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Big Thoughts About Tiny Houses

Image courtesy of Luxepose.com
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I’ve become obsessed with tiny houses lately. Tiny as in less than 300 square feet. I’ve lived in studio apartments that were bigger than that, but for some reason, the allure of a tiny house is growing. They seem so efficient and orderly, the kind of zen-like nook you can seek refuge in – whether that refuge is from your demanding and time-sucking family, or a zombie apocalypse.

A visual person at heart, I can while away hours on Pinterest, and there is no better place to indulge my Tiny House love affair. I think my yearn for small-sizing stems from the gut renovation we are doing on our absurdly large and ridiculously old Victorian home.

We’re 12 months into blueprints, and CAD drawings, and change orders. Last week at the site meeting we were informed that the plumbing in half the house isn’t up to code.

This of course is only discoverable after you have ripped out all the walls and the floor AND the ceiling. Armed with this latest piece of information, I returned home, opened a bottle of Whispering Angel Rose, popped a Xanax and logged on to my Pin Boards. As the liquid and prescription tranquilizers infused my blood stream, I allowed myself the fantasy of step-by-step relocating into a luxurious, efficient, feng shui environment that spanned 300 square feet. Maybe I’d even go off the grid… take that all you code mongers and building inspectors.

My days would be simple and clutter free. I’d have exactly what I need and nothing more. My cleanup time would be minimal – I mean how long could it really take to tidy up 300 square feet? I’d grocery shop like a European, buying one or two apples and a litre of milk, not the 15 bag run I’m used to doing weekly. There simply wouldn’t be room to stash 6 varieties of cereal and 3 different types of non-dairy milk to humor a finicky palate.

Image courtesy of treehugger.com

Image courtesy of treehugger.com


A deeper dive down the Tiny House rabbit hole informed me that for roughly the same price as bringing my plumbing up to code, I could purchase a Tiny Alpha House, complete with a drop down deck AND wheels…  Now we’re talking…

Image courtesy of newfrontiertinyhomes.com

Image courtesy of newfrontiertinyhomes.com

Then my son came home from sports camp with a knee injury, requiring sprawl space and LOTS of ice… my daughter returned from wherever she had been with a plethora of dirty laundry and plastic bins she needed for her dorm, deciding to use the living room as the mothership for her fall semester packing. Her sister texted me about two friends coming in for the weekend and needing a place to crash. The cat and the dog got into a squabble over a chew toy and began chasing each other down the hall, and my stepdaughter called and asked if she could leave her car in the driveway for the weekend so she didn’t have to park at the airport.

Image courtesy of humblehomes.com

Image courtesy of humblehomes.com

Suddenly my dreams of a tiny house seemed small and far away. Reluctantly I reached for my checkbook, and rather than making a check payable to the tiny house company, I made it payable to the plumber instead. But I did bookmark the website for the Alpha Tiny House… because you never know when there might be a zombie apocalypse.


  • holly August 10, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Having recently downsized from 2400 sq ft to 1100, I am living the smaller life. It was a struggle at first and unpacked boxes remain in the garage. But I am truly happy in our little home. Located in a 55+ community, my home life has downshifted along with the downsize. All leading to a more centered and freer life. I want less – there is nowhere to put it. I clean less – there is less stuff to tidy up. I spend less – there are fewer square feet to heat and cool. Conversely, I have more time to do those things I love…garden, cook, meditate, DIY those projects and just breathe. So I can confirm that less is truly more.

  • Jen Lawrence August 10, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I too have tiny house fantasies (maybe it’s living with 5 males that’s inspiring this?) and I buy Whispering Angel by the case. I think we should plan to do our senior years a la the Golden Girls and buy side by side tiny houses on the ocean (one for you, one for me, one for the handbags and the booze!)

    • Esther Zimmer August 10, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Ha ha Jen, you’re hilarious!

  • Esther Zimmer August 10, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Yes, I have these thoughts too and yet the only person I live with is my husband and he spends half his time in the US for work! So I’m not sure what’s prompted this. We’ve even talked about downsizing but in an ideal (dream) world we’d have one larger base and a few tiny houses in different places around the globe. I think that may be cheating, but I feel I definitely need a Pinterest board for all this, thanks for the inspiration! 🙂 Esther xx

  • 1010ParkPlace August 10, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Wonderful post, Sarah! Yes, you have a way to go before you could truly think about a tiny house. As someone who just sold my ranch in January where I’d been living in my 22 feet x 22 feet house, I won’t do that again. One thing out of place and the whole house looks messy, and there isn’t room to entertain… even to have two people over for dinner. Don’t know if you read my blog, but FYI… https://1010parkplace.com/do-you-really-want-a-tiny-house/ xoxo, Brenda

  • Des August 12, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Can I move into the commune with you and Jenn? Then, if we really needed more room, we could just connect our tiny houses like jigsaw pieces, then disconnect when we need it most. I’ve also been leaning toward tiny houses, but with a new kick. I came *this* close to buying a houseboat that is about the size of all these tiny houses. Oh, so, so close. But the timing isn’t right…yet.

    • Janice | MostlyBlogging August 12, 2016 at 9:55 am

      I’m with you Brenda. I have a big house. My kids are grown and off at college or travelling and don’t really need the space, but I still love it. And, who knows? I might need it one day for entertaining or if they come home or, one day bring kids for a visit…

  • Laurie Stone August 12, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I love this idea and have no idea why. Maybe because I’m a small person and a little nest seems so great. I’d love my own small house/getaway with a kitchen, desk and bathroom. What more do we need?

  • Valerie Pease Hoffmann August 13, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve been trying to convince my hubby that when retirement looms, this is the way to go. Have I mentioned that I hate housework???

    • 1010 Park Place August 14, 2016 at 10:30 am

      In my 20s a girlfriend nicknamed me “Nancy Neat.” That’s no longer the case. I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

  • Susan August 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Sara, I can spend hours watching “Tiny House, Big Living” on HGTV, marveling at how people can actually live in such a small space. But then I also envy the simplicity that radical downsizing brings. I love their tag line “work less, live more.” Sounds very intriguing….until the grandkids come for a sleepover. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything!

  • Sherry Macdonald August 17, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    That is a beautiful tiny house but I could never live in something so small, I like my space. However, it would be nice, less cleaning, less stuff = less stress! Thank you for sharing.

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