FALL 2019 ISSUE


Out of Left Field: Does Tiny Living Provide Big Benefits?






I’m thinking about going tiny. “Going tiny” is the hip way to describe drastically downsizing your living situation. Typically, a tiny home is an extremely small, often mobile space that demands simplified living and maximizing every square inch. If you’re thinking, “Hey, isn’t that the same thing as a camper?” Yes and no. Yes, in that it is indeed exactly the same. No, as in a camper isn’t specifically marketed as a “tiny home,” which is apparently important to prospective buyers.


Before you criticize my plan as uneducated whimsy, let me assure you I have performed extensive research on the topic. I’ve binge-watched hours of tiny home searching and building on TV. I also once fell asleep in cardboard box from a refrigerator while building a fort for my kids. Admittedly, squeezing two adults, three kids, two dogs, two cats and a set of “fancy dishes” we got from our wedding but still have never used into 120 square feet would require sacrifices. For example, we’d have no room for that grand piano we’ve always wanted. Or baby grand piano. Or preemie baby grand piano. I’ve always wanted a harmonica too!


Tiny living provides so many benefits that appeal to a variety of buyers. Yearning for the freedom to travel? Looking to reduce your environmental impact? Mis-calculated your taxes for the past decade and now you have to “downsize” until you’re up for parole? A tiny home might be perfect for you! One of the “pros” often cited with a tiny home is that it doesn’t require the burden of a septic system. This is accomplished by taking advantage of something called a composting toilet. I’m not really sure what that is, but I’m certain it’s magical and not problematic in any way.


According to the people on TV, living in a tiny house is so much fun! Maybe less is actually more? After all, tiny candy bars are marketed as “fun-sized.” True, they may be the most “fun” if you are a baby chinchilla on a low-carb diet. Do you know what I also find fun? Eating an entire human-size candy bar instead of 14 tiny ones back to back. (I mean a size suitable for a human — not the size of a human, although I do love a challenge.) I can picture the hours of fun my family would have just staring at each other in the same space because there is nowhere else to escape to. Anyone up for another game of Chutes and Ladders?!


What an exciting challenge it must be to maximize space and creatively use items to serve multiple purposes! The stairs to the bedroom loft contain hidden drawers for extra storage. The toilet seat doubles as a cutting board. The living room also functions as the foyer, parlor, home office, man cave, yoga studio, guest bedroom and place where you cry yourself to sleep for making terrible life decisions.


I can just imagine hooking up the tiny home and traveling wherever the wind blows us. (Naturally, we would go with the wind for optimal gas mileage.) We would be just like the pioneers in the 1800s seeking a homesteading opportunity! OK, so technically the pioneers intended to actually build a home after traveling a thousand miles. They didn’t roll up to a hill overlooking the sprawling prairie and state:


“Whelp kids, we’re here!”


“Gee-whiz, Pa. Are we going to build a house with ample space for our family on this expansive plot of land?”


“No, we’ll just continue living in our covered wagon. But look at the view! Now please get off your sister’s bed/kitchen table/dysentery treatment area.”


I suppose living in a mobile tiny house may increase the likelihood that someone actually steals my house — not break into my house, but hook it up and haul it away. What if I was in the tiny shower when this happened? Unbeknownst, I am illegally whisked down the highway. I walk out my tiny front door and BOOM, I’m in Delaware! (Also tiny.) I’m sure Delaware is lovely this time of year.


Yes, sir. I think I’m ready to commit! The tiny house movement has taught me you don’t need much in life to be happy: just a place to lay your head, a space to share with your family and a composting toilet. Oh, “COMPOSTING” — I understand now! Yeah, never mind, that’s not going to work. I’m out.





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