School Bus Conversion | A Minimalist Family Adventure

A Family of 5 Living on a Converted School Bus. We blog about skoolies, travel, family, and minimalism

Author: Ashley

Does Your Tiny House Have Room For Toys?

OF COURSE IT DOES…but only the few that actually get played with. A question we get asked a lot is “where do your kids keep their toys?” In our previous house,…

OF COURSE IT DOES…but only the few that actually get played with.

A question we get asked a lot is “where do your kids keep their toys?” In our previous house, we had an entire room dedicated to playing. It was our “toy room”, and the kids rarely played in it. Instead, they enjoyed playing with boxes, bowls and the containers that held the toys more than the actual toys (proof below). They would dump all their toys out, get overwhelmed and ultimately end up back in the living room with us or outside playing.

I’ve read many articles written on people who live tiny with kids. Often there is feedback from internet trolls complaining about how kids “need their own room” and “need toys”. This is bogus! Kids all over the world live in one room homes with little to no toys and those kids are doing just fine.

These kids don’t have their heads in an iPad all day and they know how to find entertainment outdoors. Their only entertainment isn’t watching other kids play with toys on Youtube. They help their families with the work around the house and enjoy exploring, and getting dirty.

Although at some point when our traditional home is built, our kids will get their own room it will be a room meant for sleeping and for the resale of the house. The house will be built at moderate size and be built with simplicity in mind . It won’t be a place for them to constantly shut themselves away and separate from their family. They will have their own space, but our home will be built with the focus of being together and hosting.

So to answer the question, our kids keep their toys in their beds. They don’t have many and we are ok with that, but the few toys they do have they actually play with. If they don’t play with a toy it gets donated or thrown away. They naturally deal with the consequence of having too many toys because they are solely responsible for keeping their beds picked up and comfortable.

Here are our top three tips for keeping toys under control.

  1. Make kids clean up their own toys/rooms/beds, properly, not everything thrown into one bin or container. Sorted and put away properly. If they can’t do that then they have too much. A two year old doesn’t need 30 hot wheels cars, 4 different train tracks, 25 action figures, 4 bins of dress up clothes, etc. The younger they are the less they need, in my opinion. A few good quality wooden toys like Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube, few cars, dolls and some Duplo legos should do fine. Ill bet your kids won’t notice most of their toys are gone (ours didn’t) and those few things are easy to sort and organize.
  2. Teach your kids about other children who have less. I explained to mine that other kids could and would use their donated toys. Whether you donate to a local thrift store, a church, local gym, or a domestic violence shelter. Its good for them to realize its not going in the trash and what they are doing is kind. My youngest tries to give away her toys constantly because she loves the feeling of giving and it makes me so proud.
  3. Stop buying junk. Just because its on sale or is cheap doesn’t mean they should have it. The clearance toy aisle still calls me but on sale isn’t always better. I bought my kids RC cars because they were $10, originally priced at $40…well they broke within the first hour. The batteries cost me more than the cars did and now i know why!  My $10 could have gone towards getting ice cream or going to a movie instead. Not every good deal is a good deal.

I know that we are the extreme, living tiny, very few toys, 4 drawers of clothing for the entire family but if I knew then what I know now Id spend a lot less time organizing and much more time donating and throwing away toys.

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Howl-O-Ween at Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs

We recently were invited to Colorado Springs for The Great Wolf Lodge’s Halloween celebration. The kids have been asking to visit the resort for years. So, on Thursday, we packed…

We recently were invited to Colorado Springs for The Great Wolf Lodge’s Halloween celebration. The kids have been asking to visit the resort for years. So, on Thursday, we packed up the car and surprised them with the news. They were so excited, and after visiting I now know why!

We travelled about 5 hours to their Colorado Springs location. It’s so close and such a gorgeous 5 hour drive from Albuquerque.  The trek was totally worth it, and it was so fun. The Wolf Lodge has so much to offer. With every overnight stay, you get access to their waterpark for 2 days and all the Howl-O-Ween activities are included for no extra charge.

When we checked in the kids, were all given wolf ears that they insisted on wearing for the next 48 hours. Our room was gorgeous and the balcony overlooked the Rocky Mountains, which were perfectly snow capped. We were able to sleep our entire family comfortably in their base room, because it included a pull out sleeper sofa and 2 queen beds.  The kids were greeted by a wolf shaped basket of candy on the table, which they dug into immediately.

