It’s been four months in our tiny house so far and we’ve seen it in all kinds of weather conditions: hot and dry as well as covered in snow. We have just finished setting it up and we have learned so much in the process that I thought it’s time for an update. What has tiny house living been like for us so far?
1. We don’t miss anything
In the beginning, I thought like most of my friends: tiny house living is for people who don’t need and want much from life. It’s for extreme minimalists who are happy with few possessions and a few hobbies in life. And while I would have to get into much deeper detail than I want to at this point, let me just say that we don’t miss anything fundamentally. As a family, tiny house living isn’t that different for us. We have never lived in such a small space but we have also never lived in a space that was so well designed for our needs. We have everything we need in our house and don’t miss anything.
I couldn’t even compare it to any other place I’ve lived at. Living in a tiny house is just fundamentally different. And so far we have not had to compromise on anything (okay, not many things).
We also haven’t had a typical case of cabin fever. Yes, the house is smaller and the weather is turning into ‘indoor’ weather but that’s been no different from before. My kids still play where I want to walk and not in their room. They did that in our previous houses and it hasn’t changed. The only slight difference is now that the train track doesn’t just cover the entire lounge area but the entire house. It gives me a new appreciation of how short 10m is in a train track (or how long).
2. We have learned a lot about plumbing
The area we learned the most has been plumping. We had to connect all water and wastewater hoses ourselves and it’s fair to say that we learned a lot. We had to learn about the different sizes of pipes, the correct attachment of pipes, insulation and frost proving of hoses, and how to (or not) connect hoses to each other. It hasn’t been all fun and games in that department. It caused us many days of planning, driving to various shops, placing orders online, and watching youtube videos of how to do it.
But, now everything is as it should be now and with a bit of luck, it will get us through the winter without any frost damage.
3. We are learning about electricity
Even before we moved into our house we had to make the rather difficult decision of how many amperes we wanted in the house. I can honestly say that I have never ever worked with electrical connections before and have never thought about voltage, watts, and ampere. I still have a hard time telling the difference between the three but I’m getting there.
The reason we had to learn all these things is that our house only has water and power connections. For the power part, it means that our system has to be able to handle all of our needs, preferably at the same time. Our needs being heating, hot water, appliances, cooking, baking, and lights. For anyone interested, we went with a 32amp system and so far it’s holding up. Now we’re in the process of getting a meter installed and also want some outside lights. Buying cables for that is one fun experience, I can tell you that.
4. We learned how much stuff we don’t need (and how much we do)
The biggest challenge I anticipated in the beginning, was the whole question of how much stuff we needed. I had a long time before the move of decluttering, digitizing, and generally downsizing our house. But it turns out, it wasn’t enough and we still have stuff we don’t need. The journey continues on that front.
But, we also learned that there is stuff we need now but didn’t need before: tools, plumbing and electrical supplies, homesteading (or rural living) essentials, and winter gear. This kind of stuff doesn’t fit into our house and we need outside storage. We’re lucky that we have that although we never anticipated it.
5. And we learned that tiny house living as a family is totally possible
Our house is the right house for us because it was built to our wishes. This fact is vital for my statement that tiny house living is possible for a family of four (plus a cat).
We have always been close as a family and the house is just as much a logical consequence as a reason for us to live in it. We don’t mind each other’s company and it’s been perfect to embark on this journey together.