My partner and I live in Alberta, outside of the Edmonton area in our 178 square foot tiny home on wheels. We share our dwelling with our two cats and our dog. We eat, shower, and sleep in this miniature portable structure. I’m regularly asked if living this way is what it’s cracked up to be. In response, I have comprised a few major points that I would like to drive home.
First off, living this close together is no big deal. The number one complaint we hear is that most people could not stand to live in this close of a proximity to their loved one(s). This worry is rooted in our North American value system where we believe bigger is better. I would argue that we spend just as much time frequenting the same areas as the house that most people do. Most of our time is divided between the kitchen, the bedroom, and the bathroom. No matter how big or small a home is, you are still going to smell each other’s farts and hear each other chew. Societies all across the planet live in close quarters within homes made from all sorts of materials. Many of these homes comprise of a single room. Living intimately has occurred since the beginning of time and comes naturally.
Secondly, compact living does not save time. When you pass up modern luxuries such as a flushing toilet or a furnace, things require a bit more work. The “slow living movement” is a term coined to refer to lifestyles that embrace longer processes. In our case this includes, gardening, manually porting water, starting fires etc. We don’t have the freedom to flip a switch and instantly have endless amounts of water or warm air at our disposal. Regular activities such as showering and preparing food take longer. Our new home has forced us to slow down.
Thirdly, it’s not glamorous. We deal with some gross shit on a regular basis- and I really do mean shit. We use a composting toilet and collect our waste for gardening purposes. For those who aren’t familiar, a composting toilet is essentially a human litter box. Simply poop into a bucket and cover your waste with materials such as sawdust or coffee grinds. Our composting toilet doesn’t smell, but it does need to be emptied on a regular basis. We are also required to manually empty our shower and dish water. Miniature homes get messy really fast, but are thankfully quick to clean. We definitely don’t live the stylish life that reality TV has sensationalized, but we love it all the same.
Our little home offers us a debt free, environmentally friendly, and mobile lifestyle. Our new lifestyle leaves us feeling accomplished on a daily basis. Jumping in, we did not know what to expect but are grateful we took the risk. If you want to learn more about living tiny across Canada, follow our journey on our blog livingtinycanada.com
*Article originally published for From The Other Side Zine.