We were able to try every restaurant in the facility, but were blown away by the Barnwood Grill.  It has a farm to table menu that features so many amazing options. We ate there for lunch and had a phenomenal experience. Atmosphere is just as important to me as the food quality, and this place did not disappoint. The restaurant was nestled into he side of the resort with floor to ceiling views of the mountains and a great balcony for outdoor seating during warmer months.

The food was unforgettable. Brandon had their barbecue chicken pizza. Cayden enjoyed their sweet and spicy chile wings. Reagan and Jackson shared their mac and cheese off the kids menu which came with vegetables and fruit as the side (gotta balance the candy intake). I opted for their fried chicken sandwich which came with locally sourced, hand cut parmesan fries and the yummiest sweet green chile sauce. It was to die for!  We all shared the handmade pretzel which is brought in daily from Wimberger’s bakery in Colorado Springs and were blown away by the beer cheese that accompanied it.

The food this restaurant has been floating around in my dreams ever since we left. If we lived closer there would be in trouble because I’d want to visit this place way too much!

Once we were done with lunch, the kids were on a mission to get us to the water park. They were entertained for hours in the park. They had a toddler/baby area that is completely fenced in and safe for the young kids, obviously my kids had no interest in that but I loved that it was an option for parents with littles. The wave pool kept Rea happy for 80% of the time. She wasn’t allowed to go on every slide, but that didn’t stop her from having a fun time. There was so much to do in this place we were all able to enjoy it fully! Brandon and the boys loved the thrill slides.

The Wolf Tail was the favorite! After the floor drops out from under you you’re in a nearly 20 foot free fall, followed immediately by a 360-degree, high-speed loop. The boys absolutely loved it. My personal favorite was the Howlin’ Tornado which features a 6 story funnel of fun. The boys insisted I ride it backwards, It was a blast!

The resort offers so many activities to keep the kids busy and make for a memorable visit. After enjoying hours at the water park we visited the Great Wolf Adventure Park with our Paw Passes which made my kids dreams come true.

This pass included

  • One MagiQuest game game
  • Choice of classic/color wand, standard topper or Magi belt
  • One Creation Station animal (outfit not included)
  • One Clubhouse Crew Adventure
  • One Great Wolf Lodge Candy Shop candy cup
  • One pair of Great Wolf Lodge swim goggles
  • One Glitz Glitter Tattoo
  • One Leather Treaty wristband
  • One Paw Points game card for Northern Lights Arcade ($5)
  • One Oliver’s Mining Co. Experience

Honestly it was hard to complete everything with in the 48 hours along with all the Howl-O-Ween activities. During the fun season, children’s activities include Spooktacular Story Time, Critter Cartoons, and Paws On Projects and many other options.

Other highlights of Howl-O-Ween include:

  • Howl-O-Ween House in the lobby
  • Trick or Treat Trail 5:30p-7:30p nightly.
  • Howl-O-Ween Theme Games in the Lobby nightly — Witch Hat Ring Toss, Mummy Bowling, Feed the Monster & etc.
  • Howl-O-Ween Theme Dance Party nightly
  • Boo Bingo
  • Haunted Hussle Scavenger Hunt
  • Candy Corn Guessing Game
  • UnBoolieveable Character Meet, Greet & Treat
  • Howl-o-Ween Movie Nights
  • Character Breakfast Howl-o-Ween edition

We weren’t able to attend every activity but you can see the list above, there shouldn’t be a moment of boredom for your children.  It was a wonderful family experience and we loved doing these actives together. Although the fun is directed towards children, we had such a fun time playing MagiQuest together and it really was an unforgettable time. We are so grateful for the opportunity to visit Great Wolf Lodge and give our kids such an entertaining experience.

I would say that the Great Wolf Lodge is now one of our favorite places to escape the winter in the bus. They are offering some great deals including 20% off your stay for Great Wolf Lodge and $25 food credit. I would highly recommend this amazing resort just be sure to make time for a nap afterward.

You can check out our Instagram stories from our weekend in our “adventures” highlight. We also made a quick Youtube video featuring all the wonderful activities we did at the Great Wolf Lodge below.

