Friends. I am a woman in mourning. My geese have left me. They’re still breathing mind you, but its pairing season and apparently, this Momma Goose is no longer fulfilling their needs. Leave and cleave – or something like that. Our geese originally came from […]
Im a full-fledged bird lady. When we first got chickens, we lived on a tiny city lot just a few miles from Toledo’s downtown. The kids and I spent our mornings watching their crazy antics, their fights over worms and apple peels, and constantly replaced […]
When he pulled up and got out of his car, we assumed he was a tiny house lover, ready to profess this adoration of our home.
:::is my naivety showing?:::
With a fair amount of edge in his voice and a furrowed brow he simply said, “mobile homes aren’t allowed.”
….oh, this wasn’t going to be fun….
Deano, the township zoning inspector, had been called in by four neighbors and showed up with guns blazing ready to run us out of town.
The conversation started out gruff. Fortunately, Jamie and I have a knack for disarming folks and things seemed to take a positive angle.
Or so we thought….
What then ensued was 6 weeks of hell – lots of conversations with county officials, folks in public office and township employees. Lots of uncertainty. Lots of feeling like “what the hell did we just do?”
“I mean come on, didn’t you expect this Kelly?”
Yes and no. We expected to run into opposition but didn’t expect that there’d be such an unwillingness to work with us. We didn’t expect to be held to standards that didn’t actually apply to us. And lastly, we didn’t realize that many of those living tiny are doing so illegally.
Shame on us for trying to do the right thing.
So the moral of the story?
– if you’re going tiny, make sure you know where you’re going.
– decide whether you’re going to do it legally or not.
– just to be safe, look for property that’s not zoned.
Parents – the toy struggle is REAL. Amiright or Amiright? Its not long before you feel like TOYS are taking over your home whether you’ve got a tiny house or not!
Take a deep breath, you are not alone! Here are a few insights that have helped us tame the toys!
“Kids need toys!”
I know this is a common mindset. And while I agree, its not in the way you think.
Break out the tin hats folks, but Im a firm believer that marketing (albeit, rather clever indeed!) has had TOO MUCH influence on what we think our kids need in order to have fun and learn!
Its the class “Christmas Morning Experience.” We buy THE gift, the one we KNOW that our kids will love FOR THE REST OF TIME… and what happens? After 5 minutes, they spend the rest of the day playing with the box.
I cant tell you the number of times my kids have happily played with common house hold items (tin ball anyone?) causing me to question the need for toys as we know them.
Our kids don’t need more stuff.
What they do need are moments that foster creativity and imagination! Its these moments that empower our kids with the ability to make anything a toy and have a blast! And this will only continue to benefit them as they get older!
(The kids set up a “camp site.” Notice that there are only 2 “toys” and yet they played at their “camp site” for an entire morning!)
“But what about birthdays?”
Instead of asking for gifts, we ask for experiences.
For Christmas one year, we got a trip to the movies, a trip to an ice cream parlor, and a trip to an indoor play land. Its these experiences that will last longer than any toy and create the great memories of childhood!
Now dont get me wrong, there are times when an actual THING is needed/wanted over an experience. So for those times, we also follow the 4 gift rule, “a want, a need, something to wear, something to read.”
During the year, I keep a running list on my phone of things that my kids need or want. When it comes to gift giving time, I ask for those things specifically.
“Ok thats great, but how do you pare down their toys?”
I start by organizing everything they play with. I put all the pieces back together and make it perfect!
Then I watch.
I watch what gets played with and what doesn’t. From there, I separate the things that dont get played with and the kids and I go through the toys together. I explain that we cant keep all the toys and in order to make room for the ones we have or possibly get new ones, we need to get rid of the old ones. This has worked very well for my 6 year old. My 3 year old hasn’t quite caught onto the concept yet but I’m sure she’ll start vocalizing her opinions soon.
Once a toy has been designated to donate, I try to get rid of it as soon as possible! (which is another Konmari tip!)
I cant tell you the number of times I didn’t do this and sure enough, those toys made their way back into the house!