Want Financial Freedom and Stress Relief? Why Not Downsize?

The tiny house movement is sweeping across the western world today. This growing movement has international attention on CNN, AP, Guardian, Huffington Post, NBC, Oprah, and PBS. In pursuit of minimalism, financial freedom, help the environment, or freedom from guilt many middle class and rich alike are choosing to live in small spaces. But, this is not a novel idea as Asian cities have experienced this for centuries. Glance at these 3 experiences and you decide. Are there advantages to living minimally, in tiny spaces?

United States Tiny House Perspective (provided by www.thetinylife.com)
Our Personal Experience Living In A Small Space for a Week in Paris:

Paris France Apartment

For just a week, my family of 6 lived in a one room apartment with 1 bed. We actually all enjoyed this experiment of living in a small space. The advantages were that socially, we had more interaction and were more aware of each others activities on devices and such. Disadvantages include feeling chaotic in that there was not enough room to store our few belongings and to be honest, we got on each others nerves!:)

Asian Perspective:

Meet our friend Challee. She is Khmer lives in rural East Cambodia near Vietnam. Her family works 7 days a week in the rice fields. She lives in this one room house with about 10 people. There are no bathrooms in her village. We interviewed Challee and asked her to share her feelings about living in a small home. Here is her reply: “There is safety being together. I feel sorry for families who are separated and I can’t imagine what it would be like to sleep in a room away from family.” When asked if she desired a large home, she says “yes, but I would still want my family to sleep and eat in one room!”

The house pictured above is in the mountains on the Vietnam border. This is a Bunong hill tribe home. The family of 15 live in this one room home, sleep on a long wooden table, and cook in the center with no bathroom to use. When talking with Bunong about their living conditions, they too seem to prefer the closeness of family mentioning fear and lack of security as motives for staying in one room together. Many of these people fear being sick or dying and being alone.

There are 3 advantages of living small that can be seen in each location:

  1. Intimacy
  2. Security
  3. Sharing of Resources

Throughout the wealthy countries of the world, minimalism is a popular concept which does have good scientific backing. Why go minimal? You and I know that the more money we make and the belongings we own have little to do with happiness. But, you can take it even further.

The more we give away, the happier we are.
The less we keep, the more joyful we’ll be.

If you need more evidence, check out this article written by The Minimalists: http://www.theminimalists.com/scientific/

“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Proverbs 11:24

Share your experiences here! Do you agree that minimalism brings more happiness? What steps towards minimalism have you taken or want to take?

To read more perspectives from me: www.acoffeewithfriends.com

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