Now that we have lived in our tiny 448 square foot house for 6 months, I feel that I now have a good perspective on its benefits. Up until my layoff in mid-2022, we had always lived in typical American houses with our family. We raised our two kids in a ranch style 2800 square foot house with all the middle class trimmings- two car garage, 3 bedrooms, open concept kitchen/den area with vaulted ceilings, and both a den and a living room with fireplaces. For some reason we often watched “Tiny House Living” shows and loved our 80 square foot camper. But how did we get to less than 500 square feet- the classic definition of a “tiny House” ?
Why So Many Rooms?
I always wondered why we had so many rooms in our other houses. The den and the living room really were duplicative, and I only really used both at the same time once in 20 years for a work party of 20 plus people. We would alternate using one of the other, but since both had couches and fireplaces and TV’s, they were truly two of the same room. The same for our formal dining room. We always ate in the kitchen area at a small table by a bay window, and only used the dining room for a handful of times for special meals. Mostly I stored school projects and junk in the dining room!
Then the Covid Pandemic Hit
When Covid and the required isolation hit us, we were essentially home alone for a year (kids stayed at their schools) with all of these empty rooms. Nobody came over anymore to socialize, and if we did it was in someone’s backyard, not indoors. Suddenly all of the rooms became a pain to clean and keep warm or cool. We realized our power bills were excessive for two people. I knew we would downsize soon so I started to organize and donate all of our crap in all of the rooms. I gave away everything that was not meaningful such as vases, candles, and extra clothes I never wore since I was remote now. Several carloads and even one truckload was donated or trashed. It actually felt good to get rid of extra junk that I wouldn’t have to dust or try to ignore piled up in our closets!
Simplicity in a Tiny House
We were then so desperate to get out of our huge empty house and move to the beach that we jumped at the chance to get a cottage, even though it was a fixer upper and “tiny”. It has been very freeing to live here now. It takes me 10-15 minutes to clean it and $50 a month to power it. The simplicity of decorating it with just family pictures, local art or plants only has been wonderful. It also keeps us from mindlessly buying “stuff” or clothes- we have to get rid of one item to replace it as a rule! We also are outside more in our yard or porch, or walk the neighborhood or the local beach since the inside space is cozy but small. Overall we both feel more peaceful and serene in this tiny house with its small footprint that we ever felt in our big houses. And all of our family and friends who visit seem to be envious of what we have done.
“Don’t make your life complicated, live simply” by MT Jobican