 

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Our Favorite Albuquerque Stay-cation

Brandon and I believe that couples who play together stay together. We have been blessed to have amazing grandparents to our children who are willing to babysit the kids for…

Brandon and I believe that couples who play together stay together. We have been blessed to have amazing grandparents to our children who are willing to babysit the kids for us once a week. We love our date night and cherish the quality time each week.

We feel its important to not let routine set in or allow our children to push our dates aside. We enjoy planning our dates together . Its not always elaborate or fancy. Sometimes its take out and a red box. Sometimes its a staycation in a beautiful hotel room with a bathtub and restaurant on site.

Of all the places we have stayed in Albuquerque, NM, Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm is our absolute favorite. Its set on 25 acres of lavender fields, and is surrounded by enormous cottonwood trees. Its a working farm, has 50 rooms and one of the best restaurants in the Southwest.

They allow you to borrow bikes for free and provide you with the most luxurious lavender bath products you could ever want.  Everything is absolutely perfect. We have stayed there in the winter and the rooms have wood burning fireplaces and huge spa like bath tubs. While living in the bus, not having a bathtub has been hard so it was such a treat to have a room with a tub.

The restaurant’s  atmosphere is phenomenal and the food is to die for! Campo is reasonably priced for high quality, beautiful food and they serve PBR along side fancy cocktails and aged wine…so funny!  You can reserve a table on the gorgeous patio with a view of the farm and the Sandias, inside the Southwestern designed dining room or a table in the kitchen. Our personal favorite is the patio but in the winter its so fun to watch the chefs prepare our food in front of us.

We love to utilize the free bikes and ride around the farm. They have alpacas and peacocks roaming the property.  The farm shop is open every day where they offer a huge variety of their own lavender products, fun beautiful jewelry, and locally made ceramic pottery.  The cafe inside the farm shop sells lavender lattes, lavender honey, and lavender simple syrup and so many other lavender treats. Its hard to resist.

If I could live here I would. The property, views, and food are phenomenal and heading home smelling like you rolled in lavender is not bad either. If you’re ever in Albuquerque and get the chance to visit Los Poblanos do it.

One last rave about this place….I called the grounds manager Wess and he offered our homeschool field trip group a free farm tour. He was so sweet to all the kids and taught us so much about the history of the grounds. Here are a few pictures from our fun little day at the farm. The boys were camping so Rea and I were on our own for this field trip.

Also I want to mention that Los Poblanos DID NOT collaborate or pay us to write this post. Although Id collaborate with them in a heart beat if they were interested (hint hint Los Poblanos). We truly love this place, so much so that I will be having my 5th annual 29th birthday dinner at Campo in a couple months. Its just perfect and we hope you get a chance to check it out!

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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He Is Not Babysitting He is Parenting

“It must be nice to have a husband that helps you so much”  I have something I want to talk about that may offend people but I’m done censoring my…

“It must be nice to have a husband that helps you so much” 

I have something I want to talk about that may offend people but I’m done censoring my thoughts in hopes of making everyone happy.  My husband and I are the best of friends, I love spending time with him more than any other human on this earth! He is the kindest most amazing man Ive ever met and I am eternally grateful for being able to do life alongside him. So understand I am thankful for him!

 

Here it goes….My husband is not helping me by taking care of his kids! My husband is not helping me by doing the dishes or putting away laundry. My husband is not helping me by preparing a meal. My husband is a parent.

I wasn’t the only one that decided to have 3 children and I wasn’t the only participant in making them so of course he’s going to be a part of parenting them. Too often this world praises men for caring for their own children and looks down on women who don’t carry the entire load at home. 

Brandon runs a software company and at times he’s working 40+ hour weeks and at times he works 10 hour weeks. On the 40+ weeks I don’t expect him to be with me at field trips carrying my bag (I don’t ever expect it but he’s a gentleman like that). But on the 10 hour weeks he enjoys accompanying me to the lavender farm, getting the kids out of the carand packing their lunch while I apply an extra coat of mascara before we walk out the door.

I have a moms night at least once a month where I meet my best friends and complain about all out first world problems, make terrible sex jokes, and drink tea. He doesn’t “babysit” the kids when Im gone. He doesn’t take care of all MY chores while Im out. This is our home and doing things around this home are just as much for him as they are for me.

This last week Brandon took the boys out on a wonderful camping trip. He didn’t do it to give me a break but to spend quality time with HIS boys. He is not a nanny or a babysitter he is their parent. It is just as important for him to be fully involved in their life as it is for me to. 

