Tiny houses have always fascinated me. The idea of paring down your living environment to just the essentials is so cool to me. My mom bought a summer home when I was 12. It was small, though not “tiny” by the standards of the current movement. The entire home could fit inside the living room of my current home and the 2 bedrooms were actually 1 small room with a 6 1/2 foot high partition/wall in the middle. My sister and I used to throw things over the wall to each other. 🙂 It didn’t even have a bathroom when we bought it. It had an outhouse. No, I’m not kidding. We had to have a bathroom wing attached to the house just so we could have running water. And it was awesome.
Eventually, a neighbor gave us her house. My mom had our little house bulldozed, built a walkout basement, and paid to have the entire 2 bedroom house lifted up, moved, and placed onto our new basement. It’s still not a big house, but it’s a castle compared to the old one. In fact, I just got back from spending a week there with all 5 of my children. You realize just how little you need when you don’t have the space for it.
I couldn’t live in a tiny house full time. I couldn’t really even live in a small one. My life and lifestyle just doesn’t work for it. I’ve got a decent size family, first of all, and the beds for everyone take up a lot of space. We also homeschool, which requires stuff. Granted, we do a more unorthodox form of homeschooling that leans more toward unschooling, but there is still a lot of stuff. Work books and art supplies and projects galore! Plus, you need a pretty big table if you want 7 people to sit together for a meal. Then there’s my shop. Fabric, snaps, snap presses, sewing machines, and inventory take up a bunch of space. I’ve talked before about how I have to buy in bulk to save money on feeding a large family. Well, you have to have a place to put all that stuff, right? So, tiny living doesn’t really work for me.
But have you watched any of those shows about tiny house living? It’s amazing! There are so many things in our lives that we really don’t need. Before the rise of convenience machines, people lived in small houses. It’s our stuff that takes up all the space, not us. I wouldn’t need a laundry room of I could wash my clothes in a bucket and dry them on a line. Don’t need a tv room if you don’t have a tv. To take it to an extreme, bookcases aren’t needed when you can’t read.
As technology advances, the things we “need” are starting to get smaller. A lap top, smartphone, and Kindle can eliminate the need for books, tvs, cable boxes, dvd collections, and cd players. Of course, I’m never getting a Kindle because I need my books. And my husband is 6′ 5″ and hates small spaces. Clearly, we aren’t going to downsizing and moving onto a bus anytime soon. But it has inspired me to downsize some of our stuff. We’ll probably be moving to a smaller place in the near future and I’d like to try out some of the cool storage ideas I’ve found in the tiny house documentaries.
Do any of you guys do the tiny house thing? I’d love to hear some first hand experiences. 🙂