Living Tiny Series, Part One: Stacy and Ryan of The Next Ridge

(All photos courtesy of The Next Ridge)
Living Tiny: Our Interview with Stacy and Ryan of The Next Ridge

Here at Close to Home, we believe that living in a tiny home can be a transformational experience. There are many benefits, including less stress, improved mental wellness, greater freedom, and financial independence.

To better communicate the benefits, we decided to ask real tiny home owners about their own experiences. We reached out to Stacy and Ryan with @thenextridge, who were kind enough to share their wisdom and answer a few questions about living in a tiny home.

In this two part series, we first asked Stacy and Ryan how living in a tiny home has changed their lifestyle. Take a look at what they had to say:

What is it like to have a dog in a tiny home?

Basically it just becomes very important that Oakley, our dog, gets plenty of time outside and plenty of exercise, and that he has a spot in the house that belongs to him (his bed, for example) where he can hang out when we need to have him out of the way. Oakley is an older dog and happily sleeps or sits and watches us the majority of the time, but we’re considering getting a puppy and I think it will be important for a younger dog to have a little cave under the couch or something where he/she can hang out and not be bouncing around underfoot while I’m cooking. Mostly though I don’t think it’s terribly different than a regular house – we spend a lot of time walking, so Oakley gets lots of outside time, and we love having him close to us in the house!

How has living in a tiny home changed your lifestyle and helped you with minimalism?

If something is out of place, it’s in the way. We do a much better job of staying organized these days. We also don’t accumulate stuff. We both have our things that we really like to collect (for me it’s books, for Ryan it’s mostly electronics or outdoor gear) but now it’s pretty much impossible for our collections to get out of hand. We are always evaluating (almost automatically at this point) our possessions and looking for things we might be able to do without. We have developed within ourselves a sort of natural sense of accomplishment when we purge stuff: when we sell or donate something we feel like we’re getting stuff done!

Can you talk about your transition to going tiny and how your life has changed since making the change?

“The Purge” as we call it was difficult at times but mostly it was liberating. We had great fun getting rid of so much stuff. We gave it away to friends, donated it, threw it away, or sold on Craigslist. Some things were hard to let go of, but once we got on a roll, it got easier and easier. Now afterward I feel like we are just in the habit of automatically evaluating our things and realizing when things are no longer needed.

What has living in a tiny home taught you about life?

Stacy: Honestly, living in a tiny home has taught me about what I don’t need to be happy.  I donated 75% of my clothing during “The Purge.” There was a delay in getting the house done and I was forced to pack a small (smaller than a carry-on) suitcase and live out of that for over a month before we could move into the house. I didn’t once miss the rest of the clothes that I had chosen to keep – all those clothes that I had thought were absolutely essential to my daily life. Turns out I only needed a fraction of that 25% I had chosen to keep. That goes for a lot of other things as well. We don’t have a dishwasher, but we manage just fine. We actually didn’t have internet at the house for almost a year and it was awesome – we still had a DVD player and cell phones for general communication, but it turns out you watch so much less television when you have to actually pick out a DVD instead of just turning on the news or Netflix. We didn’t miss it!

Living Life On Their Own Terms

By living in a tiny home, Stacy and Ryan were able to design a life that inspires them. Their drive to live tiny and be financially free has given them the ability to travel and be outside, which to them is a more fulfilling experience than being inside watching TV. Also, giving away a lot of their stuff while they were downsizing has helped them focus on what’s really important, like making space for their furry friend (or possibly two)!

For more information on Stacy and Ryan, check out their social media accounts:

Facebook: The Next Ridge

Instagram: @thenextridge

Youtube: TheNextRidge


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