July 5, 2014 § 17 Comments
The moment I found out I was pregnant the number one response was something along the lines of ‘so long tiny house’. For some reason it seemed more logical that I should get a bigger space… I can kind of get it but at the same time kids are pretty much attached to their parents literally and figuratively for a few years… the last thing that made sense to me was paying more for rent or taking out a mortgage just so I could guarantee that I would have to work to sustain my home and even more so, so that I could pay for daycare… the tiny house began to make even MORE sense once little miss came into the picture. It has played out just that way too since she’s been born.
Honestly, I have been commended an awful lot and encouraged by others who think the tiny house is perfect for Hazel and out family. At the same time I have been criticized a lot for having a kid in such a small space. It’s quickly assumed by some that she is being ‘abused’ and or deprived somehow by not being able to have every gadget available… in my opinion most gadgets are for parents in order to make things convenient. That said she has a lot of gadgets even in a tiny house… (you have to take the good with the bad, I am learning, there are those on both sides always, it’s just a reality of living a lifestyle outside the norm). I will tell you that having a kid (or a couple for that matter) is totally possible in a tiny house. At this point, for the most part she is in my arms or sleeping an arms-length away. I have already heard that ‘sure, this may work now but when she starts walking… or crawling… or talking… or wanting to have friends over… or hitting puberty etc. etc etc.’ When it is time to move on from the tiny house we will do so but that won’t be happening for a little while… much to the dismay of some :). For us it will work at least a few years… Things will change as she gets older and she may have a little brother or sister even in here, things will modify as needed, I built my house just so that I can switch things up and change them around as needed!
For now (Hazel is nearly 4 months old), this is how we fit and where we put our stuff:
So far we don’t need anything else, she doesn’t seem to be suffering. She doesn’t take any real interest in toys just yet (even the home-made ones we made a couple weeks ago) but she loves going on walks, playing with her dog, having picnics at the park and hanging out with mom all day long.
As far as diapers are concerned and how they mix with a tiny house, we use disposable diapers at night (one) then one in the morning, when she poos. The rest of the day she is in cloth diapers. Every once in a while she will poo in the cloth. While she is on breastmilk those diapers are ok to just be thrown in the washer as is, once she is on formula and/or food they will need to be shaken off first into the toilet. We will see how that works out but I think we have a pretty good system down… I was unsure how it was going to go in the tiny house.
So that’s how it works, any other concerns or worries about having kids in a tiny house? How old are your kids and what do you think the hiccups would be moving them into a tiny house with you?
June 30, 2014 § 71 Comments
This is a ‘me, me, me’ post, just warning… and the point is… it’s important to talk about all those things living in a tiny house gives you (rather than takes away). That might help stop the consumerist thoughts in some people’s live’s. We are led to believe ‘more things equals better’, so let’s talk about why that isn’t totally true…
The back story… (this is a bit of a [perhaps judgemental] rant, I’m sorry if it offends you) I was on a forum that a gal from the Tiny House People facebook page showed me about baby wearing (because I do that). In that forum a different lady posed the question ‘how big is your house’ because her husband wanted to downsize from a 650 s.f. house to a 28′x12′ tiny house and she blamed the upcoming Tiny House Nation TV show. Within an hour nearly 200 people replied, each one seemingly trying to outdo the others for the biggest house/newest house/coolest house and further making this woman feel like a weirdo unnecessarily, not only for having a husband who wanted to downsize but flat out telling her she already lived in too tiny of a house at 650 s.f. [there were a couple posts that said theirs was way too big and some that were thinking of going tiny too, but mostly it was this other type of reply]. The one comment that stuck with me was a younger gal who was bragging that her, her husband, her kid and a dog were building their second house ‘from the dirt up’ 3 years after building their first home from the dirt up and it will be 4,200 s.f. because their 3,700 s.f. house ‘wasn’t laid out well’. She specifically pointed out that ‘as far as she’s concerned’ you already live in a tiny house and that her ‘hubs’ needed to be reeled in. (I was offended)
