I’m sure most tiny home enthusiasts have stumbled across this viral blog post. If not, you can read it here: “Dear People Who Live in Fancy Tiny Houses”.
I know this article was written in a humorous fashion. I’m not going to attack you or tell you to pull your head out of your ass, like some of the comments. The majority of the questions you bring up jokingly are what many people inquire about on a regular basis. They are worth answering, so I will try my best to do so.
The truth is that living off grid is not glamorous. It is not the lavish lifestyle that mainstream media plays it up to be. Our homes aren’t as meticulous as the magazine spreads because we live in them and actually pull things out of the cupboards. We track in dirt and make messes just like everyone else. The disarray can magnified in such a small space. On the bright side, a deep clean of our home can be completed in an hour or less.
A $300 000+ house isn’t a solution to the “fart conundrum” that you speak of. No matter how big your home is, you will still be going to bed with your partner. And, if you have a relationship like many of us, you can expect to hear a fart rip and have a blanket pulled over your head.
Living in a space with limited square footage has its benefits. It pushes you to go outside and spend time with nature. It also strongly encourages you to do activities with friends, rather than a casual sit down get together. Most people tend to go through the same motions, in the same places, day after day. Living tiny is a break from that lifestyle.
This modern movement has more focus on living differently than living in a trendy space. And yes, sometimes people do get into if for the wrong reasons (their discarded homes can be bought online for a fraction of the price). The heart of this movement is about embracing what our fellow humans around the world live with. It is also about throwing away some of the privilege we have as North Americans. The houses we live in, big or small, still lead us to have incredibly fortunate lives.
Access to food, clean water, and shelter are basic human rights. A huge portion of people on this planet do not have all three. Societies across the world live in homes made from clay, cob, animal dung, foraged leaves, bamboo etc. Multiple generations can live in these simple one room structures. Many people defecate directly in the forest, into pits in the ground, or even on the streets. The attitude in popular culture is that this is not a way for “civilized” people to live. It dismisses the reality that so many of our fellow humans live and raise their children in.
If we are to associate this way of life as being ridiculous or disgusting, we are inadvertently pushing a class system. Implying that this lifestyle is unacceptable, is to look down at those all around us who have less.
The modest off grid and tiny home dwellers that I have met, choose to take what they need and leave the rest. Tiny homes are removing the stigma and questioning what living comfortably is expected to look like. When I am asked questions like, “what is going to happen if your partner rips a big fart?” or “how are you going to survive living in such close proximity to another person?” my answer is: