Embracing Tiny Living

Embracing Tiny Living
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The fourth phase of tiny living occurs after one has already moved in. It’s the last and longest part of going tiny. (The other three key phases include: home design, building the house and moving in).

The fourth phase is where you really start to consider (and perhaps reconsider) big picture questions pertaining to sustainability as you begin to see how your plans work in reality.

What’s really going on with electricity and water? How are things working out with the garbage? What about the temperature inside the house? How will things look in six months? Where do you see yourself in a year? What about five years?

Since my partner is a tiny home owner, I’ve been able to experience tiny living firsthand. And, it’s definitely been an adventure. With the unexpectedly cold weather in the Washington, D.C. area this winter, the most pressing issue we’ve been dealing with has to do with the water. More specifically, when the temperature gets below freezing, both the pipes coming into the house and the graywater (the water leaving the house) are likely to freeze.

It’s not clear what the long-term solution is. For now, it appears that running the water – hot or at least warm water in the sink, the toilet and the shower – every couple hours forestalls any pipe-freezing and avoids hours of hair-drying pipes to thaw them. That’s not a big deal during the day if someone is at the house. But at night, it’s obviously more inconvenient.

I don’t always sleep at “Tiny Indigo” (for reasons that go beyond the scope of this piece). Though when I do, my partner and I figure out when we should set our alarms and who will be waking up first. It may sound tedious or annoying (especially for her if she’s the only adult sleeping in the house), yet – when we’re dealing with this issue together – it’s actually been somewhat fun.

It’s been fun because it’s been a team effort. It’s been fun because “fun” is what she and I do.

So, let’s return to the fourth phase of tiny living and reconsider obstacles and opportunities anew. A big part of that fourth phase doesn’t just have to do with your particular situation or your particular tiny home. It has as much (or perhaps even more) to do with one’s environment, the neighborhood, the surroundings and your “team” – your friends, family, neighbors and support network. The fourth phase means that the inevitable obstacles become opportunities for bringing people together, for problem-solving together, for building intimacy and strong relationships.

On so many fronts – even and perhaps especially the fourth phase – who you keep close is the most important question of all.

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