August 08, 2019
We vacuum a lot more regularly than one would think to help with any dirt that gets into our home. In order to keep things organized, everything has its own place. Space is so critical that before we even bring it into our home, we have an idea where this will go in our home. It's a well thought out process of organizing and reorganizing to find more space if need be.
One of the best designs to help with cat litter is adding Oliver's litter box in our stairs. He has his own little cat door and is able to do his business in private. We added some fake removable grass inside it in order to help catch some of the litter that he tracks with him. This design for our home helps drastically on cutting some cleaning down.
The good thing about going tiny is that it does not take long to clean your whole place. On the flip side, dirt and messiness show very easily. Constant short cleaning sessions are required to keep the place looking nice. Usually we clean our dishes and countertops after dinner every night and then vacuum and dust once a week and windows twice a month. This regular maintenance does not take long at all, and is really not much different than a normal house. Also, shoes get left at the door. This helps manage dirt on the floor, but the luxury vinyl plank floors we selected are really good at not showing much dirt anyway.
We ended up replacing the glass cabinets in the kitchen for solid cabinets so that it hides the mess behind them with a clean look, and I’ve done this throughout the house. I love the look of open shelving but it’s not realistic for us with storage space being so critical—those cabinets are packed, and it’s NOT cute in there. I also find that if belongings are spilling out and are all over the place, it’s a sign that everything no longer has a place and it’s time for a purge. I’d say I’m going through some type of storage space at least once a month to evaluate what’s still useful, what’s actually being used, and getting rid of whatever isn’t. A good purge makes everything better!
I personally find that we have to vacuum at least twice a day, but I can’t stand the feeling of crumbs or shrapnel on the floor so that might just be a little obsessive on my part! I also steam mop once a week. Tim and I usually team up to do dishes so that they get washed, dried and put away without adding clutter to the small amount of counter space we have.
You really need to make sure everything has its place to be stored! We have storage in the toe-kick area of our kitchen and in our ceilings, in our couch and in our seating. When everything has its own designated space, and you know where it belongs, it’s easier to keep your house organized.
One great thing is that it takes so much less time to clean and tidy up a small home. We literally only take maybe 15 minutes or so a day to clean up (sweeping, quick cleaning up, etc) and then on weekends do a more thorough clean and that only takes maybe 45 minutes to an hour. If you keep it up consistently, it’s easier to maintain and much less likely to get out of hand.
In this category, I am extremely guilty of not practicing what I preach. I would LOATHE to show you what my house looks like day-to-day if I'm not expecting guests. It's true that going tiny makes it MUCH easier to keep your space tidy. But there are two sides to that coin, because it's also MUCH easier for mess to magically appear! Design-wise, I recommend managing clutter by planning for adequate storage (i.e. more storage than you need), so you can put less essential items out of sight.
Similarly, try to organize your storage so that the stuff you use more often is easy to get to, therefore being easy to put away. As for everyday habits, I try (though I often fail) to live by the "why put it off when I can do it now" philosophy. It might feel great to get home from vacation and just dump your suitcase on the floor so you can veg out, but then you'll be tripping over it for a week! Instead of avoiding washing that dish, or unpacking those shopping bags, or putting away that laundry, take the 5 minutes to just do it immediately. Letting all of those little things build up is what necessitates big cleaning marathons! Now, if only I could follow my own advice...
We have three animals living in our tiny house with us, which meant buying a good quality, portable, and lightweight vacuum was a necessity. We vacuum every day to combat the war on fur with our cordless Dyson and it actually makes vacuuming enjoyable and not feel like a chore. (This sounds like a bad infomercial, but it’s the truth!)
I’d say we dust and vacuum more than we did before living in a tiny house, but other than that there isn’t too much of a difference on a regular basis.
Since tiny houses are quick to clean, (we can “spring clean” our entire house in less than an hour) they can also be quick to feel...eh NOT so clean. Having clear surfaces and no visible clutter goes a long way in a small space. We designed a lot of closed storage areas in our kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom so that everything has its own tucked away little home.
As we designed each space, we took inventory of everything we had to ensure there was a designated space for every last thing. This is especially important for things you might not readily think about like laundry hampers, bags of dog/cat food, luggage, seasonal clothes, etc. We wanted to make sure everything was accounted for and there were no surprises come moving day!
To us there is something so wonderful about knowing every single item that we own and where it is located. It’s hard to not feel an inner sense of peace and calm when we enter our home and we’ve enjoyed that immensely.
September 13, 2019 35 Comments
September 13, 2019 2 Comments
My name is Alan—founder at Dream Big Live Tiny Co! A few years ago, I quit my consulting job to pursue a life full of adventure. After traveling around the world for a year, I sold most of my stuff and moved into an 160-sqft tiny house. Now I spend most of my time showcasing incredible people living with less in pursuit of more freedom, as well as incredible tiny houses around the world!
WANT TO HEAR FROM US?
Receive our weekly newsletter with carefully curated content of incredible tiny houses, interviews with tiny house dwellers, & upcoming events!