Ok Ill step down from my soap box now that I set things straight.

 

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Converted School Bus Bedroom Storage – A Detailed Look Inside

Many people wonder how a converted school bus could have a master bedroom with a king sized bed, ample storage, and all of the amenities of a modern bedroom. In…

Many people wonder how a converted school bus could have a master bedroom with a king sized bed, ample storage, and all of the amenities of a modern bedroom. In this post, we take you on a tour of our converted school bus bedroom and some of the various storage areas that we have created.

Most of our bus’s storage is located in the back of the bus. These two wood pieces make up the majority of essential storage in our home. This area contains some of our every day essentials.

Pink Dresser

The pink drawers are our family’s dresser. We keep ALL of our clothes in here. Brandon has the top drawer,  I have the second, the boys share the third, and Rea shares the bottom drawer with our towels, washcloths and cleaning rags. Although all of our clothes fit nicely in one dresser, I still feel that there is more room for some downsizing in our future.

In the top of this piece we keep our toilet paper, scale, and a few physical books. We love to reading, and keep most of our library on our Kindle’s, however it’s fun to keep the Tim Ferris books around for some light reading from time to time :). I also keep my camera and it’s bag in there for quick access. The grey container holds my blow dryer, curling iron, and straightener.

Grey Dresser

Under this grey piece is where we keep our water pump, water heater, and our accumulator. The wooden butcher block is on a slide, and is used as a standing desk for Brandon when we are on the road. The long skinny drawer is where we keep our papers, our National Park passport book, our go pro and all other camera accessories.

The 1st top small drawer is where we keep every day toiletries, a few pieces of turquoise jewelry, hairbrushes, combs and anything I need to take out of my pockets at the end of the night. In the 2nd drawer is medicine, first aid kits, bandaids and other ‘health’ related items. The bottom drawer is all of Reagan’s hair bows, hair ties, bobby pins, floss, qtips, cotton balls, essential oils, etc.

On top we keep Brandon and I’s shoes in the wood bins (well mostly mine).  Also our vacuum lives up here as well, along with its accessories and a few clip on battery powered fans for when we boondock..

One of the major things we have learned since moving on to a converted school bus is to keep only the essentials.  This took quite a while to decide what we needed vs what we didn’t however we really tried to stick to the $20 and 20 minutes rule. (i.e. if we don’t use it often and it’s less than $20/20 minute drive, get rid of it).

Thanks for reading about our converted school bus bedroom and if you want to see the drawers in more detail, head on over to our Instagram and check out the story highlight titled “Master Bedroom”.

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Top 5 Tips For Homeschooling While Traveling

  We have been homeschooling for about 3 years now and I think we have finally found our groove. Homeschooling is hard but we are truly enjoying it.  Below you…

 

We have been homeschooling for about 3 years now and I think we have finally found our groove. Homeschooling is hard but we are truly enjoying it.  Below you will read the top 5 tips I have found to be helpful for homeschooling while traveling.

 

  1. Dont be afraid to not get “school” done that day because you were having too much fun.  No kids will look back and say “my mom let me skip a few days of book work here and there and took me out to skip rocks in the river, or on a bike ride, etc and it damaged me”. We only have  a few years where they actually want to hang out with us. Swing on swings with your kids. Color in their coloring book with them. Screw math that day make hand print turkeys instead, they wont fall behind!
  2. Take advantage of where you are. Every city has some quirky thing they are known for. If you have time make it a field trip. Largest pistachio in the world? Go see it, who cares the kids will think it’s cool. 
  3. Enjoy the local food! This can get expensive, I know. We tend to buy a treat and we all share it. No one needs an entire dessert to them selves anyways. Some of our favorite travel foods are clam chowder in bread bowls from Boudin’s Bakery in San Fran. Anything from any of the street trucks in downtown Portland Oregon. Enormous doughnuts from Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Washington and obviously Churros and Dole Whips from Disneyland. 
  4. Don’t allow the skeptics to get you down. Everyone has that overly forward relative who doubts that your kids know their alphabet or anything at that matter. You are capable and as long as you’re putting your best foot forward while teaching I guarantee your kids are doing perfectly fine. 
  5. School doesn’t have to take long. Yes, I know public school is 8 hours and you’re only teaching your kid for 1/2 an hour to 3 hours a day. They have your full attention and are still learning a ton once they’re done with their school work. Learning about daily chores, grocery shopping, budgeting, getting exercise riding bikes or playing in dirt. Let them be kids. You’re doing a good job.

