Rika Cossey

nature view, nature, green

My journey from words to action

It’s funny how, in life, words catch up with you and turn your life around. This is the story of how the title of my first blog Live Small – Be More became real and made my life small when I moved into a tiny house.

When I started seriously thinking about writing a blog in 2016, I took some time to figure out a name. The name eventually became Live Small – Be More because I wanted to show that you and I can live with much less (commercial) stuff in our lives.
My premise has always been (and will always be) to explore the possibilities of making stuff at home, figuring out what is really important to me, and gaining an understanding of alternatives. I love finding out things I took for granted but which I can make myself or create some ownership over.

When I thought of the name for the blog, I didn’t consider physically living small. I implied the figure of speech of living small, hinting at the idea that we need less in our lives than we think we need. To look at living in smaller spaces wasn’t my initial intention.

And then life happened

In September 2017, my family and I started thinking about relocating from Australia back to Europe. We started reading about our destination, Sweden, and it began to become clear that the housing market in Sweden is extremely tight.

Around the same time one youtube channel I’m following, posted a video of a tiny house. I follow that channel because I found tiny houses interesting, but didn’t think it was for me. And then this video came along, and it changed my mind. I saw a house which had everything we needed in a home, and it was a tiny house on wheels.

So we started our tiny house journey

At the time of writing this post, we’re living in a house which is similar to the one I saw in the youtube video. We just finished our second winter in it (which is a big deal in a country like Sweden where winters are dark and cold!), and we have grown accustomed to living tiny. Our two kids have their friends over, we routinely climb over toys and books left on the floor, and overall really enjoy the space.

I want to get back to the building process for a moment because that was a big part of us getting ready. We’ve spent about three months designing the house with its various components. We worked on the overall layout and every single space inside. We chose windows, floor covering, made decisions about the kitchen sink, the shower screen, heating, air ventilation, and the toilet. For me, this is all very fascinating stuff because I’ve never done anything like this.

The house was finished six months after our first consultation with the builder. We now live, as a family of four, on roughly 40m². In other words, we have approximately a third of the space we had in our previous house.

It seems crazy, even for me, to think about this size. However, it works because the house was built to our needs and ideas.

sign post, arrow, sign

Understanding where I want to go

A big part of my story is the fact that my husband and I have a vision for how we want our life to be. Although that vision still changes, the direction is clear: live a simpler life. Our tiny house is part of that vision.

The reason I’m writing all this is that sometimes in life, our unconscious makes decisions for us without us realising it at first. For me, it was the title of my blog. At first, I only wanted to write a little bit about living smaller, now I live small. It was just a thought experiment that turned into reality.

For you, it’s probably something completely different. And the funny thing is that you will probably not realise until you are a long way down the path. Our unconscious mind sometimes creeps up on us without us noticing. The trick is, however, to allow that to happen and to be okay with it.

I’m still figuring out the second part of my blog title – living more. Do I already live with more intent and purpose? I don’t know. I do, however, know that the tiny house is giving me more (literal) space to focus on what’s essential in life and where I want to go.
I’m not afraid to take new challenges but I also take time to listen to my intuition. I can’t bring something from my unconscious to my conscious without help but I can take time to listen to what is going on around me and how I feel about it. And then I can get a sense of where I want my life to go.

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