From time to time I run into people who know me, and they say they’ve heard that I moved home. Then they ask “have you built on your land?”, or say “I heard that you were building a house.”
They are nearly always shocked when I explain that it is built, and I am now living half the year in a 9×12 space with four dogs (albeit small dogs and with a little bedroom loft). Interestingly, there are only two reactions to this. The first, is that people are so curious and interested that they swing by, or at least hope to swing by, at their earliest possible convenience. The second reaction is the people who obviously and politely excuse themselves from me, being cautious not to agitate me, and while doing so they make it clear that they have assumed that I have gone quite insane in the time lapse between when they last saw me and this very moment. This is the reaction that initially I find to be uproariously funny, but also a bit little sad.
When I get this reaction, I make assumptions too. I assume that they have never realized that if they decided to live with a significantly less stuff, then they would not have to spend so much time at a job. Then naturally it follows, without the need for stuff, one has a lot more free time to do the things that they love to do; as well as see the people who they love. Ever optimistic about people, I like to think that if they heard this alternate news then they too might want to at least consider life outside of the consumer lifestyle and living in (or hoping to live in) a McMansion. When I heard about this, I myself had to sell my 4000 square foot McMansion and move to a small 900 square foot home. I also built Tiny House Ontario, so I really only reduced my footprint by a quarter. I am not yet ready to make the leap to living full time at Tiny House Ontario. My husband still works, here in Hamilton, Ontario and frankly the Tiny House is not yet ready for full time living. I hope to have it ready in a year or two.
As a sort of disclaimer, here I want to say that, I do know that living in the 98 square feet interior of this house is not for everyone. I also know that living off grid is not for everyone. Probably, it would also not be much of a leap to say that a bunch of second hand junk furniture is not for everyone. Perhaps wearing a nose ring is also is not for everyone either, I don’t have one of those. What I mean, is that I am aware that there are lots of personal choices that we make. I really do get that. Even so, I wanted to show that there are other choices in how we live.
I knew some things for sure. I knew I wanted land at home; I also knew that I wanted to build. Even more, I wanted to build small but the silly building codes forced me into another even smaller option with standard building materials and thus my choice was made. I followed through, and stuck to this extreme because I wanted to prove that there are options outside of the box store and one can live very, comfortably. OK, I admit that comfortably is still a sort of a stretch in Tiny House Ontario, because there are no conveniences, but it is moving toward having comforts. Still, even without these conveniences there are lots of really comforting things about living small.
So, for any of you who are still here (at arms distance and reading from the safety of your home), I suspect that you may be curious about the space and be wondering what it is like to live TINY. I knew that you would want to know, so I thought I would show you what the floor space actually looks like with a person in it. Here is my model (husband) standing (somewhat unwillingly) in the kitchen area of Tiny House Ontario while I take a photo from the highest point between floors. One of the battery operated LED lights is just in front of him, hanging on its hook, if you are wondering what is is… just a part of off grid and Tiny House living, really.
What I really want you to notice is the bamboo floor mat. This is 5×7 feet with a few inches around it on each side, which is the floor space remaining after the kitchen, storage shelving, entryway, ladder stairs and sofa go in. Plus, notice too that I added a comfy rocking chair, a table and two chairs into that floor space, which essentially removes a lot of floor space from play. I was careful to get the sort of chair that could tuck in when I was yard sailing and dumpster diving for the furnishings. I considered a table that connects to the wall and drops down as well as hanging chairs, but I liked this option best. It makes for a bit of a tight space for two people to pass through while going in and out of the cloth porch (garden doors upper left) but even so, the table is a functional surface which I need to use often so it is worth that little space pinch. Even with our dogs, I have found that six people can very comfortably sit here and chat as long as no one is moving around too much.
Looking at it, you would never consider this a roomy space but even so when people come to visit they are surprised because the space moves outward when you come inside. It grows larger when you sit down and look around. The huge windows in the place make it feel like you are part of the world around you. It is ironic really how coming inside of something so small can make you feel like you have entered into something really huge. I don’t know, maybe you have?