This is a love letter to my tiny house.
It’s not 500 sq. feet-NYC-apartment-tiny, but it’s pretty darn small for married-with-three-kids, which is exactly what I’ll be in three months. How small?
-I don’t allow people in my kitchen while I’m cooking, because the presence of one other body (even Sam, who is exactly 34 inches tall and weighs 25lbs soaking wet), makes it impossible for me to turn around.
-When we moved in, I gave away our coffee table because, were a moderately-sized coffee table placed in my living room, nobody with chubby calves could walk around it.
-I have no pantry, and (outside of the bedrooms) a single, small closet.
I also have no plans to move.
Because I LOVE my little house.
The tiny house makes me do what’s good for me – the things I know I should be doing all the time, but sometimes need a little kick in the pants about.
The tiny house forces me to stop keeping everything “just in case.” The tiny house makes me purge my closet: no “when I lose 5 lbs” pieces around here. When a new piece comes in, an old one goes out – one for one.
The tiny house makes me use the library instead of amassing books I read 7 years ago, started, or intend to start.
The tiny house makes me give away the toys my children are finished with, and keep the ones they love now.
The tiny house is easy to clean. Well, actually it’s really hard to clean if you can’t let go of the stuff (because then it’s overflowing and toys are everywhere ALL OF THE TIME). But once you learn to let a couple of things go – things like coffee tables – it’s magical. You flop all the toys into their respective bins, sweep one floor, and wipe 3 square feet of counter space and BAM! Martha freaking Stewart lives here. The tiny house helps me to keep a clean space all the time, not just when someone is coming over.
The tiny house is easy to decorate. A couple of shelves, a couple of frames, a couple of vases with flowers. I went shopping on Black Friday and for the first time, didn’t want to buy something for my home. Christmas decorating took 20 minutes.
The tiny house makes me practice what I preach – I’ve been vocal about challenging the assumption of “need.” About living sacrificially to better care for those living in poverty, in our back yards and in the third world. The tiny house challenges my assumptions about what I need. A room for each child. A linen closet. A coffee table. A food processor. An office. A guest room. A pantry. Extra blankets, extra towels, extra dishes – all superfluous.
The tiny house is cozy. A single candle fills it with scent (this month it’s frasier fir). The floor plan is open; the living room, a hub. The cat lives outside now, and comes in to eat and snuggle. He makes it feel warm, somehow – maybe it’s the fur.
Suddenly, because of the tiny house, our home is clean*, our home is simple, our home is put-together. We are physically close, physically warm, and I’m more content than I have ever been.
If you’ve been struggling with wanting more space, maybe take a deep breath and start trying to love your tiny home. Your tiny home will love you for it – and pay you back for your efforts a hundred times over.
*Except for the colossal, embarrassing explosion of clothing in my bedroom, which is top secret and nobody knows about except for me, my husband, the grad student who watches our kids, and now you.