the truth behind the tiny house

On July 1, 2019, my partner and I left a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom townhouse apartment with cheap rent, loft space, and a town full of familiar friends, family, and restaurants to move to Boston.

I’ve written about that move in various ways on this site and I think there is a reason for my current obsession over the journey. It has been a defining point in my world where I finally broke away from the comfort of familiarity. I left behind damn near everything that I knew to enter into an adventure and, for the most part, that decision has paid serious dividends and I would recommend that type of move for just about anyone. However, there are things that have not gone so well.

My biggest consistent complaint with my new living situation is my actual living situation. We went from spread-out space to compact-living in the span of a six hour drive and it is the opposite of comfortable.

Tiny House obsession started somewhere in 2016 and has been the subject of of numerous HGTV shows since. The general idea behind it is a type of minimalistic lifestyle that runs counter to the hyper-materialism that is omnipresent in late stage capitalism. However, if you watch enough HGTV (which I have) the main reason, it seems, that most people end up in tiny living situations is so that they may park their mobile tiny home on a friend or family members property thus avoiding property taxes. Ironic. And also freeloading.

Anyway, I’m here to complain about tiny living. It’s my blog. I. Do. What. I. Want.

Here’s the list of why I hate living in a certified tiny house (416 square feet of hell).

  1. Personal/Private Space is No Longer a Thing: I love my partner deeply. She is my motivation and my cheerleader and my best friend. However, I still value private time. I enjoy the ability to not be around her at all times. The closest we get now is using noise cancelling headphones. I used to have an office. I used to have space. I miss that time in my life.
  2. Disorganization is Front and Center: When you have a space that is defined by the idea that “everything has its place,” clutter (even the smallest bit of clutter) becomes a visible, embarrassing mess. I am a person that likes things to have a place in the house. I hate moving, because it means upending the carefully curated plans that I have put together regarding the space and items in my home and then redesigning that plan to fit an unknown space. However, I also get lazy and I work a lot and sometimes I don’t want to put everything in just the right place. Sometimes, I just want to drop my shit and sit on the couch. Do that in a tiny house and it shows. In fact, it’s inescapable. Everything you own is always around and in front of you. It’s terrible.
  3. Minimalism is Actual Bullshit: I’m not here to denigrate your life choices, but minimalism sucks. I’m a materialist. My love language is giving and receiving gifts. It’s just who I am and, the truth is, that the world is ending and if I want to have my knick-knacks then I should be allowed to have them. I’ve learned to be more comfortable without all of my stuff, but I know this situation isn’t forever. Honestly, I just miss my record player and my bookshelves.
  4. Elimination of Significant Privacy: I know this complaint my seem like a repeat but it’s not. There are certain aspects of everyone’s life that should remain private forever and always. Yes. Bathroom stuff. When your bathroom is inextricably connected the to living area and kitchen, you will never escape the messy truths of being human.
  5. If You Can Lean, You Can Clean: When you hyper-focus the amount of space you inhabit, it will get dirty more quickly and more often than more expansive space. I’m not a messy person. I know it may not seem that way after all I’ve said. In fact, I relieve stress by cleaning extensively. But damn a tiny house gets dirty fast. It’s just a consequence of the space and the amount of time you spend doing things.

So, there it is. If this a great list? Probably not. It’s more about me venting about a casually uncomfortable situation. I actually have a great degree of privilege to be able to move to Boston so my partner can attend Harvard and pursue her career goals. I’m also lucky that I have a steady job and the ability to indulge in my passions on the side.

Some people don’t get to choose where they live. This uncomfortable year is someone’s reality and I don’t want to discredit those situations. But sometimes, you just need to bitch a little to feel better.


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