Tiny thoughts on homes of all sizes


Tiny houses are becoming more popularGimme Shelter

Having a roof over our heads has always been one of a handful of human goals, and over the millennia we have perfected the art of turning a house into a home. And until recently, those homes were small. For good reason.

Smaller houses are easier to heat and cool. They are easier to maintain. Most importantly, they cut down on the urge to buy things we don’t need. Finally, they emphasize that there is a big, beautiful world out there full of gardens, parks, and well…nature!

We have always taken care of the important things first: Food, clothing, and shelter. And beyond that, connection and purpose. We could toss in a handful of modern advancements that augment those to round out the picture a bit, but I’ll use the acronym the military uses for assessments in stability and support operations, SWEAT-MS:

  • Sewage
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Academics
  • Trash removal
  • Medical care
  • Safety

How do those elements affect us?

Many people who are considering tiny houses also want the freedom to be able to go “off the grid.” This can present a problem if your little abode is in town.

Everything here at small. slow. happy. deals with human nature, scale, and pace. That includes houses. I have said before that I’m not interested in dictating to anyone what size their house should be. The other side of that coin is that since you’re here, you may be interested in making your life conform better to human scale and pace. That may affect your housing choice.

Most cities also force you to hook up to the city water and sewer and perhaps even electricity. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but if you want to collect rainwater instead of having city water, or rely on biomass alone for heat, the utilities will inform the local government and they’ll kindly inform you that you have to play their game.

My point here is for you to check the rules of the game with your local government before making a decision that could come back to bite you. But also be an advocate, right where you are, for alternate means of attaining the same result.

Living in the county instead of the city can distance the reach of government, but that puts you further away from popular services. If you’re aligning your life more closely to human scale and pace like me, it can increase the number of services you’ll have to learn to provide for yourself.

Are you prepared to learn those skills or to travel longer distances to obtain them?

If you have had experiences like this with your tiny home, or even in your thoughts as you wrestle with the decision on whether to downsize, leave a comment below.

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