I live in a tiny house with a not so tiny companion. I researched tiny houses for over a year and thought I had everything covered. Yes, I had things covered when one is looking through rose colored glasses! My interest grew after attending the ethical fashion classes taught by amazing Carmen Artigas at FIT. She went far beyond addressing fashion in her passion to educate about sustainability, environmentally friendly choices, etc.
Funny, how in retrospect a little deeper digging would have told me the headlines: “Move when ever you want” were not quite true–tiny houses may be on wheels but most are not structurally sound to be moved many times. “Be free of a mortgage, paying rent, etc”. Yes, but tiny houses are not legally permitted to be parked in most areas (Orlando, Florida has a legal tiny house community in an RV park with a dynamite view if you happen to get a lot on the water but the front entrance is crossed by railroad tracks……and really, the tiny house/RV park is not on the best side of the tracks so to speak).
So, one is confronted of where to park it, trusting the “landlord” if you do not own your own land, hoping you are not caught illegally parking, where to find running water and electricity ( I have a composting toilet and solar panels but the solar will not run A/C and the necessary dehumidifier required to live comfortably and I might add, in a healthy indoor environment in South Florida. Therefore, electricity is a must!). Yes, the list can go on and again, all this is depicted online but not on the shiny “Tiny House” websites nor apparently on “Tiny House Nation” which I have only been told about as I do not have a TV in my tiny house. No TV is a plus!
Cooking in a tiny house is a questionable feat depending upon one’s cuisine. I initially thought, great, this is the time to really delve into a RAW diet. Then I heard an NPR talk by the neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-houzel on how we have evolved such a large brain with so many more neural connections than the great apes due to cooking our food. This change allowed us the ability to fuel this brain with calories. RAW was out. Not a sustainable lifestyle. Ironically, just as I am finding a tiny house not to be when one loves to pursue artistic endeavors, needs crafting (i.e. creating linocuts and blockprinting, jewelry construction, natural dying, glass works…) and cooking space to do so. Plus all those wonderful books tucked away.
With RAW out, I returned to being a vegan which is just fine. However, I am a vegan who likes to utilize a lot of different spices for both their taste and health benefits. Cooking in a tiny house means sleeping with the aromas of your meal, vent running and windows open aside. This quickly morphed into cooking outside which translates into camp cooking. Fun sometimes but not when it is a daily necessity. Mostly raw vegan is where I have settled.
Fortunately, I have found a quiet place on the back of the farm where the creepy landlord to whom I pay electric bills finally realized I have no interested in his “boring, married life and open marriage”. YUCK. Why living a happy, tiny, minimally consumerist life with a growing edible potted garden and a beautiful funny dog as a companion seems to bother people is beyond me. This is the plus side of my tiny house living arrangement but only because I can found a nice parking spot under a very large bamboo for shelter and do not mind bringing in the water needed.
We have just celebrated our one year anniversary. During this time, researching quite a bit on tiny houses, looking at tiny houses for sale listings and revisiting a tiny house builder in Florida over a year later only to discover he has the homes I first saw back him constructing for clients on the lot, it seems quite a lot of people do not live in them long term. It is an experiment I am glad to be participating in but has numerous limitations. At times I think I would love to move up to a Tennessee Tiny Home which would be a small house compared to my tiny one but the reality hits: Who really wants to crawl into a loft everynight? I like to put my pajamas on standing up!