I by no means think that everyone should live in a tiny house, that would be silly. These comments infuriated me though… since when did wasting resources become a status symbol, the tone in these posts literally sickened me. I know that I get into this stuff way too much but really? Your layout didn’t work well so you’re ‘scrapping’ the first house you built to try out some things you learned in even a bigger footprint, for two people, a baby and a dog?! My guess is that there is no designer involved either and if the layout is the cause of the ‘upgrade’ then I would think you would at least get a professional in to help make a better layout, not just add 500 s.f. and hope that that fixes it (I admit I probably read way too much into the comment, because I’ve been contacted by this type of client through my day job, but…). That mentality combined with the fact that MOST new homeowners now want to build ‘from the ground up’ makes their ‘old’ house nearly obsolete. How many people want to make a 3,700 s.f. investment without having that customized to them, the people that shop that market largely shop for their own custom house rather than making due in someone elses failed dream.. In my opinion it’s a selfish stance, it’s a wasteful stance and it should NOT be a status symbol to have a ridiculously large house yet the others surely saw it as something to be jealous of. Beyond that they used that to make others feel bad about living within their means… In my opinion there was a lot of shaming happening for those thinking about a more resourceful, sustainable and practical way of living.
I am not jealous in the least! I don’t for a second miss having a large home. It makes me cringe to just think of cleaning that… to think of paying for that… to think of maintaining that… I want to know of a way to change that ‘bigger is better’ paradigm… but I digress…
Sorry for the rant… it sounded like the original poster was looking for that sort of feedback to rebuttal her husband anyway, if she was looking for actual advice she would have specifically asked for feedback from individuals living in smaller spaces rather than larger so maybe what she got was what she needed. What I don’t like though is that I’m not the only one looking at this lifestyle as a pro rather than a con and any people in that group that were considering living smaller were alienated as well and flat out called weird. I sat down and tried to think of the pros of living in a big house vs the pros of a small one, having lived in both I can very easily say I will never be in a large house again, my max will be well under 900 s.f. and will include a home office to earn a living from.
So, do I like living in my tiny house?
No, I LOVE it! It’s amazing. I’m sitting here in the middle of the afternoon writing on my computer while my daughter sleeps, not working on someone elses projects so I can pay a mortgage. And man, she makes the cutest noises when she sleeps, I would be missing that without my tiny house! I get to work on my own projects! Because I have no debt (yes, it is possible), I can stay home. I have no mortgage so my bills are very limited and I should be able to make enough from side jobs and my book (soon to be books) to pay for health insurance (my biggest expense BY FAR) and other ‘necessities’.
- The biggest benefit by far is time. Time to spend with my daughter, time to see all the ridiculously mundane things she does that just amaze mothers… seriously, I think it’s cute when she blinks…
- Lack of stress. That stress that piles up on you before you even know it for that next deadline at work, wondering if you’ll be able to afford all the things you need to be able to this month, the stress from a lack of sleep and too many things to do (though I do kind of miss mowing the lawn…).
- Being able to focus in on your own passions. The saying is something like ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Well if you can’t even quit the rat race for a week how are you going to be able to find out what you love and figure out a way to make money at it?
- Pride of ownership. It still works with a tiny house :). There is a whole different kind of pride that comes in building it yourself too!
While thinking of reasons a large house was more beneficial the only one I could think of that I can’t meet as well with a tiny house is that you can have large numbers of people over for a dinner party, which I enjoy every now and again… I can still have BBQs in the summer though!
I know this is the wrong crowd maybe to ask but there are plenty of people who read my blog who are still just considering tiny, I’d like to ask, what are the things you think you’ll miss if you take the leap and live in a tiny/small house instead of taking the ‘traditional route’ and buying a large house? Leave your comments below!
With that, here are some images of why I love my tiny house! (aka me living my life!):