Tiny home living might not be revolutionary but it certainly has taken North America by storm. Is it a phase? Maybe. Or, it could be we’re witnessing and participating in a paradigm shift of values.
For decades, modern culture has been all about stuff. Owning stuff, showing off stuff, storing stuff. Especially if you could afford it. The societal pressure often caused some to bury themselves financially. Nowadays, a growing community of people aren’t buying into that mindset, even if they have the means. There are costs for that lifestyle, and we aren’t willing to pay it.
Part of the tiny home rush, I feel, is a desire for a home, not simply a house. Growing closer to each other and to neighbors is a common benefit of living tiny. My husband and I have lived in our 34 ft. fifth wheel for three years now. In a small space, it’s easy to have conversations. Meals are simpler, clean-up is quicker. I know I’m outside more. Sometimes, I write out on the patio, or at the library or coffee shop. I go for walks more, I hear the birds more, I wave to neighbors more. We even volunteer more.
The best thing I like about living small is that I’m compelled to get rid of stuff. Lots of stuff that I would likely have held onto for many years because, frankly, I had a place for it all. We can’t bring more into our tiny home either, so we buy far less. The truth is, we still have tons of stuff to get rid of. It’s stacked up against the walls in our RV. Mostly paperwork we need to scan and archive. We keep whittling away at it. Our busy lives—a good busy, though—slow our progress. We keep after it. The more we give away, the freer we feel. I’m happy to think someone else is benefiting from my stuff.
Sure, living tiny has its downside.
Because of zoning, we can’t put our fifth wheel on a piece of property. So, we have a rented space in a mobile home park. The park is near two busy highways, so I hear traffic 24/7. Sometimes, we get cabin fever and go for a drive (the drive is a definite plus!). My husband is on the phone a lot, which can hobble my writing or reading. Conversely, if I’m working, he’s hesitant to pick up the phone. He likes music, I like silence. He offers help in the kitchen but there’s only room for one. It’s tricky if we both have to be somewhere early—one shower, one sink, one very small hot water tank.
Is it our goal to remain in a tiny home? Not necessarily. But, we’re glad we’ve done it. I can’t imagine that we’d go back to our former ways now that we’ve enjoyed this simpler life. Our space rent is much, much less than what apartments are renting for in our town. So, financially, it was a good decision. This tiny home experience will have long-term effects on both of us. That’s why I feel, whether the tiny home frenzy continues or fizzles, the tiny home concept, the philosophy, the lifestyle option that it is, has helped many of us not only assess our life’s path, but commit to what truly nourishes it. ~~~