I pray my experience has helped me to learn a few things I can share. I know when I started this journey I was a big ball of mom guilt. Questioning my ability to teach my children was at the forefront of my mind everyday. Although at times it still creeps into my brain I keep my eyes focused on the reasons I keep them home. When I think of our priorities I am reminded that Im doing a great job!

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Master Bed On Our Converted School Bus

  One of our highest priorities is quality sleep. Brandon and I are very strict about our children’s sleep and about our sleep. We knew that when we built our room…

 

One of our highest priorities is quality sleep. Brandon and I are very strict about our children’s sleep and about our sleep. We knew that when we built our room in the bus we weren’t going to skimp on the size of our bed. So we chose a pusher engine so that we could build our king sized bed on top.

On the sides of the bed we both have bed side shelves. Mine is always full and Brandon’s not so much. I keep magnesium supplements,  Aveda Hand Relief (it’s my fav), my journal  , my phone and the controller to our electric blanket (yes, we use an electric blanket and it feels like a warm hug) on my side. Brandon keeps his watch and phone on his and sometimes my water bottle.

We sleep with specific pillows and take our pillows with us when ever we travel (princess and the pea style). When I make the bed we have 6 pillows on top and at night we use all six to make us feel like we are laying in a show room bed on the top floor of Dillard’s. I also am super OCD about my sheets staying clean. Requiring that when I get out of bed that the bed is made in case someone accidentally gets on the bed while somewhat dirty. Our bed is the most comforting place I’ve ever been in. It’s like an adult fort! I also love that unlike in a house there’s no room for monsters to hide under it. I no longer have to run and jump into my bed.

Bedding : Bed of Roses Comforter

Sheet Set : Pirate Stripe Sheet Set 

Her side of the bedhis side of the bed

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Do You Homeschool Your Kids?

Yep, we do! We decided 4 years ago that homeschooling was right for our family. We love the freedom to travel when ever we want. My oldest spent 1 semester…

Yep, we do!

We decided 4 years ago that homeschooling was right for our family. We love the freedom to travel when ever we want.

My oldest spent 1 semester in kindergarten. In those 4 months of school we missed 26 days and were late 12 days.  I would sign him in at the office and the front desk lady would ask “why is he late…today?” most of the time my answer was we “went out for doughnuts” or “we stayed up late watching a movie”. I told the truth, 🍩 are important to our family.  We value being able spend time together and just plain DO WHAT WE WANT!

 

Don’t you worry they won’t get enough socialization?

NO! My kids see 1 or more of their cousins or friends everyday of the week. We have an amazing group of homeschool kids and moms (not the denim skirt wearing super conservative women but supportive, Jesus loving, forward thinking, tattooed up women and I ❤️ them) that we do life with. Also they do tae kwon do 1-4 days a week.  The boys are enrolled in a weekly class where they learn 🔬 science, history, and literature📕 from 8:30-3:30 (hallelujah, mama loves Tuesdays!)

Our main reasons for homeschooling

  • We love to travel
  • We like to encourage their strengths and passions allowing them to spend more time learning what they love.
  • We build our own curriculum which allows for the kids to learn at their own pace and in their own style.
  • We don’t adhered to a strict schedule and have never been slaves to corporate America this is something that we want to impart upon our kids and encourage them to seek out their own way.

Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Parenting In 300ish Square Feet

Parenting is a challenge! Whether on a bus or in a “normal house”! We haven’t found it to be much harder than when we were in a traditional home. What…

Parenting is a challenge! Whether on a bus or in a “normal house”! We haven’t found it to be much harder than when we were in a traditional home.

What is it like to parent 3 children in a tiny home?

🚎=🏠

PROS

  • less chores to fight over
  • fewer toys to cleanup
  • intentional living lessons
  • more outdoor time
  • cultivating a feral mindset
  • more family time
  • opportunities to teach while experiencing adventure
  • we share in the everyday chores (water fill ups, chopping wood, toilet changing, dishes etc.)
  • lots of snuggles

 

CONS

  • it’s LOUD
  • 1 bathroom (all kids need to poop at the same time)
  • winter makes us go stir crazy
  • rain does the same thing
  • less “alone” time
  • we live in an aisle so they leave their stuff in the middle of the walkway constantly

 

Things we have learned while parenting in 300 sqft are:

Kids lose their favorite toy even in a tiny house.

