Monday, August 26, 2013

What I Mean when I Say "Live Deliberately."

In light of my most recent blog post, I thought I might step back a little and share some of my philosophy about tiny living. While much of this blog is simply about my life in our tiny house I do have a core message that informs everything that I do.

There are many people who have influenced my choices along the way. Some are names in the tiny house industry, some are people who are doing what they love regardless of the type of home they live. I do have a couple of historical influences as well, and the writing of Henry David Thoreau is something that keeps me inspired. I took the concept of Living Deliberately from his work.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
This statement, this quote, has become more than that for me. When I read it now I read it with reverence as though it were a prayer. And this is one of the things that made me flesh out my own philosophy for tiny living.

Before I share with you the 5 aspects I believe are part of the tiny living process I want to stress one thing. You don't have to live in a tiny house to "live tiny." Anyone can do any of these things no matter where they live or what they do. Simplifying and downsizing are not exclusive to people who live in less than 300 square feet.

These are the 5 things that make up my experience and philosophy of tiny living.


  • Downsizing: Eliminating things you don’t need to make room for yourself.
  • Simplifying: Consider living without some modern comforts we take for granted.
  • Eating Differently: Changing the way you interact with food.
  •  Experiencing Solitude: Be at peace with yourself.
  • Stepping Lightly: The environmental impact of deliberate Living. 
 I will be exploring each of these 5 concepts in more detail over the next month or so to give you an idea of how I did each of them and how you can do them for yourself.

How do you live deliberately in your own life?

6 comments:

  1. We do our best to eat seasonal and with as little highly processed foods as possible. I am still in the process of downsizing or simplifying but, it is a lot better than it was.

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  2. What a great post. Makes you pause and think.

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  3. "Downsizing: Eliminating things you don’t need to make room for yourself."

    In recent months I have become frustrated with the space in which I live. It is a hinderance more than a luxury. I have to clean and tidy it, heat and cool it, and, of course, pay for it. It's not worth any of that and that's why I want to build a tiny house - a house that is just right rather than more than enough.

    I have become observant with this house. I have started to monitor where I spend my time and the way I pass through the spaces. As expected, I spend the majority of my time - including moving from one defined space to another - in about 1/5 of the place. No more space than the tiny house I intend to build.

    I think when we put things into this sort of perspective it starts to make sense. Problem is, ardent norm-protectors are quick to denounce such an idea, usually with a single word or maybe two. "That's extreme" I hear them say as they dust the bookshelves and vacuum the vast floors.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Pavel. You're absolutely right about your methods. Stay tuned for my blog post on Friday and I'll be sharing similar ideas about downsizing.

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  4. I loved reading your blog....But this article in particular really made me think. I have been thinking about planning, saving and starting to live tiny and "live deliberately" as you said....Even if I am not living in a 300sft home. What you said here was informative and totally what I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences with us! I Love to do anything that makes my life better or makes me a better person and you totally helped me turn in a direction I needed to go. Thank you!!

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  5. This past year has been a very worrying year as my husband has been very ill and has brought it closer to mind that we are all here on this earth for a very short period of time. As our current home is paid for, I have started looking at the possibility of changing it into two apartments ... with me living in the smaller one (under 400 sq. ft.) and renting the larger one out for extra income as well as having someone to help out with yard work. I have come up with several different scenarios and continue to fine tune the amount of STUFF I would definitely get rid of, etc. Makes me feel a little more in control of my future.

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