There is a learning curve to living in a Tiny House…and it is STEEP!
The first step of course is to get rid of everything you’re pretty sure you can live without.
The second step is harder. Get rid of all those those things you thought just might be good to have around.
When you realize you still don’t have enough room, you move on, with gritted teeth to step three – parting with a some of the things you love but are pretty sure you can no longer house.
Step four involves changing your mind, going to the thrift store where you donated all those things and buying back what you can.
After a few months of trial and error – and returning things a second time to the thrift store – you have the amount of things that will fit comfortably in your tiny house. I managed to part with huge chunks of my past – talk about your broad strokes – but I did save a statue of Thumper, of Bambi fame, which now adorns my mantlepiece. (Are you more surprised that I have a mantlepiece in 330 square feet or the fact that I saved a mass-produced figurine?) The little rabbit beloved to my mother. He looks damn good for 75! The real estate he takes up lost to sentimental value.
But other than Thumper, I have been Herculean in decluttering!
Now it’s time for more rules. For example: DON’T STOCK UP ON STUFF. I mean, just because you can save five bucks by buying 27 roles of paper towels because they are cheaper that way instead of buying four roles you really have space for. (“for which you have space.” I know. What’s even more depressing, you can’t buy chicken legs when they are marked down to 77 cents a pound because your apartment-sized refrigerator has a mighty small freezer space in which to store the pieces marked “for future use.” So by the time you get around to the extras, the chicken has developed a strange and incredibly ugly smell so you not only have throw out the extra chicken, you also have to empty the fridge and use a lot of bleach to change the fetid stench. Is that the right use of the word fetid? Yes, it is. I looked it up and the dictionary says “An extremely unpleasant odor.” That is very definitely what I meant to say. Not only that, four weeks later the smell is still hanging on. But I do think that my bottle of bleach and I are gaining on it.
My daughter and I have created a new mantra. Not that we have learned to live by it, but it goes something like this: If a spoon comes to visit, a spoon has to leave. There is no room for replacement parts if you are not going to toss the thing you are replacing.
Now here’s a killer. You need a lot of patience to live in a Tiny House because you keep knocking things on to the floor. This is particularly true when you are cooking. Remember that extra spoon I mentioned you should do without? Well, forks and spoons and knives all seem determined to fall from the edge of the kitchen sink which is where you put things while trying to develop something special for the night’s dinner. Picking things off the floor has become my cardio.
Despite all those minor irritants, Tiny Houses have many wonderful qualities. You really are hard pressed to loose anything in a Tiny House. After all, we are talking 330 square feet of space or there about. You can scout the entire area in little more than 15 minutes and after that you have to accept that you’ve lost it. Or, more likely, you threw it out to make room for something new.
It IS a fact that, no matter how hard you try, Tiny Houses must be kept neatly organized because anything you put down anywhere but in its assigned space looks messy. But you learn really fast that, even if the place looks like it has been hit by a flood, you can return it to pristine beauty in about a minute and a half.
However, I believe that the motivating factor for anyone deciding to live the life of a Tiny House person might well be the fact that when you want to be alone. You can. There’s absolutely no place to put a guest.