To me, the best part of sharing Small Space Squad home tours is celebrating different, non-traditional ways of living. The meaning of ‘home’ varies so widely from person to person. It can mean living on the go in a van, rehabbing a Skoolie, or pouring love into a 110 year old tiny bungalow. Even when you remove the aesthetic of the home from the equation, the type of space a person calls ‘home’ can be so telling about their priorities and goals. I’ve long been enamored with the idea of living in an RV on a plot of land, just like Ashley Carpenter of Joyfully Growing. To me, it feels like the ultimate dream because there is just so much room for possibility.
Home Tour: Inside the Modern Rustic RV of Joyfully Growing
Who: Ashley Carpenter of Joyfully Growing
Number of years living small: 2.5 years in a fifth wheel (3 years ago) and we’ve lived in our current RV for just under 6 months now!
To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?
Debt freedom: Since paying off our student loans, our only debt has been our mortgage and we finally said goodbye to that by choosing RV life. We purchased and renovated our RV with cash and have now sold our house which makes us officially DEBT FREE!
Moving closer to friends/family: We’ve always wanted to end up back in Oregon (where Mike’s from) to be closer to family & friends, but it never made sense while Mike had a good job that he enjoyed in Montana. However since starting this blog, we’ve been able to turn it into a business and today both of us work from home blogging full time! With both of us working from home, we are now free to live where ever we choose (as long as there’s wifi?). It’s truly been a dream come true! By living in an RV we are able to move back to Mike’s hometown to be closer to family while still accomplishing our goal of being debt free.
Living a simpler life: After moving into our first house I felt the need to fill each room with stuff so that the house didn’t feel empty. But as we purged our things, I realized that we had so much stuff that we didn’t use. And because we had the space to store it all, I didn’t even notice! I love that downsizing into a tiny space has forced me to embrace living with less — I never want to go back to all that stuff!
What is your biggest challenge in your small space?
- Being forced to sleep in a queen, instead of a king.
- Small closet/linen storage space
What is your favorite part about living small?
Living with less! I love that I can see all of my belongings in one space and am encouraged to not buy the latest and greatest because there’s simply no room!
What is your number one hack for living small?
One thing in, one thing out. Tiny spaces can feel cluttered fast so I am VERY intentional about the items I bring into our space.
Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?
I don’t feel pressure or guilty, but I am very much aware of what items are necessary for our space. I still love to decorate and have non-functional items out on display, but I try to keep it pared down to only items that I absolutely LOVE. Everything else can go.
What have you learned about yourself by living small?
We accumulated way too much stuff living in a 4 bedroom home; I never want to acquire that many unused things again.
What’s your number one storage hack?
We used upper cabinets as the base for our dining area to give us tons of extra storage. Plus it was super cheap!
Who is your biggest small space inspiration?
I loved watching Ashley from @arrowsandbow transition from living in an RV to purchasing a home. She is very intentional about her design and decorating style and has a great outlook on what really matters in life. Although they don’t live tiny anymore, she still encourages the simpler way of life that my husband and I have grown to love so much.
What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?
This is the second time we’ve lived in an RV since being married so most of them were used to the idea. However, we often get the question, “So how long are you guys planning on living in a trailer??” All of our friends and family have been so supportive and are excited for us.
You can find even more Small Space Squad Home Tours here:
- Jess Ann Kirby
- Reserve Home
- The Mayes Team
- The Grit & Polish
- The Grand Apartment
- Anne Sage
- Arrows & Bow
- Katrina Blair
- Crystal Ann Interiors
Photography by Joyfully Growing, used with permission.
Find out first!
Subscribe to our free newsletter for weekly updates & exclusive content