my entire wardrobe – the rest, some of which was hardly worn, I donated. Getting dressed in the morning was simpler, I didn’t have the hundreds of choices I had previously – I was surprised how easy my mornings had become with less choice.
I was on a mission to simplify all of our belongings. I had more time, I didn’t have to “organise” the excess – we didn’t have it anymore. Everything in our home was there because we wanted it there.
We had longed for a pool! We are a family who are happiest when we are by the water. The plans were in place, but we were going to put ourselves behind financially taking on more debt to build the pool and it didn’t feel right. Why would we do this to ourselves? We came up with the idea to make the pool cabana our new home and rent our existing home, the rent would pay for the mortgage and put us ahead each week.
We wanted to challenge ourselves, we had been living with less and we wanted to maintain our new lifestyle and having the constraints of space meant we couldn’t go back to our old ways. We had a new found creativity where we could shape not only our new home, but the way in which we lived our lives.
We spoke to our architect and he loved the idea! It took almost a year of planning and preparations but we knew when we saw the final plan that it was our home, our new way of living.
Our family thought we were mad, “Why would you do this to yourselves?” We knew we had to show them what was possible and over time they would see the positive impact to our lives.