Given my massive break from blogging, I thought the best way to jump back in would be to break down all the myths and fantasies around tiny house living. Yes, we’ve all seen it glorified, whimsified and beautified. Heck, I’m sure I even did some of it (the purging was really the best part, to be honest). But in all honesty, there is so much that people leave out when they talk up the small house living thing.
It’s so hard to even decide where to begin, it’s been horse-kicking-me-in-the-gut painful. But maybe I’ll start with the basics.
First word of advice, if you’re a family of five with a large dog in tow, don’t attempt to live in 672 square feet of house. Just don’t even bother. It’s doable, but it’s painful. It’s especially excruciating when everyone (and I mean everyone except the dog) breaks out with hand foot mouth disease the first month of living in said tiny house. If you take massive infectious diseases out of the picture, then you’re just dealing with the day-to-day. But still, it’s not easy. Case in point:
As a woman, you never have a moment of privacy. So forget about taking care of your monthly business in private when the bathroom spills into the only hallway, and into the only bedroom.
There’s no place to hide. Like ever. Unless you plan on hanging with the rats in the attic or the mice in the basement, the only other way to disappear is to literally disappear and hope you’re kids don’t hear you sneaking out or hiding in the loft (aka, your bedroom).
You never have a moment of privacy. If you have to take care of your own said business, just pretend that everyone else in the house has ear plugs and can’t hear you taking care of business in the bathroom that spills into the hallway (with a door that’s basically see through). Showering in privacy is a joke in our house.
Sure, you can’t lose your kids in such a small house, but sometimes it would be nice. Actually, I did lose them once. They were hiding in the closet and it sounded like they had escaped and were hiding in a secret passage. Unfortunately our house is too small for any secrets. Or passages.
If you fart everyone knows it was you. So forget about enjoying all the taquerias that are a stone’s throw away.
I think the biggest thing that drives me bonkers is that I still have to clean just as much. I mean, before we moved I FANTASIZED about all the cleaning that would just disappear! But it didn’t. Like at all. Why? Well, we moved into a smaller house, we didn’t get rid of any people. Sure, we got rid of stuff, but we are still exploding out of this house. We are people who wear clothes (shocking, I know). The kids also have all their little toys and books. And they are toddlers. God bless them, but they aren’t the best at picking up yet. Then there is the “one closet thing.” Yes, one closet for five people. Even if I make my best attempt to clean up the place, once the kids are down I have nowhere to hang up my clothes or put my dirty laundry.
So yes, I fantasize daily about living in another house. One that I can host in. One where I might lose a kid or two (or three). One that would actually give raise my heart rate as I make my way from my bedroom — wait, one that has a bedroom for me! — to the kitchen.
But — and this is a big but — I wouldn’t change our move for the world. We stumbled upon the best neighborhood in the most amazing city. We are on hugging terms with our neighbors. One neighbor’s daughters (twin daughter) watch my boys, the other neighbor takes my dog on doggy play dates. And yet another walks back from the market with me. And they all keep an eye on the house when we are gone. We found such a great community here and while it’s often challenging (like today, when 3 out of 5 of us are sick), it’s where we are today.