Recently I have been interviewing a lot of tiny house folks about their lives in their tiny house. While I knew the story of many of these tiny house folks, I had never had a discussion to the depth as these interviews. It was helpful that I knew a lot about these folks, their houses, and tiny houses in general because it meant we could skip the basics and get into nitty gritty.
Over the course of the interviews I realized that there were some things that were so similar it was uncanny; to the point where people started saying the exact same words. Now in some cases these people didn’t even know each other, so I realized weather it was tiny houses or the type of person that is attracted to them, they have a lot in common. It’s kinda eerie.
1. DIY Tiny House Builders Unusually Have The Worst Car For Hauling Materials
Almost without fail tiny house people couldn’t be less equipped to haul building materials than the car they have. Almost every single person I talked to didn’t have a truck, they often had smaller cars. This is the case with me. I drive a Smart Car, which if you didn’t know, it is the smallest road legal car in mass production today. I quickly realized when I needed to figure something out when my boards were the standard 8 feet long, but my car only was 6.5 feet long tip to tail.
Despite having the least suited cars, we make it work.
2. We Are Over Saying We Live In A Tiny House
After building and living in a tiny house, most people are tired of having to explain what a tiny house is, then having to explain why, then having to defend the choice. As Ella from Little Yellow Door puts it “its just a house, it just happens to be very small”. Luckily for me I have gotten through that process with most of my friends and family. I now just say I am building a house, never mentioning that its tiny or I’m building it with my own two hands. The only time I feel it really necessary to explain is when it comes up that my houses is tiny or on dates (I figure they should get the heads up).
3. Everything Has a Place And It Needs To Go Back There.
We don’t have a lot of stuff, but the stuff we do have has its rightful place in our homes. Every tiny house person I’ve talked to has said this to me, that they have a place for everything and they have to put it right back when they are done. They don’t have room for clutter and if something is out of place, you can tell because its such a small space.
4. Buy A New Trailer
I have now talked to about 40 people about this particular topic and almost every time, almost without fail, they say that if they bought a used trailer, they had wished they had took the leap for a new trailer. I already know there will be some people that disagree with this, I can see the comments now, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.
Most of the people who bought a used trailer ended up spending days cleaning up their trailer. They also spent money on fixing and replacing most of the trailer. About 80% of the people I spoke to ended up replacing tires and axles on their trailer, which meant a lot of those people spent the same or more than what they would have if they just bought new.
Macy Miller of Mini Motives also pointed out that in your first few months you have a lot of energy, excitement and drive, buying a used trailer sapped most of that energy as she toiled on getting her trailer to a point where she could then start building. I think this is a really good point, its better to use this energy getting building done, not days with an angle grinder trying to root out rust. The other aspect to this is that when you buy new, you know exactly what you are getting.
5. Tiny House People Are Grateful
Without exception tiny house people are very grateful for the lives that they live. They know the value of everything they have, whether it is a possession, a relationship or an opportunity. I recently was reading a study that one of the biggest factors in people who were happy was gratitude and expressing that gratitude. I think this comes into play in a major way with tiny houses, because they understand the value of what they have.