Question time: Would you ever downsize this much?

34 thoughts on “Question time: Would you ever downsize this much?”

  1. I hope that I would be able to make a change as big of that! The wife and I are currently going through everything we own and getting rid of anything that doesn’t bring us happiness but even after that, I know we wouldn’t be anywhere near that level of downsizing. And I am okay with that. We already live a much lower consumption lifestyle that many people around us. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have, as long as it is all things that truly do matter and bring you happiness.

    But damn – that is quite the downsize!

    1. Yeah, it is definitely a huge, huge change. And I love the way you put it – “It doesnโ€™t matter how much or how little you have, as long as it is all things that truly do matter and bring you happiness.”

      I guess not much of the stuff in this guy’s life was making him happy!

  2. So he literally doesn’t have a pot to pee in? Jk, but no I couldn’t adopt that lifestyle for the long-term. And I know I couldn’t because I have lived that way before for long weekend hunting trips many times. I’ve never had a better night sleep or a nicer shower than when returning home.

    The Green Swan

    1. Hehe, nothing wrong with that! It looks like you’ve found a nice and comfortable place to call home. Truth be told, I’m not sure if I could live THAT small either, especially with a wife and two dogs. If it were just me, then maybe. But yeah, talk about a huge change!

  3. I don’t know what it would take to push me to do this but I have “simplified” other parts of my life, which is essentially what this is. Stripping away all the unnecessary to reach your absolutely minimum necessary, in this case the guy just needed a small camper. I try to avoid inflation of all kinds, lifestyle or just “stuff,” so hopefully my pendulum for this doesn’t swing so far that it’ll require me to swing back. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ah yes, that dreaded pendulum. That’s a very real concern, BTW – swinging too far in one direction tends to develop this invisible force to swing right back the other way. Well said, and excellent point!

  4. Could I do it? Maybe for a while. But I don’t know if that would permanently be a good fit for me. But it seems like he’s happy and that’s what matters. I always joke I want an off-the-grid house in Alaska, so I guess this is kind of similar ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m with you on this one. I could probably do it for a while, but living in something that small would probably crimp my style a little bit. If it were that or nothing, sure. But for this guy, I really don’t get the feeling that he was FORCED into this. He just wanted to. More power to him. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Great question – I love camping and the outdoors, I even loved living in a small apartment, but I think a 50 square foot camper might be pushing it for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would love to downsize (and hopefully will sooner than later), but I think I would only be able to pull that off for a few weeks to a month before I would need to get back to some civilization.

    — Jim

    1. Me too, a 50 square foot camper is a little, umm, on the small side. I think the 200 square foot Airstream we have now is a good compromise between downsizing and going too small for us, especially with 4 different living objects within the walls! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ahhhh, a home needs a bathroom for this guy…..

    I don’t think I could go that extreme (at least at this stage) but definitely wouldn’t need granite countertops in my motor home either.

    I liked the look from the airstream you showed a few weeks back.

    1. Thanks, yeah, we think the Airstream sits in that happy middle ground. It still allows us to move around pretty easily, but we also aren’t exactly cramped in here. It is definitely small, but still offers enough space to easily live.

  7. That’s funny you ask, because we were jsut discussing this same question last night during an episode of Tiny House, Big Living. On most of those shows, we could both see ourselves doing it if we were single, but I’d still want a bathroom and a decent setup. 50 sq ft would be way too small, but I loved my 550 sq ft 1 BR place in Denver. I lived there for 5 years, and didn’t think it was tooo small.
    I do watch a lot of those shows and say, “that would be too small, but I could do that one.” We think maybe when the kids move out we might do a real big downsize, but that’s still years away. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. We watch that show too, Mr. SSC. And we do the exact same thing every time we see a house. We internally consider whether or not we could personally live in that space, and usually one of us will blurt out “Wow, that’s awesome!”, or “Geez, I couldn’t live in that”. But, it’s interesting how many of those places we DO think we could live in.

  8. I think as a single guy I might be able to pull off that kind of downsizing with the right set up. With a wife and a dog our current Winnebago is about it for now. It would also help if you were traveling to some amazing places and had plenty to do outside vs. being in an RV park.

    1. From condo to prison cell….NOT !!!! Downsizing is a great option and one I’m looking forward to when the last one here hits college. As for moving into a small trailer, not for us. If the trailer is an answer to money issues, I get it. We all “do what we have to do” in times of challenge. As for doing it when there are other options, that would be a no…….Steve

      1. When the kids go off to college, time to switch things up! It’s surprisingly fun to downsize…though, this would have been a pretty epic downsize! We didn’t even go this hard core.

    2. Agree 100%, being single (which this guy is) helps a lot with a lifestyle like that. But with a wife and a dog, yeah, it would get awfully cozy in there…awfully fast.

  9. I think so. We have been pretty content on a 2 month trip in the past when all we had was a bookbag of stuff for each person. Laptop, a few changes of clothes, critical documents, toiletries, etc.

    Kids present a challenge as I would want much more than 50 sf of space for the five of us. And some privacy and separate space for us adults.

