In case you hadn’t noticed yet, it’s summer! I don’t know about where you live, but where we live, it’s been really hot, too. Miserably hot. The kind of hot that reminds me why I don’t really care for summer and makes me look forward to the fall. The fact that our house (apparently) wasn’t built to handle the heat just makes that even worse. You see, the top floor of the house is where the main living areas are. The lower level just has the kids’ playroom, one bedroom, a “half” bathroom, and the laundry area. The top floor is absolutely unbearable in the summertime. We just dealt with it last year, but this year we decided we weren’t interested in doing that. (The windows all open sideways, not up and down, so putting an air conditioner in is very tricky. Especially since it’s the second floor, not the first.)
So on July 1st, we moved most of our stuff – the stuff we need every single day, anyway – to the lower level of our home. Will gave up his office so that we could put our bed in the bedroom. The playroom is now the kids’ “everything” room, which really isn’t a big deal; most kids have only one room for sleeping and playing in anyway. The only times we go upstairs are early in the morning before it gets too hot and when we’re cooking or bathing.
We’ve done this partially to keep our sanity and partially as an experiment: Can we live in a smaller space than we currently have? The answer has been a resounding “Yes!” Why are we using this time as an experiment like this? Because Will has his mind set on us living in a “tiny house.” He’s been very interested in the tiny house movement for years, but we were never sure it was logistically possible – or feasible – with children. Now we know that, within reason of course, it is. He’s gone out and priced tiny houses, and depending on where you live, they’re really not so “tiny.” The one he’s looking at is 18×24 feet with a loft. That’s about the amount of space we’ve been living in the past two weeks.
We knew that in order to pull it off, we’d have to simplify even further than we already have. We’ve moved some of the boys’ toys to Will’s office at the church, and they play with those toys when they’re stuck there late on Wednesday nights while Will talks to his dad. A lot of Small Fry’s outgrown clothes are going either to our new nephew or the consignment store. Come fall, almost all of the quilts I’ve made over the years are going to go to a social service agency that can get them to families in need. Same with our extra bedsheets. The kitchen is probably the main “problem” area, but since we’re not planning to move for a few more months (or longer…), I’m not ready to think about that yet.
Until we did this, I was always kind of averse to the idea of tiny house living (I don’t expect that we’ll live in a huge house forever, but a tiny one?). There are times when I’m still unsure, but I know in my mind now that it is possible for us.
Have you ever done anything like this? Tried living in just a portion of your house?
How do you keep your house cool and livable in the summer?