We know of all the popular shows on TV right now: HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living, FYI’s Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Hunting, etc. And yes, we have seen them all. Every. Single. Episode. Some of them are beautiful. Most of them are not really our style, but I can appreciate them. Some are downright unlivable in my eyes. The most important thing about this trend is that these shows and stories make you truly think about what is important to you. And maybe, just maybe, I could do that.
It would not be a lie to say that this entire tiny house living obsession began in my little brain. I love the idea of minimalist living. We always have too much STUFF. Here’s a not-so-secret, secret: Ross and I have been together for over five years. We have moved together seven times. Eight times if you count moving into our current tiny house. These were not small moves, either. We’ve lived in many places in Tennessee, the Texas/Mexico border, and Kentucky. We’ve lived in spaces as small as 500sqft apartments to 2500sqft standard homes. Yet everywhere we have moved, a majority of our material things have stayed in the cardboard boxes they were packed into 2, 3, or 4 moves ago. At our house in Texas, we had an entire guest room filled with said cardboard boxes. Y’all… whyyyyy?! If it’s packed away, you do not need it! It has no place in your life or happiness. Get rid of it. Boom. The beginning of minimalist living. There it is. Ride the wave. We instituted a 10 item Tuesday (idea from @bestlittlehouseintexas on Instagram). I loved this. I got rid of 20-30 items every time. But sweet Ross…
Ross was always open to the idea, but convincing a man with a t-shirt collection spanning decades and more beard care products than ZZ Top to go tiny began as a slow process. Y’all these t-shirts were out of control. I’m not exaggerating. At least two hundred of them, hanging there, haunting me. If you piled his closet on top of me, I’d never be heard from again. I even had one of my grandmothers make him a t-shirt quilt from twenty of his favorites that he could not even wear anymore. The struggle was real. I am so proud to say that he is down to probably about 40 now. That’s major. I call that a win. As long as it fits in our tiny house closet (and it does), I’m happy.
“I could never go tiny. [or] My spouse/SO/partner would never be up for THAT.”
OK…then don’t do it! Do more of what makes you happy- that’s my mantra. It’s hard work to figure out how all of your worldly possessions are going to fit into less than 200 square feet. I’d venture to say that this stressed Ross out way more than me. Good or bad, I have always been easily able to disconnect from things, places, and people. I think my hardwiring is a little different than most, and I am OK with that. I guess my point in this is that everyone is different. Once, you make the decision to go tiny, some people will take longer than others… and there is nothing wrong with that. You have to do what makes YOU happy. We decided this would make us happy. Both of us, together. And you know what? This grand experiment has made us incredibly happy. Our relationship is better than ever. No, we don’t want to “kill each other in such a small space.”
“Don’t you ever need ME time?”
Sure. Of course. Doesn’t everyone? The beauty of our tiny house design is that there are separate spaces. If I want to read a book or watch Gilmore Girls (you guys, the Revival… oh, no words) and Ross wants to read (current book: What Doesn’t Kill You by Scott Carney), we do. I can binge watch and cuddle on the couch with the dogs and he can read in the bedroom loft. Or vice versa. And then there is this magical place called Outside. There are many wondrous adventures in this thing called Nature. It’s fun to explore. I’m just saying…
“Don’t you want kids? This will never work with kids.”
Short answer: no. No thanks. That is so not in the plans now. And there is a good chance that it might not be ever. But don’t shut down the idea of tiny houses and kids altogether. Lots of people around the country and the world do it. Ask them how.
“How do the dogs handle it? They’re big, right?”
Harvey and Malli, our (close to 60lbs each) rescue mutts, think they are humans. They get tucked in every night, have humans that are available for snuggles and outside playtime practically whenever they want, and they basically live in a giant dog house. How do you think they handle it?
“Don’t you want to put down roots? Become part of a community?”
Nah. At least to the putting down roots part. We love the adventure and constant change. We meet people everywhere, and it is just too much fun. We ARE part of a community: the tiny house community. Tiny housers are an awesome breed. They (we) tend to be more open minded, adventurous, and excitable people. You want to go hiking/biking/kayaking/exploring tomorrow? Well, yeah! Let’s go.
“How do you pay for everything? How do you work?”
We’re DINKs (double income, no kids). If you have them, you know those little boogers are expensive. We both have Master’s degrees in a hard work, but well-paid profession. We’ve persevered for years, before and after we met each other, to get to this point. At one point, I was working 90-105 hours per week to lead me (unknowingly at the time) to this point. We saved for a long time. Our profession allows us opportunities to work anywhere in the country with a little pre-planning. We live in a off-grid THoW with minimal expenses. And I am ridiculously cheap when it comes to spending money. We utilize our Harvest Host membership when we travel as much as possible. I think that about sums it up.
What else have you got? I’m an open book. I’ll answer anything you can come up with.