Living in a tiny home, for the most part, has been a dream come true.

We have a spot to put our home. We have a great land-lord and house mates on the property, and the neighbors are awesome. But there are certain realities we’ve had to face during this process. One reality especially in the forefront has been managing expectations. When purchasing a brand new tiny home, I expected it to be a completed home. I did not prepare for so many projects that needed doing when we moved in. I thought the new house would blend into the background of our lives and we could move forward and focus on school, work, friends, biking, trips, life, etc. This has not been the case, at least in this first month and a half of living in it.

In the first couple of weeks, we found mold under the cabinet due to a leaky sink drain. We then discovered mold on the bottom of the front doors because the awning had not been installed yet and during those first weeks the doors had been pummeled with rain. It was in these moments where I first began to realize (panic) that we are responsible for figuring out, fixing, and preventing issues such as these. I’m sure all new home-owners go through these realizations but it hadn’t been on my radar. We have since had the leak fixed, the cabinets sanded, and the awning installed to protect the doors.

So far I wouldn’t describe my tiny house living experience as simple. I think it’s important to realize that problems still exist even if they are on a smaller scale. I may have had a glorified view of how this experience would go; something along the lines of a “tiny house fairy tale”. Our realities are that we’re vulnerable to city codes, we live in a structure that like any structure has flaws, things break down, and we live in a climate that makes it more challenging to keep things dry and moisture-free. We also made choices for our home to include a shower, a gas stove, a refrigerator…which are luxuries that add complexity to tiny home systems.

It is a reality that we have to spend time on house up-keep. It is also a reality that we have to be accountable for our water usage and bathroom habits. And we are also responsible for “rolling with the tiny punches” as they arise. It is not always easy. It’s simple to flush a toilet; it’s not as simple to carry a urine bucket outside and “fertilize the garden”. It has, however, made us more mindful individuals. Dealing with these realities has not been a dream come true, but it continues to be an adventure and we are learning so much  about what’s important to us and what we need (or don’t need) to live with. We’ve chosen a lifestyle different than “the norm” and face both reception and criticism about that choice. Living tiny is not for everyone and that’s okay, but for us it makes sense. We love that the two of us (and the cat) can live together and be comfortable with less. And this, in fact, may be the simplest part.

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