Tiny Space = Tiny Toys

This past weekend we took the ferry to the mainland to do some grocery shopping and to get a toaster oven. I never thought I would be so excited to purchase such a simple appliance however it holds the promise of baked chicken and perhaps a pizza or two. Additionally, we make our own raw food for Charlie dog and he was starting to get some interesting meals so it was time to buy a few items in bulk for the pup.

As we were making our lists for things we needed to get, it started to dawn on us that we really couldn’t purchase that much because we didn’t have the room. A trip to Costco just didn’t make sense. Did we really need 87 fruit leathers on the boat? Where would we put all that toilet paper? Certainly not on the boat, the level of moisture would ruin it in no time. It appears when our Costco membership expires we won’t be renewing. This new lifestyle is causing us to make very conscious spending choices and ultimately saving ourselves a load of money. We are discovering we don’t need much day to day.

Living here on San Juan Island has its perks. Nothing is commercialized here. My kids have zero brand recognition. It’s lovely. They don’t know what a drive through is and they don’t have a special drink at Starbucks they must have. We don’t have television so there really is no way for them to know about all the marketing of brands to kids. A Barbie doll is something they saw once at the thrift store, but she had tattered hair and didn’t seem that interesting. They don’t know she has a castle or a convertible. That’s okay though, we don’t have the room. Barbie doesn’t need a castle; she really should downsize and be practical. Minimalist Barbie probably wouldn’t be a big hit at the holidays; she would have no extra accessories.

Before we left on our day trip, both girls asked if they could get a new toy off the island. We said yes, as there are very few times in a year we get them new things. We saved the trip to Target for last and the girls were buzzing with excitement. Once we got to the toy section, we each took one of the girls and started to wander the aisles. This is something we have NEVER done. It was fascinating. They didn’t want any of the toys. They all related to characters they didn’t know and nothing looked interesting to them. They each ended up with a tiny three dollar toy from some random bins and a small net to catch shrimp and kelp. They were happy as can be. The other intriguing part of the whole trip was the fact that they didn’t ask for anything. We didn’t see that coming. We were ready with all of our reasons why we couldn’t have everything they wanted. It seemed as though the simplicity of our current life has them wanting less. Lyla even mentioned that she could keep her tiny toy on the shelf next to her bed and it would fit perfect there. She knew she needed something small for her space.


As soon as we got home, Lyla was out on the dock swishing her new net into the water catching kelp. She was thrilled. Sissy used her new faux key chain to lock everything up on our dock and “drive” the boat. The simplicity of it all was so nice. They wanted things that related to our space, not just anything to have something. It was one of the first concrete examples I have seen in our kids relating to our lifestyle change and it was a refreshing.


One thought on “Tiny Space = Tiny Toys

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