March 28th marked two years living in our tiny house! I suppose that makes this our “cotton” year according to the old traditional anniversary gifts. I wonder what my house would appreciate made of cotton… New sheets? Wheel covers? A sail? I’m open to ideas, here.
Living tiny has been a really exciting journey the last two years, and despite grumbling about washing dishes by hand or wiping the mud off my shoes for the 4th time, it has been a really great experience for me. I feel I’ve learned a lot about myself, and about how often Kenton listens to Alan Watts chillstep music.
Here are three of the take-aways I’ve had in the last two years:
- Living with less really is living more:
Living in the tiny house, we can’t accumulate much stuff. I’ve found that while this can lead to frustration in putting together a “business casual” outfit (which let’s be honest, is a struggle no matter my closet space), it has trimmed out a lot of stress too. In having less things, I find that I take better care of the things I do have. I scrutinize what I buy and make sure it fits what I need, what I love, and what I’ll actually use. This means that I’m surrounded by things I mindfully chose – and these higher quality and intentional things “spark joy”, as Kondo would say.
- There are unexpected costs to home owning – even tiny home owning:
Before now, whenever anything went wrong with the places I was living, I would call up my landlord and they would sweep in and solve the problem. Now, we’re the landlords, or maybe rather “houselords”. While I love being technically a lord, it does have its responsibilities beyond taxing the plebs.
Even though there’s less house, there’s still all the main parts of a typical house – Translation: maintenance, money, time. Actually, as an off-grid house, we have even more “parts” than most homes! And all these parts need to be looked after and can malfunction… So despite it being well designed and new, its been grounding forking over the time and money that owning your own place comes with.
- Right now, I wouldn’t choose to live any other way:
Tiny house living fits me and Kenton really well. It keeps costs down while we both pursue our dream careers – things that we are passionate about and we feel will really make the change we want to see. It connects us to our world and other people in ways we never could have anticipated. It has low daily maintenance and keeps our stuff collecting in check.
Do I still dream about having a guest room or a dishwasher? You bet. Is it more important to me than living according to my values, having additional opportunities, and not having debt? No way. Will I one day outgrow this tiny house like a cramped little hermit crab? Maybe someday… like when/if we decide to have a kid! 🙂
But for now, here’s to another happy year living tiny!
(Melissa Zerbin is a totally normal person who has lived with her husband in her tiny house since 2017. She loves cats, food, and other humans, and is currently completing her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy.)