Hint: It’s not what you think.
I never imagined in a million years that my Medium post “DEAR PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN FANCY TINY HOUSES” would have made it to the site’s top five. Thank you to everyone who has recommended, shared and commented on the post. I’ve been privileged to meet many new, kick-ass folks because of this; I’ve even met a handful of people who said I need to leave my McMansion more often and take anger management classes. To those individuals, I say, how can I leave my McMansion when I’m suffocating in all the material shit that I’ve hoarded? Please dig me out, stuff me in my Hummer and drive me to the nearest therapist so they can help me with my unbridled rage against downsizers.
It was requested by a couple of individuals that I write a follow-up post sharing responses from the tiny home community. I can tell you this, tiny home dwellers have been the most supportive of my article. If they weren’t already awesome for owning wee homes, they’re even more awesome for having a sense of humor about their wee homes. The folks that dislike the post seem to be non-tiny home owners who hate humor/puppies/the human race.
Below is a selection of responses from the tiny home community that I received on Medium, my social media pages and my blog. You will find a mix of responses — some people who loved and some people who hated living in small quarters. I encourage you to click on each hyperlink to see the rest of their comment.
Baylie Carlson is the blogger behind Tiny House Growing Family. She lives in a 115-square foot house in Alaska with her husband, toddler, baby and chocolate lab. You can read her full blog post here.
“As far as sexy time is concerned, a lady never tells. But I will say, if this Tiny House is a rockin’, don’t come a knocking! As far as the Mexican farts go, we did invest in a top of the line air purifier. It saved our marriage.”
Vincent Sorgentoni, the owner of a tiny house, said on Medium: “As someone who has worked in a Mexican restaurant and is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of chorizo we should discuss your fetish: Mexican food farts. Yes they exist. Everywhere. Tiny house or not. I don’t care how big or small your house is it will follow you. It lives a chemtrail behind you. A crop dust of Mexican food farts if you will. A tiny house will not save you from this. Neither will your $1600 a month 800 sq ft apartment in mid-level metropolis.”
In response to my zombie question, Tristan Davies had this to say on Medium: “Nope. We could, within 60 seconds, be on the road. Fully stocked with enough food and water to keep us alive during almost any disaster. Our tiny house was hurricane proof and self-sufficient. It has low enough power draw that it can be powered indefinitely by a small solar panel. It has a water purifier. It has shatter-proof windows. Best of all, it has an appropriately tiny arsenal.”
On my blog, Christina said: “I’ve lived in an eight bedroom home, I’ve lived in a 350 sq fit trailer… I’ve lived in a tent for a couple months too…. I remember sitting in the two story 3 bdrm house I was renting once, realizing I was paying all this money to sit on my couch or at my desk, walk into the kitchen for nourishment, walk up the stairs for sleep and shower etc…. I kept thinking what a waste of money & space, no one used most of what was being paid for…. so I moved into something smaller, spent less on utilities etc…. and while it isn’t a tiny home right now, I can honestly say that I liked that little 350 sq ft space I had that time… all except the fact that I got no real exercise there and no space to do much of it… exercise aside, these tiny homes make sense to me and the money these folks may have left over allows them to afford a healthier lifestyle as well!”
Erin Davis might win the tiny house award: “We are a family of 7, with 5 children…We chose to downsize to approximately 350 square feet. We get a lot of strange looks when we tell people we live in an RV….Financially it was the smartest thing we could of done. Let me show you the math house payment $850, now $130 (space to park it and paid cash for the RV) water was $120 now $25 plus $50 with laundry mat fees; Now it takes 2 hours to complete laundry instead of working on it here and there, electric was $400 now $100…Yes, there are days when the kids are loud, and you feel crowded, but we also have 70 plus acres to wonder around if needed…”
Conor, a downsizer, brought up an excellent point about all the excess shit Americans have: “How many of your books will you actually read again? How much furniture do you actually use, or is it just an object that fills a space? The reason I wanted a tiny house was because of a change in life philosophy in that I realized how much crap we have that we don’t need. I’ve never sat there and been like “man I wish I hadn’t thrown that out!”, but rather “I can’t believe I kept that crap for so long.”
Captain Awesome Dad, Tucker Bradford, had this to say on Medium: “We live on a 43' sailboat, and boy let me tell ya, you’ve hit the nail on the head. You figure ways around these things, and being constrained makes you very concious about your consumption, which I think does make us happier, but there is the ‘boinking’ thing and the fart thing. Lucky for me, my oldest proclaimed with obvious pride “Dads farts smell great!” the other day, so I guess that answers that question. Also, you can presoak your beans.”
On my blog, Joules said: “Married and childfree, living in a 500 sq ft house and…While it’s not “tiny” and will never be on the cover of a magazine, I can honestly say that it’s great not having a massive space to clean up. We have a large yard where the majority of actual living occurs though. The closest thing we have to a dining table is outside, there’s an outdoor couch and a covered patio. Inside is only used for bad weather, sleeping, and things that involve electronics.”
Diana Roberta, who obviously has the patience of a saint, said on Medium: “I lived in a 235 square foot apartment in San Francisco with a friend for two years. Two years. Two Adult Women. 235 square feet. It was not sunshine and roses. There was one shared bed (built into the apartment) 2 1/2 feet from the foot of the bed was the stove, sink, and mini fridge. Every wall was a cabinet. There was no space for a couch or table. The bed was both. Nope. Just Nope. Never again.”
Melanie Sorrentino, a former tiny house owner, said on Medium: “First we saved a ton of money, then we bought land in another state and after we moved we had a shed company build the shell of a tiny house for us. After a year of living in a 150 sq ft house we sold land and the tiny house….It dawned on me I needed to make a “real talk” video and have since made a video explaining why we sold our tiny house and land in order to pay rent again. Looking back I wish I would have put that money in an IRA or used it as a down payment for a real house.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zio9e8Z-2co
Kate-Lyn Teresa, who moved from her tiny house into a 40' trailer, had this to say on Medium: “As someone who lived in a home that was under 220 sqft, I can honestly say, all of these points are super valid. I was living with my husband and three dogs, and it was fun… most of the time….”
*This post was written in one of my 14 bedrooms on one of my 26 Macbooks.