The idea that you need to buy more stuff to be happy is just not so, says author, teacher, and entrepreneur Tammy Strobel, who put that notion to the test. That test included quitting a job at an investment firm, ditching the two cars she and her husband owned, and moving into a tiny house, while starting a career as a freelance writer, blogger and photographer. With about half the income and living with a challenge of owning 100 or less personal items, Strobel found she could pay off her student debts, travel and find happiness with a decidedly simpler lifestyle.
The author of “You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap)” is now a study in living an experiential life, while turning her back on rabid consumerism. And much of that strategy is based on the tiny house in Portland, Ore., she and her husband now call home. Let's take a tour.
You'll see lots of pets in Strobel's photographs. This may be one of the reasons she calls her Web site RowdyKittens.com. Furthermore, "I love morning views, tiny homes, reading and everyday adventures," says the woman who turned her consumer-oriented life around and found she was happier living for day-to-day pleasures, rather than stuff.
Above you see bookend felines looking out the windows on either side of the front door. You can also see what the cats see: A pastoral setting outside. Often, tiny house owners prefer living in the country, away from the stresses and hassles of city life.
You'll notice the Strobel's home is genuinely uncluttered. Strobel told The New York Times that she had decided to take a Web site challenge and try to live with 100 personal items or less. Consequently, clutter is absent, if not banished, from their home.
From a sitting area downstairs, you get a view of the kitchen and, again, just a few items on the shelves. This is what a simplified lifestyle looks like. Instead of stuff, Tammy Strobel now lives for "everyday adventures." It's cheaper -- and more satisfying, she says.
The view from the bedroom loft shows the cozy sitting area and the desk right underneath one luxury item in the house: An air conditioner.
One cat now -- but how many sleep up here at night? This is a cozy bedroom made all the more attractive with the handsome woodwork and that glorious skylight on the right.
The Strobel's adventure began with a road trip -- in which they moved house and home from California to Oregon.
They ended up here. No more cars, no more student debt, no more demanding bosses. Tammy Strobel now writes, bikes, thinks, teaches and works as a photographer. She also says life with less hustle and bustle includes more joy.