Brian and I visited the Tumbleweed Tiny House Co today. We toured the facility, stepped inside their Micro “floor model” (aka, the one they hadn’t sold yet), and peered into the windows of others completed for clients-mentally cataloging appliances, positioning, materials used, heights…
Tiny house living is officially our dream. The tour guide didn’t bat an eye at our wanting to tiny house live with children, just nodded and gave examples from several homes designed (and now in use) for families of six. Leaving the tour we knew several things for sure: One, Tumbleweed is an awesome place to buy a tiny house, truly. But they won’t be for us (they don’t build on gooseneck trailers). Two, we may be nuts to consider this-but we are in good company, the tiny house market is booming and not just for singles and couples. Three, we can’t WAIT to get our own. Can’t. Flipping. Wait.
Many people consider tiny houses and then purge their belongings-we kind of did things backwards. Over the course of several PCSs, we’ve realized how freeing it is to have less stuff, and conversely how anxiety riddled, frustrating, and emotionally dragging too much stuff can be. So we started donating…and donating…and donating…It dawned on me one day how silly our house looked with so little stuff in so much space, and with our “rent” possibly increasing by another hundred when we renew the lease, I wistfully mentioned RV living as a way out of the endless waste of money. Brian took my half hearted proposition and counter-offered with tiny houses. I was completely flabbergasted.
I was already familiar with tiny houses (and loved them. Ask my sister how I was forever designing tiny things. I even baked tiny chocolate chip cookies the size of pennies for my stuffed animals) but tiny house living was so far outside the realm of what I thought possible that I was dumbfounded when Brian presented them to me. Dumbfounded and thrilled. It was like a marriage proposal all over again-and in a sense it is. “Hey, would you be willing to shuck off your old way of living and come design with me a totally new and uncharted adventure for both of us?” One heck of a proposal-of course I said yes!
Here are the cons-“Phenomenal cosmic power! Itty bitty living space…” to quote the genie (the phenomenal cosmic power refers to the two tornadoes I gave birth to, lol). To fit a home into a 28 foot trailer (well, 35 since we want a gooseneck) takes some considerable finagling. It sounds ridiculous, but seriously, the Micro we stepped into (20 foot trailer) was like a luxury studio apartment. People live-and share-much worse living quarters, and space doesn’t have nearly as much to do with it. Privacy is something to take into consideration ESPECIALLY as the boys get older. And also because we all need our own space sometimes.
Here are the pros- “Phenomenal cosmic power! Itty bitty living space…” Every blog, article, account I’ve followed/read/stumbled onto mentions again and again how close they grow as a family. They figure out healthier ways to deal with conflict instead of avoiding it. They spend more time with each other. They learn how to respect privacy and boundaries better. They don’t get sucked into mindless activities inside-they spend much more time outdoors or out and about. They sleep better. They DO more. Now I know these are all prettied up in some respect for social media consumption, and that the reason they learned to deal with conflict so well is because they HAD a lot of it (especially initially/during transition). Same goes with learning how to respect privacy…but the end result of being better at those things is worth it to us.
Also, I am hoping the tiny home will help the boys bridge some of the difficulties of being military brats. They will actually have a home. The same home. From move to move, the house will come with. We paint it in all sorts of different ways, and have programs and coping mechanisms and support groups and advice to help them-and us-deal, and it’s true that military brats are tough, resilient children…but it is also true that this life is HARD on them, and it is not ideal in a lot of ways. No lifestyle is perfect, every way of living has pros and cons, but stability is something military children especially struggle with. This may be one tiny way to help that. At first the boys will share a room, but our tentative design has TWO extra spaces that can be made into bedrooms (four bedroom tiny house, you read that correctly). Plus, I am not adverse to one or either of them pitching a tent and “camping” out at night if that’s what they’d prefer.
Also, when Brian eventually retires-we have a house. Paid for. We’ll go park somewhere off grid in the Rockies and live happily ever after. 😉
Also, less stuff, less space = less to clean. Can I get all the Amens?! Watching Downton Abby I’ve realized how ridiculous middle class expectations of living are. We all aspire to have large houses kept immaculately clean, but no one to help us maintain them but the family in residence-often both of the adults working out of the home jobs, and trying to also keep children alive, fed, and happy. And you think living in a tiny house is unrealistic? HA.
Also, a BIG also for me, this will actually make things really tight budget wise for a bit, but after a year or two on our current plan things should become dramatically easier. I know, I know, don’t count your chickens before they hatch, but if these particular eggs DO crack open, then we will have so much more to GIVE. Right now our tithes and offerings are mostly tithes plus Lottie Moon, and then I donate 50% of my commissions (after tithes) to World Vision. In a year I’d like 100% of my commissions to be donated. I’d like to start getting the boys involved with volunteering. I’d like to support the causes I feel strongly about. In essence, I want to put my money where my heart is, and not have to penny pinch out a few coins when we can while trying to pay down debt. We have been so materially blessed, we would like to share that wealth. The tiny house will save us so much that we can then turn around and share.
I am SO excited about this. I’ll be posting here and there about where we are in the process (Brian and I have roughly drawn a few plans and are endlessly researching appliances) and if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, find me at “slowisapace”-I’ll be posting more frequently about it on there. I will say, some of that conflict resolution has already come into play as Brian and I have very different ideas of “reasonable” at times. (Brian essentially wants a Taj Mahal on wheels, and I’m after a hobbit hole. The end result should be, at the very least, unique, hahaha)
Speaking of Brian, my partner in this crazy business of life, it’s our anniversary tomorrow (or today, since I’ll be posting this so late I probably won’t link it to social media until the morning). He truly fits me and I, him. We are a matched set. Birds of a feather. Interlocking puzzle pieces. Whatever romantic lovey dovey cliche you’d like to toss in, we are the truth at the core of that cliche. I can’t wait to start this new tiny chapter in our lives. 🙂