Three years ago, Lindsay and I were inhabiting a 2000 sq-ft house in Arlington. The blank slate of our starter domicile was quickly filled with objects that we thought were important: artwork to cover the empty walls, baskets to cover the naked tables, flowers to fill the landscaping, and surround sound to enhance movie watching and block out any awkward silences. (Okay, the surround sound was actually important.)
During the week, we would leave the dogs to their own devices, head to our full-time jobs, come home at the end of the day, cook some dinner, and watch some TV. On the weekends, we would clean the house, do yard work, and hit up Home Goods or Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy more stuff to fill the house. We were living the “American Dream.”
From the outside, everything seemed perfect. Meanwhile, I was in a job that I didn’t love in order to keep paying the mortgage, not to mention the mental burden of owing so much money to a giant bank.
Also, Lindsay and I were psychopathic murderers. Of dust particles. We were spending around 12 hours a month cleaning the house, and even more time keeping the yard looking Stepford Husband-esque. Also, all of those hours with Mario and Luigi had taught me exactly nothing about plumbing issues. Finally, we just felt stuck, physically, financially, mentally. Was this it? At 27 and 28, respectively, was this everything we were supposed to want out of life?
We answered with a resounding, “F*ck no!” Lindsay started researching and designing our tiny home. We eventually started selling off all of our furniture, packing up stuff (that we would eventually sell), and contacting builders. We sold off our Arlington house, used the profit and the rest of our savings to pay the builders, lived with my parents for a little bit (Thanks, mom and dad!), then moved in to a house that we had designed together, mortgage-free.
So, why do all that!? Here are a few reasons why it’s way better to live in a tiny house than a normal-to-large house (aside from the financial independence, which is a whole post unto itself).
1) Cleaning is so much faster.
I’ve heard some people say that cleaning the house is cathartic. I call bullshit. Rustling up some dust for six hours every two weeks while thinking about doing the same thing in two more weeks felt like I was inside an Escher drawing (and not in the cool way that you’re thinking). Maybe it’s more akin to being trapped in the ghost dimension in Superman II.
The most frustrating part was cleaning the guest room, which was used less than 10 times in the four years we lived there. That room could’ve been haunted by sit-on-your-chest-while-you-sleep incubus demons and we never would’ve known. The only thing I dreaded about that room was cleaning it.
Fast forward to now. We use every square inch of this place and it takes about an hour to deep clean. “An hour?” you ask. “I don’t believe you.” To that, I say, come clean it and see how long it takes. I dare you. (Sign-ups will be posted soon.)
2) Everything you need is three Jared Steps™ away.
One of my least favorite sayings about Texas is, “Don’t like the weather? Just wait five minutes.” Don’t get me wrong: the saying is accurate. I just have an irrational hatred for the cadence of the saying. That being said:
“Need something in your tiny house? Just take three steps.” These are a few things I could obtain by taking three steps: the entire closet, Honey Nut Cheerios, the A/C unit, a hundred books, a flashlight, the guitar, a hammer, and two armfuls of dog, (It takes me five lunges to get across the length of the house. More coming soon on tiny house workouts.)
3) No more “What!? I can’t hear you!!”
Picture this: you walk into your closet in your large house to pick out some fly clothes to wear. You’re neck-deep in some hanging shirts when a funny thought crosses your brain. “I should share this thought with with my significant other,” you think to yourself.
Without hesitation or knowing where your partner is, you yell from deep within your well-insulated closet, “HEY! I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING HILARIOUS!” Your partner, cutting up an onion in the kitchen, hears you from afar.
“WHAT!? DID YOU JUST SAY SOMETHING?”
“YEAH! I SAID, I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING HILARIOUS!”
“I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
Then the scenario unfolds in which you don’t want to walk all the way out there to the kitchen, an irrational anger toward your partner without supersonic hearing quietly builds, the fire in your heart dies, and you end up just picking out a f*cking turtleneck or something because you hate yourself.
Now picture this: In a tiny house, that situation happens…less.
4) The dogs feel more loved
(allegedly. I should say that for legal purposes.)
If they had to choose between being humans or dogs, Bogie and Griff would definitely choose humans. If their life were an animated movie, they would eventually have a Buzz Lightyear realization montage where they look into a mirror and find out they’re dogs. Luckily, this is real life, so they can keep being humans forever.
According to this article in Scientific American that I half-read while I was writing this post and my own common damn sense, being in close proximity to my dogs at all times makes them feel safer and more loved. When the babies get here, I can’t just abandon the dogs to a room at the other end of the house or put them outside. We’re all in this together whether they like it or not. I imagine we’ll have a Peter Pan-style Nana situation whenever Lindsay and I want to go to fancy gala dinners. Seems legit.
5) Picking out what to wear is easy AF
I’ve never been a fashionista, okay? I wore long jean shorts after they were cool in middle school, cargo pants when they were never cool in high school, and I still wear backwards hats sometimes. Nevertheless, I still had a lot of extra clothes in my closet before downsizing. If I’m honest with myself, I had “Gonna Start Wearing That More” Syndrome.
Let me take two steps over to my closet to see what I’m working with now: six long-sleeved button-downs and three short-sleeved button downs. The “Gonna Start Wearing It More” Syndrome hasn’t fully disappeared, because I could probably get rid of a couple of those shirts, but when it’s cold out, I have a total of six shirts to choose from if I just did laundry. Then I just throw some f*cking jeans on. Guys, lemme tell you, picking out what to wear in the teezy heezy is easy AF.
So, if this post didn’t convince you to go tiny, that’s okay. Lindsay won’t take it personally…but I will. After I listen to Il Divo‘s version of Amazing Grace a couple times while lying facedown on the ground, I’ll be fine. Then I’ll take three steps or less to Lindsay and give her a big hug for starting us on this awesome path in the first place.
And also: The Definitive Hotness Ranking of the “Dream Phone” Guys, because the 90’s.