Sunday, January 10, 2010

"So... how is living in the tiny house going?"

Our friends occasionally ask us, as if they expect the worst, "So... how is living in the tiny house going?"

The two of us have a total of about 120 sq feet of living space, not including the sleeping loft. The space is mostly open so when we are both here, the only way to get away from the other is to go for a walk, or use the restroom for a while. And yet, living in this small space doesn't seem to be causing us the friction that everyone expects.

So, just for fun, we thought we would address this issue in a post written by both of us.

Arlene: Last year I said that I wanted to drastically downsize so that we could get our living expenses as low as absolutely possible while Jeff is in school so I'd suggested that we get a studio apartment while in Seattle (I'd not yet heard of tiny houses).

Jeff: I said I couldn't live in a space that small.

Arlene: Yet we live in a space less than a third of that size now. I think that part of the draw to living in our tiny cottage is that we built it. It truly is a custom home that serves our needs so it doesn't feel small.

Jeff: We've joked for years that we do a 'kitchen dance'.

Arlene: This term describes what we've always done in the galley-style kitchens (long and thin with counters on both sides) in the places we've lived together. I'm at the sink.

Jeff: I'm at the stove.

Arlene: Then we change sides as he comes to get a plate from the cabinet while I put something into the frig.

Jeff: Then back again.

Arlene: But we never bump into each other. Now we laugh because it can feel like the 'kitchen dance' extends the length of the cottage sometimes. I imagine that couples who live on boats about our size have the same experience at times too.

Though we laugh at this 'dance', I don't feel stuffed into too small a space and this in no way feels like simply a 'crash pad' either. I have room for stretching out on the settee to read or watch the birds at the feeder outside the window and also have a space to sit and create artwork. We have had a couple of friends over at a time for social engagements and we both get out quite a bit to see performances, travel, attend club meetings and such.

Jeff: Spending less money on rent and utilities means more money available to do things that we enjoy. The tiny house fits our lifestyle and our values. "So... how is living in the tiny house going?"

So far, so good!


  1. Thank you for posting this. You know that there are many of us who have not yet built nor attempted to live in a tiny house ... who would earnestly like to know what the reality of doing so is like.

  2. I love your blog, and stumbled upon it while reading about tiny mobile cottages. I plan on building one also, possibly with the pre-made, steel, Tortoise Shell Homes frame, for my husband and myself.


  3. Such an incredible duo! I'm super happy that you guys are enjoying your stay in your tiny house. If given a chance, I would like to live in a tiny house, too. =)


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