the best of tiny houses

Truth time.  I am completely bewitched with tiny houses.  Not the same way I am obsessed with tiny horses, in the way it's so cute and adorable and I want one, but really where would I put a tiny horse?  But in the way that I really want one.  I want one and I am scheming what I'll do with all my stuff and where it'll be.  I've looked up where to buy one, how to build one, building code issues, tiny house blogs, designing one, that by now I'm practically an expert (not really).

Llano Exit Strategy, Matt Garcia Design, 350 sq ft

I also bought a book, Tiny House Living, which I will be reviewing here on Wednesday after watching the movie Tiny- about a couple that builds a tiny house in Colorado.  What I found so compelling about this way of living is that it is about being and doing and not having.  Williams James wrote in the Varieties of Religious Experience that "Lives based on having are less free than lives based either on doing or on being."  I don't know if there is a sentence that more accurately sums up the tiny house movement.  Your life is freed up when focus shifts from acquiring stuff to doing stuff.  Less stuff = more living.

Ohio Cottage of Ron & Sue Corl, 520 sq ft

Think about this, if you have a home that is of minimal square footage - 100, 500, 1000 sq feet  depending on perspective - you will have less stuff, less furniture, less clothes, fewer books, less kitchen gadgets, less everything because it simply won't fit.  Because you have less stuff and less space you will also have less maintenance on your home, less cleaning, fewer repairs, less chores, less upkeep.  Because you have less square footage there is a maximum amount to what you can purchase.  You'll make better buying choices, afford higher quality goods, and can avoid the sweet lure of consumerism easier.  If you can't buy more, you'll save money.  Your small house will cost less, saving you money and maybe even being mortgage-free.

Maringotka by Miramari Design, 258 sq ft

Your small house is now saving you money on home costs and saving you time on maintenance.  You have more time and money - you can focus more of your time and money on doing and being - spending time with family and friends, traveling, experiences instead of working to pay for the house and stuff to fill it.

What got me is when I realized how hard my husband and I work so that we can keep and maintain this gorgeous house we own.  Just this week we have this on our to-do list: fix irrigation, stake leaning tree, change compost bin, clean-up yard, hang misters, buy new dining table, call alarm company, and order kitchen upper cabinets.  That is exactly what we have on the list for this week only - next week it'll be another long list and a chunk of time and money.  The only thing not house related on our list was planning our 3rd anniversary getaway.

But, while we love our home, we love traveling and experiencing more.  Our values don't lie in having a house to impress as much as we'd like to see the world.  We would rather have money in the bank than a fancy car and be debt-free than a designer wardrobe.  It is said that to be happier you should invest in experiences rather than goods.  A wine-tasting trip is so much better than a custom-built wine cellar.  Visiting the local attraction (Grand Canyon anyone?) is more fulfilling than buying a photo of it for the wall.  A manicure with a friend for her birthday will be remembered more than that vase you bought her.  Building a house for someone else is more rewarding than sitting in your own.

But this is a post about tiny houses, tiny houses that have the possibility to free up your life from a prison of consumerism and allow you to expand what you do and what you are rather than what you have.  But honestly, my tiny house would have Heath Ceramics tableware, Rocky Mountain Hardware, a George Smith sofa, and Frette Linens - because it is a house, I'm not roughing-it.

2by4 architects Island House, 226 sq ft Beth's Sausalito Cottage, 365 sq ft Jessica Helgerson Design, 540 sq ft


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