Finding personal space in a tiny home is easier said than done. Now that we’ve squeezed in, it’s all about comfort and boundaries.
In my zeal to encourage my son’s transition to the new home, I told him he could have friends over. I wasn’t picturing seven kids running amuck when I said this, but apparently that’s what my son took from the conversation. Our lovely beach, lounge chairs and fire pit could have beautifully entertained this crowd, but the audience I was dealing with had other intentions. To a group of twelve year olds, it was far more fascinating to enter the tiny home and explore. As they all came rushing into the house, I tried to turn them away. Simply put, I wasn’t sure our house could mechanically support eight full sized people on the top floor. That’s a bit of information I hadn’t researched and never thought I would have to. Eventually, I lured them out with a glowing fire and s’mores.
Afterwards, I was left with a collection of cups, bowls and s’mores accessories to wash. My tiny kitchen was made aware of its size. Washing and drying for a few family members is much different than for an entire group you just entertained. I will have to rethink my plans for entertaining guests. I may need to occasionally shift to disposable plates and cups for large gatherings or motivate my friends and family members to bring their own reusable tableware. I like the latter idea better!
Respect is a big lesson in close quarters and laziness is no longer an option. My son will need to learn to put those dirty clothes in the hamper because there’s not enough floor space for discarded items. Headphones can be worn while playing video games or watching a show so others can focus on their work in the near proximity. Learning how to respect each other’s personal space is quickly being learned.
Dogs are people too, at least for a headcount in a tiny home. We’re fortunate to have small dogs, but they can take up space as good as any human. They need a place for food storage, eating, sleeping, toys, and moving around. And, yes, they need to understand boundaries too. On a nice day I open the door and let them lounge (actually more of a forceable ejection) on the deck while I sit and do work. Our furry family members would prefer to be huddled up in a tiny home with us, but we all need some space from time to time.
A tiny home is most likely going to have only one bathroom which means good communication skills are needed. If you have a family member that enjoys the bathroom a little too much, you will definitely want to be able to plan around their coup of the space. We have an additional outdoor shower that helps open up the single bathroom in addition to it being an awesome experience.
Space saving ideas
- Camping equipment can give you some added comfort when the need arises. These items are compact and can be lightweight which means they’re easy to store and don’t take up a lot of space.
- fold chairs (especially ultra lightweight like LL Bean’s Packlite or REI’s flexlite) add an easy extra seat for guests or sitting on your deck
- Inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags work great with extra guests, especially kids
- Vacuum sealed containers can help you save space on food storage and keep your food fresh longer. Consumer packaging has lots of wasted space inside. Containers can also organize your space better when they are similar widths and/or heights.
- Items you don’t need on a regular basis can be stored in organized boxes. You’ll fit more and have easier access to finding things that are grouped.
Our friends and family are fascinated by our tiny home. We’ve been asked questions we would never have been asked had we moved to a standard American home. Tiny homes are trending and society’s curiosity is growing. We decided to try tiny living precisely why so many people are intrigued- evolution. Or maybe in this case, you would prefer the term devolution. Our country has evolved into a “bigger is better,” “he who has the most toys wins” society. Our family has experienced that bigger means more costly to maintain, insure, own, and the more “toys” you own, the more you have to clean, organize, and house these items. Why are we paying more money to house objects we could clearly live without? Devolution from over consumerism to return to the simplicity of what is truly important is needed. How much of your home is filled with unnecessary objects you could live without? If you were to get rid of these objects, would you still need the same size space to live in? If you could live in a smaller space that would allow you more time and money to travel with your family, would you do it? Even if it was close quarters?