DISLCAIMER: We're not yet living on board, but my brother and my wife's sister have been doing so for a decade, and we've shared experiences with them.
We recently rented a 550 square foot cottage for our family
of three (plus three motorcycles, three mountain bikes, and a 75 pound lab mix) in paradise. We've been working for the last several days to move into it, from a much larger place.
I imagine that many of you have been through many of the things that we're going through. We made what we thought were the hard decisions already, but upon arrival, we find that we're not there yet.
We find ourselves stripping the packaging off of everything, nesting everything, finding vertical storage
solutions, and making use of dead space for storage
. Nothing is taken for granted. We're not going to live in clutter. Everything either has to have a place, or we're not going to keep it.
It has been interesting to watch the "black hole" effect of our new home "absorbing" stuff, as the pile outside gets smaller, and yet we continue to have just as much living space inside.
We've still got a ways to go, but this is a good life experience, and I have a new appreciation for what it must be like to live on board. By the time that I retire, the child, the dog, the motorcycles, and the bicycles will all be gone, but the challenges will remain.