I had all but stopped blogging when a thought came to me. If I can't write about my house being built (soon enough) then I will write about the process leading up to the actual house. Aside from the obvious need to downsize and number crunch there is a lot that goes on in the mind of someone about to take the plunge to tiny home living.
I recently picked up a copy of Essays of E.B. White, to indulge in the good old-fashioned wit and humor that my project focused mindset could use more of. The very first essay reads
"For some weeks now, I have been engaged in dispersing the contents of this apartment, trying to persuade hundreds of inanimate objects to scatter and leave me alone. It is not a simple matter. I am impressed by the reluctance of one's worldly goods to go out again into the world. During September I kept hoping that some morning, as by magic, all books, pictures, records, chairs, beds, curtains, lamps, china, glass, utensils, keepsakes, would all drain away from around my feet, like the outgoing tide, leaving me standing silent on a bare beach. But this did not happen..."
I couldn't have imagined it better myself. The stuff starts to become the enemy the harder it becomes to send each box full to its next happy home. Don't get me wrong, I love giving things away, but the reluctance of the clutter is impressive. I look at my entire house on a daily basis and think "this has to fit in 200 sf, there is no way." I have it in my head what we will need to bring to the new house and I understand that the rest will have to go someplace but getting it all there is another story. The countless trips to goodwill, the keeping up with craigslist posts, finding good homes for prized possessions. All of it has become part of daily life but the pile never seems to get as small as you would expect. It's like every time I turn around a closet is filling up somewhere. Call me paranoid, but I think the clutter is conspiring against me.
I'm a worrier, maybe it's a mother thing but I have a loop of concern in my mind at all times. Will the design be done in time, will the windows fit, will the trailer need to be reinforced or even replaced? Can our toddler learn to use a composting toilet? Will we get the loan for materials or will be have to sell a kidney? So many new things to fret over and hardly any way to predict or sway the outcome.
Any big change forces you to reevaluate everything in your life. I find myself measuring door frames and windows every place I go, noticing bridge clearance heights, determining exactly how much elbow room I use in the shower, counting my shirts to my socks to decide what is excessive, counting every dollar into paying off debt, examining how I want to spend my time on this earth hour by hour.
Now that I'm giving away some of my most prized possessions, I find more joy in awarding them to a trusted friend than I ever experienced being their owner. I see now that I have always had time to start my sewing business, help a friend, make that call, invest in the activities and people that bring me the most joy. Sitting face to face with the ability to create my world is as empowering as it is overwhelming.
Choosing to become a tiny houser is like book camp for minimalism. You start out admitting you don't want to live the way you are and make the conscious effort to change. It is emotional and forces you to reevaluate everything you do or have done. In the end it removes the distractions and helps you to become your true self. I look forward to growing throughout the experience of building and living tiny with my family. I look forward to having the ability to share all of it with others that dream of living in this sustainable way. I vow to do all I can to help our culture see what life can be.
Thanks for reading,