Could you live in a tiny house?
It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves a lot over the past couple of days and we think the answer is probably, No.
But we’re not entirely sure.
It’s not as though we live in a huge house right now, although it would be considered palatial by Dickensian standards, where I am given to understand that five families lived in one room in which they shared a tiny bed, cooked over a dangerous wood stove with a dodgy flue and referred to their window as “the bathroom”.
Now those are some people who understood tiny house living.
Our house has two bedrooms and a study that could be a bedroom if you squinted your eyes and turned your head a bit to the side. It has a kitchen with room for a large table, a lounge room and something that I believe is meant to be a dining room… if you can find room for plates and cutlery around the sewing machine and fabric.
We don’t even have an ensuite. Because I really hate them and I don’t even know why. I may be the only person in the world who looks on the lack of an ensuite in the master bedroom as a feature.
When we look around our house, it’s difficult to imagine how we could fit everything into a smaller house… and that’s why it’s so fascinating to see people fitting a whole house into the size of a small caravan.
Why are tiny houses so great?
Tiny houses are amazing on so many levels. Sick of your neighbourhood? Change it without the hassle of packing your possessions into five million boxes. Want to ditch your mortgage? Sell your house and use a minor percentage of it to buy your new forever house instead.
You can even use them to solve unexpected problems facing older single women in our society. (See the article here: Are tiny homes the answer for older women facing homelessness?)
Is there anything they can’t do?
We are particularly enjoying the Living Big in a Tiny House channel on YouTube. Who knew there were so many tiny houses in the world? And who knew there were so many different ways to put your own stamp on what is essentially the same basic framework?
Tiny houses come with a lot of other questions, too. The Chef’s favourite is But where’s the TV? Tiny house owners seem to be asking this question, too, as there are a fair amount of tiny houses with entire lofts for catching up on the latest Netflix favourites.
There are also a lot of beards. We call them ‘tiny house beards’ (for obvious reasons). They make sense, if you think about it: it’s probably logical to give up shaving when your bathroom is the size of a broom closet.
Beards aside, tiny houses are charming and tempting… but I still don’t think I could see myself living in one and here are the reasons why.
Where would I put the sewing machines?
OK, so normal people don’t have six or seven sewing machines (or however many I have – I’d count but I’m in the middle of writing a blog post) but I still think it would be tricky to set up a proper space for sewing in a tiny house. If I could be persuaded to reduce my collection. If.
The sleeping loft issue
This one’s huge for me. Given that I don’t even like to sleep in a normal-sized bedroom if the door’s shut, I’m pretty sure I’d have considerable issues sleeping in a constricted loft with a ceiling a couple of centimetres above my face.
Then there’s the issue of even making the bed in the first place. Just thinking about right now makes me exhausted. Firstly, you can’t even stand up, then you have to be on the bed while you’re making the damn thing and imagine all the joy of tucking in sheets and making it all nice while you’re scrambling about on top of the whole business.
Whither go the cats?
Our cats might love to get into boxes that are too small for them, but would they cope with limited space on a regular basis? I don’t know about your cats, but mine regularly engage in an insanity-fuelled chase session around the entire house, leaving a trail of chaos in their wake. In a tiny house, they’d be able to destroy the entire set-up in about five seconds flat.
That being said, one of the first tiny house videos we watched featured a cat run, so there are options for giving the cats a bit of insane-running-around-space.
Either that, or we leave out a lot of little boxes about to distract them.
Not going to lie: every time I see a tiny house parked somewhere, I wonder what happens in a gale or a storm. Is it secure? Is the weight of the house on the trailer really enough to keep it upright when the wind blows like crazy?
Given that I’ve just read a couple of articles about tiny houses where people talked about the whole structure shifting when people moved about in perfectly calm weather, I’m certain this could be my number one objection to the whole tiny house living business.
But on the other hand, wouldn’t it be nice to have no mortgage? To have less stuff? To shove all your possessions away in cupboards and only have a tiny amount of floor to mop or vacuum?
What about a small house instead?
As I said at the start, we already live in a modest-sized house. I know the idea is to jump up the ladder and buy bigger houses with more bedrooms and second bathrooms… but that sort of thing comes with more hassle, more debt and more cleaning. Wouldn’t it be easier to head down the property ladder instead?
Maybe a smaller house would suit us perfectly.
Maybe a smaller lounge room would be fine.
Maybe my sewing and music could fit into a small study.
Maybe we could donate a whole bunch of our stuff so we don’t need as much storage. (We’ll be keeping the books, though; those are essential. They also double as insulation!)
Maybe it would be better to get rid of a mortgage and cut down on the stuff cluttering our lives and our cupboards.
And perhaps the whole point of the tiny house movement isn’t really the size of your house; it’s the way you focus on what’s important to you, whether that’s cultivating a fabulous tiny house beard or cutting down on cleaning time to do some sewing instead.
All things considered, I don’t think we could live in a tiny house but I do think we could live with a tiny house mindset.
What do you think?
Could you live in a tiny house? Have you ever tried one on for size? Let me know what you think of them in the comments below.
Photo credit: Photo by Fotoworkshop4You.