(The photo is of Guillaume & Jenna’s Tiny House that we had the opportunity to go into and fall in love with. They’re driving around the U.S. for a year, and you can follow their blog on Tiny House, Giant Journey).
What? When? & WHY???????
Well, two out of the three questions are sort of easy to answer.
First – The What.
A tiny house, by my definition, is a house under 200 square feet. The ones we’re looking at are built or designed by Tumbleweed, and are built on trailers because (if my notes from the conference are correct) they then fall under the jurisdiction of the DMV, rather than building codes. So, the tiny house we’re thinking of is on a 20′ trailer – it can only be 8′ 6″ wide, and 13′ 6″ tall.
By comparison – the average home in the U.S. in 2014 was 2,600 square feet. That’s an INCREASE in size from the 2010 census, even though the family size has decreased.
So, that’s kind of the what.
The When. When we sell our house. Interested? It’s a fabulous home – 1,600 square feet, on a 1/3 of an acre – in one of the most beautiful settings I’ve ever seen. I’ll be happy to send you photos, answer questions, give you a tour. Just let me know.
Now for the harder one – WHY?
I can really only answer that for me (I have to conclude that Mark must be in agreement since he’s going along for the ride!). I am at my happiest when things are simple. No clutter. Everything has a home, and is in it. I go my most beserk when I can’t find something. (I actually discovered that this was a trigger for my depression!) I stop short of having NO possessions, because I do love art, and beautifully made things, and comfort – but I do not want to feel as though my possessions are in charge of MY LIFE – rather than the other way around. Having the freedom from housework, thinking about what ‘needs to be done’, the liberation from STUFF gives you the time to do exactly what you want. How totally cool is that?
The tiny house we’re working on designing has all the creature comforts that are important TO US. A huge fabulous bed, with reading lamps on either side. A stove with an oven and some counter space and an apt. sized fridge/freezer. A dining room table that can accommodate at least 6 with some comfort. An indoor bathroom with a toilet and a shower. Indoor heating (we’re looking at the CUTEST little wood burning stove YOU HAVE EVER SEEN! Designed for ships!) and an A/C. The ability to work on my art (Etsy store to come soon!) and my writing. The ability for Mark to work on his photography. Room for our cats.
And that’s about it.
I realized some time ago how little of our current house we really use. We could remove the living room altogether, shrink down the kitchen/dining room, SERIOUSLY shrink down the master bathroom (it’s just ridiculous), and so on. It’s wasted space. It’s space that collects dust and cat hair and I cannot keep on top of keeping clean.
One of the things I really love about the idea of living in a Tiny House is that you’ve really thought about EVERY SINGLE item you have in it. How many pairs of shoes do I REALLY NEED/USE? Do I NEED 3 stock pots? 6 cookie sheets? What about all the stuff that’s in closets/cupboards/drawers? The storage shed?
I’ll be honest – the paring down (and going from a 1,600 square foot home to a 172 square foot home is BEYOND paring down!) is both liberating and really, really hard. I’ve been able to part with a LOT without batting an eye. But some of the books, the art! knick-knacks (or dustables as someone once said of them) is wrenching. I have to seriously THINK about WHY I want to keep it. Is it the item itself that I want? Or the memory of who gave it to me? Generally it’s NOT the item, it’s the attachment to the giver. But that attachment is always going to be there, whether I have the item or not. Keeping a book I have no interest in simply because my mother gave it to me – there’s no real reason for keeping it – to me.
So, yard sales, ebay, donations, earmarking certain things for friends. The process has begun, but there is a lot more to go! So – PLEASE – Let us know if you’re in the market for something we might have!
I will be following your new life with much interest and anticipation and will be positively green with envy! Marcus and I traveled hundreds of thousands of miles over our 50 years together, towing our various tiny homes and having wondrous adventures all over the country. I’m sure you will do the same. Thanks for inviting us along for the ride!!
When we were looking at Tumbleweed and the like one of the comments really stuck with me. A tiny home and no mortgage means FREEDOM. I really loved that.
This is so much fun!! Sort of like living in a doll house!!
What an adventure! I’ve always been in love with Tumbleweed homes and am so excited you, Mark, and the kitties are going for it. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, love!