    In terms of downsizing plans in the future, I think something like a studio or 1 BR apartment might fit us better than a trailer or RV. I have the travel bug but not the permatravel bug (yet!).

    1. Hey Justin – yeah, I can definitely see where the issue of privacy would become a problem with something THIS small. Basically, kids change the equation quite a bit…sometimes, even spouses do, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I been thinking about downsizing (I dont own a home, but my room is 12ftx12ft – rental) to a small van, pack most everything I own in there (minimalize) and go travel the country for a year or two. There are so many things to see, place to explore (we all live through experience, not the stuff we accumulate). I firmly believe that instead of owing the bank 300k-1 mil for a mortgage/house (depend on where you in the country), I rather have that money in cash in the bank and have the flexibility to go live wherever/whenever/however I please. Yes it nice to leverage and borrow more money than most people will make in 10/20 years, but that also mean I am chain to my job with no end in sight. Life is swift and forever changing, it’s much better to have flexibility and freedom (at minimal cost!)

    1. That sounds like an awesome plan, Don. You’re right that there are just SO many things out there to see, and most of us never get to experience them because we are too tied up in “careers”. And I am right there with you regarding your desire to have flexibility rather than owe some mortgage company hundreds of thousands of dollars. There’s just no comparison in my book!

      Excellent comment!

  11. Mmm perhaps for a limited period of time while on a trip but I think I like your AirStream space ratio better for a permanent solution. But just goes to show you can get used to something if it aligned to your goals and lifestyle. I bet he is really happy too!

    1. Hey PE – agreed about the permanent solution. We couldn’t live THAT small either. It’s awesome to downsize, there I think there will always be a happy medium to find. I think our 30’er is right about on point.

  12. I don’t think I could downsize that far with a husband and two teens. We do live in 1500 sq feet so below the average house size for our area. As a fellow RN though I know that this guy is making close to if not over 6 figures depending on how much he decides to work and looks to have little expenses. Hopefully he’s either banking a huge portion of his income or working very part time!

    1. I hear you regarding the husband and teens. That would get awfully tight and probably fairly frustrating. Impressive that you live in a 1500 square foot house, which is still a far cry from the average, which I believe is around 2600 square feet these days.

      Yeah, I don’t get the feeling that this guy did it because he’s poor. He has a new-ish Dodge RAM 1500 to pull his trailer and he has a flair for decorating around his site. I just think he’s a bit eccentric and really wanted to downsize.

      I’d say he did! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Timely post! I have been thinking about this exact question. I am not sure what it would take as I have to consider the opinions of two other people and some elderly dogs, but I am not one to rule anything out. But to be honest, it would probably require a lay-off or equivalent event.

    1. Hehe, that’s certainly fair enough. And yeah, the opinions of those two other people (and some elderly dogs) would definitely come into play, no doubt!

  14. My family can certainly live in a small place. Just the other day, my wife and I were watching tiny houses. We were amazed on just how compact the houses were but they had all the necessities a family needs. I told my wife that I want for us to get a small house just because I like to live a simpler life without the hassle of paying too much on mortgage and cleaning a big house.

    1. Some of those tiny homes are super duper creative with how they manage space and allow in more than most people would think. Some real clever designs with some of them. And yeah, keeping that mortgage down (or completely nonexistent) is worth its weight in gold! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I live in England in a little terrace house (it’s our first home) and I’ve worked it out to be at around 800 square feet and to be honest we probably don’t need that much space at the moment (it’s just the two of us) but if we were to have kids then we would probably need a little more room – it’s crazy how big American houses are simply because you have so much space! I quite like smaller houses but I think it’s important for you to still have your own personal space (which this guys has in his case!) and as a couple you could do in your caravan, but I think as someone else said that I would struggle not being able to have a nice warm bath – I think the cold would get to me more than anything! I don’t think I’d have any issues reducing the amount of stuff I have though.

  16. That is precisely what we intend to do in the next few years, but certainly with a *few* extra square feet. If I were a single guy, then I could definitely see myself living in something like that; however, my wife, kiddo, and our dog might find it to be a bit cramped…lol.

    I’ve been researching nurse travel agencies for a while now and, just the other day (excellent timing of this post :)), I called one to get a few more details regarding pay and travel/housing allowances. The woman I spoke with said that, in addition to the stated wages, ranging anywhere from $35-60/hour, housing is either completely furnished and arranged or, if we were living in our own Airstream as I mentioned we would be doing, they would pay those funds directly to me…at a whopping $300-$1000 **PER WEEK!!!***, fluctuating based on the cost-of-living in the area I’d be working in. Hearing that news gets me even more excited for our coming debt freedom and life of travel.

    So, Steve, to answer your final question, “what would make you do this?” THAT’LL DO IT!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Hey Brandon! Yup, a space that small would definitely feel a bit cramped with a wife and a kid…not to mention the pup! But wow, talk about a lucrative gig – you could EASILY stay in nice, full hookup campsites for that kind of money…or just pocket the rest if you can get away with boondocking some to pad your stash.

      Thanks for the insight, appreciate the nursing details!

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