My wife and I are building a tiny house.
It’s a house on a 20′ trailer and will be 144 sq. feet on the bottom floor.
We’ll have two lofts. One as our sleeping area and the other as a lounge/guest room space. We’ll have a full bathroom and a full kitchen (relatively speaking).
You might think we’re crazy…
That’s ok. I don’t expect you to understand.
The funny thing is that we feel that we would actually go crazy if we were to do the “normal” thing and buy a 2,000 sq. ft. house.
Last April we went to a conference on building tiny and one of the questionnaires asked us to check the reasons why we wanted to build a tiny house. Common reasons were listed; environmental impact, downsize, save money, mobility, etc. I opted for the ‘Other’ box and wrote down, “All of them.”
I love everything the tiny movement represents.
For me it works. At this point in our lives, my wife is on board too.
I understand that ‘144’ won’t last forever and that it isn’t for everybody; but I think that is part of the beauty of the movement. It isn’t a competition to see who can live in the smallest space (although that could be fun to try); it’s about simplifying our lives in an attempt to increase our joy.
My wife and I don’t like the idea of being tied to one spot for too long. We also haven’t found a place worth settling down yet. A tiny house gives us the freedom to own a house and take it with us on our search for a home.
Our combined income puts us in the top 20% in the United States which makes our $1,000 per month rent reasonable, but it’s still not ideal. Most RV parks and tiny house spots can be rented for HALF the price of our apartment. I don’t think I need to expand on why that’s important.
Building tiny also helps us reduce our environmental impact. There is a strong push inside of the movement to use recycled and reclaimed materials. Currently my wife and I are looking into alternative forms of insulation such as recycled denim. Even if alternative, reclaimed, or recycled materials aren’t for you there is always the overall impact of a MUCH smaller house. Less materials used equals less strain on our environment.
Weirdly, downsizing is the issue most people take when I tell them we’re going tiny. I’m finding people strongly associate their character with their things. If you are a ‘stuff and things’ type of person, please don’t take offense. We also like ‘stuff and things.’ We just don’t like the relationship we personally have with them sometimes. My wife and I have more movies than we watch. We have more dishes than we use. We have more clothes than we wear. We have more (and bigger) appliances than we need.
By reducing the size of the space my wife and I live in, we reduce the size and amount of items that need care and maintenance. This frees up time to invest more fully into the things we enjoy most.
For her it would be finding new recipes to actually cook. For me it would be having the time and energy to use my camping equipment. For both of us it means more time and money to visit friends, family, and to travel.
Maybe tiny living isn’t moving into a house the size of your bedroom. Maybe it’s just cleaning out the guest room closet. Whatever it is, there is joy that can be found there. I would encourage you to go and live a more joyful life.