Back in the World of the Big Houses

Tiny houses are hard, but so is everything that is worthwhile.” -Ryan Mitchell

Hello tiny life readers! It has been some time since I last wrote an article and I am so excited to be back writing articles for one of my favorite blogs! Last year I left The Tiny Life while trying to reconfigure my everyday life in what I refer to as the world of the big houses. It has been quite the journey!

reinvent businessI had to start this article with the title of a post Ryan made at the beginning of the year. It’s pretty much my motto at present. At an organized retreat I recently attended in Vermont we started the weekend by stepping in to a ring of river stones and visualizing ourselves leaving behind our daily realities. We called it the rabbit hole, a term borrowed from Alice in Wonderland. It is a psychological exercise, or ritual if you prefer, aimed at letting go. It allows an individual to fully immerse oneself in the present and provides temporary release from ones daily grind. I found this experience to be a symbolic reoccurrence in my existence, the most recent being my experience living the tiny life.

I can certainly compare my time living in a tiny house to jumping down a rabbit hole. Besides being of relatively small dimensions, the rabbit hole and a tiny house share traits that I find incredibly appealing including whimsy, excitement and a general disregard for the limiting options provided by our present day world. Living the tiny life requires an ability to accept a different reality than that currently proposed by society at large and an embracing of the alternatives that come with the lifestyle. These aspects make living in a tiny house wonderful but also extremely difficult.

futureWhen I moved in to my first tiny house I escaped many realities that I did not care to face, primarily a mortgage but that wasn’t all. There is a certain flexibility and unpredictability in mobility that a tiny house provides which I enjoyed. Most of all, living outside the norm was thrilling to me. There was less distraction from the present moment in such a small space! For me, smaller spaces are conducive to my own creative processes in terms of mental focus although physically they are limiting. It’s these contradictions, however, that keeps such a life interesting and allows for expansion in ways you may never have imagined (think biscuits that make you as big as a house or as small as a mouse a la Alice’s experience). Sometimes though, it reveals to you challenges you are not sure you can handle.

I bring this up because for nearly 2 years I lived in a tiny house and then about six months ago I had to leave due tonext-step an unsafe situation in my life. It was devastating to leave behind my home and try to figure out how I fit in to the world of big houses again. It didn’t take long for me to find a house, but a home I have yet to find. I am currently homeless and wandering, wondering and trying to figure out where the tiny life exists for me now. It’s disconcerting but there is excitement in the new and unknown. The tiny life continues to be an alluring alternative to me and even after all the turmoil I hope to again have a tiny house of my own.

Ultimately, the change means recreating my reality all over again. For awhile it was okay living back in the world of big houses. Who am I kidding? It was awesome! Having a regular bathroom and renting a house that held the most amazing tub I have ever had the pleasure of using was fantastic but after a few months the retreat started to get old. I miss my compact life and the feeling of safety small spaces provide me. I miss the independence and pursuit of sustainability within my home space. I miss talking to people about the merits of living such a life and having a beautiful example to invite them in to. I miss my cheap rent! After leaving La Casita, I felt completely disconnected from the movement and it took me a long time to feel as  though I still belonged. Just because I no longer live in a tiny house does not mean I’ve lost dedication to the movement and its ideals. I just had to figure that out for myself and reinstate a commitment to the tiny life. It has been a very vulnerable time for me and it has helped me realize that living the tiny life is still in my plans and I am excited to discover new opportunities within the movement.


Your Turn!

  • Can you relate to jumping down the rabbit hole of the tiny life?
  • What keeps the tiny life alive and exciting  for you?


  1. Well, when a door closes another opens, or so we have been told. It has happened to me. Does it shake up and shatter your “World”? YES in every way that can be thought of. As a person that does not deal with change very well, these things are always a trauma, drama, for me. I usually can come through any thing stronger and hopefully, smarter. But at 66 I’m still plugging along the road of life. I dream my dream of tiny, I do have some land 6.6 acres but my health is mmmm limiting at best. The people of this movement and the pictures of the houses, that people are determined to build at any cost to themselves, family, relationships etc. give me a purpose and drive to get up every day looking forward to whatever “TODAY” may bring to me. Like I always say any day that you do wake up is another day to cherish on the road of tiny homes and fellow followers of the life. I wish you well. Hunter

    • Well said Hunter! I appreciate your positive outlook. Thanks for the kind words!

  2. Andrea, I just want to acknowledge your courage, honesty and tenacity. Sometimes we have to take a step back to take three forward. But running a marathon is much different than running a dash… you can’t see the finish line. Taking time to regroup isn’t quitting. It’s stepping back to take a fresh look, make adjustments and refresh. Sometimes you just have to hit the RESET button. Living Tiny is as much a state of mind as it is an outward projection… indeed, it must exist as a thought before the manifestation of the dream. When we have decided we’re done with the Myth of Bigger as Better, when we’ve decided we don’t want to play the game and be a prisoner of convention we are like the caterpillar that enters that strange drowsiness in which everything known to the caterpillar falls away. In that nether world cells disintegrate, while others, called “imaginal” cells, transform into what we know as the butterfly. Transition is always messy. But the more committment we feel within ourselves to the essence of Tiny, or “Just Enough”, the more we embrace the concept of “enough” (and by contrast what is too much falls away), the more solid is our projection in the world. I think more and more people are waking up to the insanity that our culture has created. While you are waiting to begin again, you might enjoy reading “What’s Mine is Yours” about the sharing economy– another paradigm changer. All the best to you (and Hunter!)

  3. I love this website!!!!

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