The Most Annoying Things About Living in a Tiny Space


I love living aboard. And I love having less stuff. But do I love inhabiting a tiny space every second of every day? Of course not. I’m not a total weirdo!


While I would make this choice over and over again, and I certainly don’t have any regrets, there are a few less than ideal aspects of tiny living. Here’s a quick roundup of the most challenging things about living aboard (so far).


We Trip, Fall, & Bump into Everything

Our boat is 46-feet long and about 14 feet wide. So, not overly spacious. And we chose to fill it with furniture, two humans, and a dog who spends about 77% of his waking hours ghosting us.

I don’t think a day has gone by that one of us hasn’t bumped their head, stubbed a toe, tripped over Indy, or slipped on the stairs. Thankfully, we haven’t suffered any serious injuries so far. Although, I am concerned about my pinky toenail. My mom just had to break it to me that I’m probably going to lose it (it’s completely black and blue after a particularly gnarly encounter with the coffee table).

The upside? It is kind of funny.


Messes Have Nowhere to Hide

If I don’t immediately wash the dishes, put our laundry away, or make the bed, it looks like a bomb went off in our boat. Messes that would normally be considered small (maybe even unnoticeable) are glaringly obvious in a tiny space like ours. And neither of us are very into cleaning (we’d much rather be kayaking or watching Netflix). So, the boat gets messy pretty much every day.

On the flip side, when we do decide to clean up, it only takes a few minutes. Minimalism certainly has its perks!


We Have a Place for (Almost) Everything

We were able to get rid of the vast majority of our belongings before moving aboard, which is great, but we still don’t have room for much else. Everything that we brought onto the boat has a place, but new purchases not so much. So, if we receive a package or overbuy at the grocery store, we’re usually stuck leaving things out on the counter. Which, to my previous point, exacerbates the whole messiness issue.

On the upside, we’ve started getting rid of one item for every new thing we bring aboard. Which means, if someone brings us wine, we HAVE to drink a bottle to make room!


Our Toilets are… Sensitive

We have a waste system that processes and sanitizes our toilet water. It’s actually really cool technology. Every time we flush, the contents are basically electrocuted and turned into chlorine (it’s called a Lectrosan and Brian can explain the nitty-gritty details to you – if you’re ever interested). Basically, it enables us to avoid using tanks to hold our waste, because the treated water can go directly overboard.

Anyway, the system can be a little sensitive. We’ve had two serious clogs since moving aboard and it hasn’t been pretty. Let’s just say industrial-strength plungers and a very unfortunate explosion of dirty water were involved*.

*This was actually hilarious to me, but not to Brian. I still can’t stop laughing about it. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t on the receiving end of that nasty water explosion. It may or may not have gotten in his mouth.


Our Bed isn’t Exactly Spacious

We used to have an eastern king-sized bed, which is even wider than a California king. It was awesome. All three of us (me, Brian and Indy) had plenty of room to spread out. Our new bed, on the other hand, is queen-sized (allegedly) and we’ve definitely noticed the difference. Indy tends to take up more than his fair share, so Brian and I usually end up clinging to either edge of the bed every night. It bothers me way less than Brian, but it does get a little old. That said, neither of us are quite ready to suggest that Indy gets his own bed. I mean, he’s only nine years old. He’s still just a puppy!


Stubbed toes and limited storage aside, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The fun and freedom that comes with living aboard are well worth the (mostly minor) inconveniences.