Make them sit to pee on the composting toilet, ALWAYS SIT on the composting toilet!

Kids don’t have to shower everyday…neither do adults!

Rushing is a waste of time and energy. Enjoy the adventure!

Don’t expect to have your own space because you’ll be sorely disappointed.

The bumper makes a great timeout spot.

Funniest part of bus living is listening to your kids explain to their friends what a composting toilet is and how to use it.


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Downsizing – 5 Steps To Get Started

Before we knew our destiny of living minimally on a school bus, we were constantly “decluttering” our lives.  Every week I (Ashley) would single out a room, and tackle it….

Before we knew our destiny of living minimally on a school bus, we were constantly “decluttering” our lives.  Every week I (Ashley) would single out a room, and tackle it.  I would frequently day dream about the tiny containers that would fit perfectly within my bigger containers to organize my over cluttered life.  I spent more time thinking about it than actually working towards simplification. Downsizing was little more than just a pipe dream.

We had a 4 bedroom house with a pantry the size of my bus, two dining rooms and an enormous walk in master closet: all packed with my things. At one point I remember telling my husband “this house doesn’t have any storage!”. I laugh now looking back on the women I was.  So concerned with properly folded decorative towels and storage bins. I still am at times a princess about somethings but I have come so far! ::::patting myself on the back::::

I get asked a lot about how to start minimizing and decluttering so here I will share my top 5 tips.

  1. PRIORITIZE YOUR GOALS: Why are you wanting to simplify?  What are your goals? Things waste our time!  How often do you spend time looking for Tupperware lids, never to find the one you were looking for? Does cleaning your kids toys take more time than they actually spend playing with them? Life isn’t suppose to be spent organizing and cleaning things. If you choose to just keep cleaning things up, rather than simplify nothing will change. My “ahh ha moment” was standing at my kitchen sink while I was washing dishes and my child asked me to go swing with them.  I responded with “no, honey I need to finish the dishes”….WHAT?! Why are dishes more important than actually spending time with my kid? (Obviously I still wash dishes, and still have responsibilities around the bus, but they pale in comparison to what they used to). I was spending hours a day loading and unloading dish after dish from my dishwasher because I kept buying more and more dishes. I bought more clothes to satisfy my materialistic desires to be trendy rather than because I needed them. Which lead to more laundry, more folding, more stress and more mental over head. The fewer things you own the more your able to live the life you want.
  2. MAKE LISTS: I am a list maker. I find satisfaction in making long lists and checking off tasks as they are completed.  It also clears my mind to actually focus on the task at hand.  If you have too many things floating around in your brain nothing actually gets done. A large house full of organizing and decluttering sounds overwhelming which leads to failure.  Get out your pen and paper and start writing down the rooms, closets, dressers, junk drawers, cabinets etc. that are cluttering up your mind and your life. Figure out what is a reasonable timeline for yourself and aim for 1 room, drawer, cabinet whatever, per week. Start checking off those tasks and watch your list get completed!
  3. DONT QUIT: Decluttering isn’t fun.  Its incredibly tedious at times. I fought my boredom with audio books (mostly zombie fiction). I would start a book and not want to stop listening; it would keep me going for hours. The Girl With All The Gifts got me through my entire master bedroom, bathroom and closet! If you’re not into listening to books, 90’s hip hop is pretty motivating also. If you don’t know now you know! (RIP Biggie)
  4. NO MORE “JUST IN CASE”: Most of the clutter in our lives are the “just in case items”. We hang on to cords just in case, we keep those jeans just in case we lose 20 lbs, we keep that crystal pitchers just in case we throw a party. How often is the item actually used? Have you used it in the past year? If not get rid of it. If you can replace the item quickly and for under $20 its not worth cluttering your home with it.  Not quite ready to ditch it? Put the item in a box in the garage and if you use it within the next three months than keep it, if not wave goodbye!
  5. START….YEP GET STARTED: No more excuses, no more procrastination, no more “Im too busy”. I hate that excuse BTW because what you’re really saying is “its not a priority”.  Everyone makes time for the things that are a priority in their lives.
    So if you don’t have time…MAKE TIME.

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