A few years ago, I became obsessed with tiny houses. I was clawing my way out of the debt hole I fell in when I got divorced, and was daunted by the price of real estate. I had started out renting because it made sense at that point in my life. I continued to rent because buying a house was scary.
A tiny house cost roughly what a car cost. I’d already paid for a car in full. I could deal with that kind of debt.
I started poring over tiny house plans in my free time. I liked how elegant and efficient they were, how you could upgrade the heck out of them because everything was so small. Less to clean! Simplified living! I’d already downsized my stuff to the point where my 2-bedroom apartment was excessively roomy. I was the prime candidate for a gussied-up shed.
There were a few sticking points, though:
- I wanted a laundry room. Not a mini washer and dryer, or a washer and a clothes line. I wanted an actual room that would hold my (by today’s standards, quite small) washer and dryer. Add a room for that.
- I planned on working from home at some point, which meant having an office. I didn’t really want that office to be my kitchen table. My job is kind of hard to do on just a laptop. Add another room.
- I have a lot of books. Even after ruthlessly culling my shelves, I still have four large bookcases full of them. I suppose I could buy some of them on Kindle, but some will never leave my possession; they have been reread, loved, annotated. They are treasured mementos. That’s fine, though; they could go in my office. But now I really needed a good-sized room for my office; it was roughly the size of the living area at this point.
- I wanted a family someday. At the time, I was thinking just one kid, but still — that meant that R and a little person would be living in this tiny house with me. Add a room for the child. (I did not know, then, that I would end up cosleeping. Still, they need their own rooms simply to store all their crap.)
- Around the time I was researching all of this, I sprained my ankle. That night, after I pulled myself up the stairs to my second-floor apartment using the railings, hobbled to my bedroom, and collapsed on the bed., I realized there was no way in hell I could possibly live in a place that required me to climb a ladder to go to bed. Because accidents happen. No, I needed a real bedroom.
So. My tiny house had grown into a small 3-bedroom house. Which might be tiny by McMansion standards, but is not hipster, off-the-grid tiny.
(You can tell, by the ridiculous notions above, that R and I did not live together at the time. If we had, I’d have known that a tiny house was not in our future — not unless he lived somewhere else and just came to visit me in the tiny house on weekends.)
As I’ve said before, I’m crunchyish. Not truly crunchy. Not reusable toilet paper, make-my-own-compost crunchy. And, apparently, not tiny-house crunchy.
It all worked out for the best, though. Because as it turns out, even my smallish 3-bedroom house (which I also rent) is too small for my family. I may not be a McMansion girl, but I’m closer to that than a tiny house.
They sure are cute, though. Maybe there’s a she-shed in my future, at least.