Tiny homes and tiny living are still all the rage, thanks to reality television sucking it up and regurgitating the concept to the masses in high def. We’ve been advocates of this ideal for years now–the downsizing of the commodities that overrun daily existence, the smaller footprint in a world becoming too rapidly gentrified, and the closeness that comes from sharing your meager living space with another human being all sound inviting in theory.
In practice, it’s an entirely different bag of cashews. For the past 15 months, my significant other, our 100-lb chocolate Labrador, Walrus, and I have been actually executing “tiny living.” For the first three months of our adventure, we lived and worked in a tent. Then we upgraded to a pop-up camper and thought we were living large.
The camper is awesome in a lot of ways. It’s got a little propane stove, a wee fridge, a king and a queen size bed, a table and benches, a toilet, indoor and outdoor showering facilities, and a reasonable amount of storage space. It’s comfy, light enough to be towed with our Jeep, and has heat and a fan. After existing in a tent and on the ground for three months, this was a HUGE step up. But it’s still in the vein of tiny living, so we didn’t feel as if we’d overstepped any of our personal ethical boundaries. The absolute best part about living in the manner is being able to be mobile. We’ve got internet-based jobs, so work on the road is altogether possible–and this isn’t something many people can say.
Fast forward a year. We’ve traveled the country over and back again, from sea to shining sea–through the Midwest, deserts, and mountains the country over. And while the camper’s fabulous in many ways, what we didn’t consider was how the lack of air conditioning would affect us when hitting up Vegas in the fall, or Austin in the spring. How 10+ mph gusts of wind could make us feel like we were going to literally blow away and sitting through the tiniest rainstorm was much like I imagine living in a popcorn maker would be–sans delicious buttery aromas. As much as we’ve downsized our personal belongings, somehow we still struggle to locate free space to set down our coffee cups each morning. We’re not slobs, per se–we’re definitely not the neatest and cleanest people in existence, either. There are no doors to hide behind if you need a minute to yourself and every breath the three of us breathe can be (and is) re-breathed more than once.
Tiny living is–ahem–amazing. It’s a fantastic experience and anyone who is even remotely interested in the concept should try it. Try it. Things you never imagined would annoy you can and will. But great and unexpected things you never imagined experiencing or feeling also occur. This is merely a word to the wise: invest in a tiny living experiment before going all out and committing to a tiny home. You don’t want to end up crying or pulling your hair out on the daily.
Don’t let this be you.