This past year, 2015, was a big one. In December 2013, my husband Nick and I decided we wanted to build a tiny house on wheels. We estimated that we’d build it — with our own hands — in a year-and-a-half.
We were wrong.
So wrong, in fact, that I cried and threw tantrums. I felt foolish and naive: I thought we acted in haste, that we’d been swept away by pretty pictures and a romantic notion of minimalism. We had an unfinished house sitting in my parents’ driveway for months, and for a time, I cursed this stupid fucking thing staring back at me. A voice in my head told me we’d made a mistake.
But we worked through our challenges, found a Northern California builder to finish it, and in a year-and-a-half — on July 4, 2015 — our tiny house was delivered and parked in its inaugural spot.
Living tiny has been a learning experience so far: in some ways, it’s exactly what I expected, but I’ve also been quite surprised by what each day brings — and what I continue to learn about myself, my preferences, and my limitations. Paring down and navigating in such a small space — 131 square feet — has reset me and pushed me to think about what I truly need and want. I’ve never experienced such a blank slate before, from which I can design and experiment with a different routine.
Our tiny house isn’t a dream home, and while I know people’s experiences in tiny houses are so different, I’m skeptical of others who say such things. But I’m glad we stuck to our plan and have started to pave a path, as this house is simply step one.