Some call living small a movement, others call it just practical and simple living. But whatever you call it, living small is not for everyone. There are many considerations outside of what to do with all your 'stuff'.
I was introduced to a woman through my Facebook feed who lives in a tiny home (feel free to join the conversation if you're not there - FacebookFanPage). And she so generously offered to answer a few of my questions.
Read Michelle's outlook below, and visit her blog - it's inspiring!
Interview with Michelle Jonice
Susan Abramson: How long have you lived in your tiny home?
Michelle Jonice: I currently occupy my Tiny House part time, as of November, since living in it full time remains illegal in the County where I reside.
SA: How many square feet is your home?
SA: Wow, that's tiny tiny! Do you share your home with anyone?
MJ: I will not be sharing my Tiny Home with anyone in the long term.
SA: Any pets?
MJ: I have one cat who will live with me in the tiny house once I move in full time.
SA: I have cats - I know why you need to live with one. ;) What would you change now living in your space, if anything, if you could?
MJ: I have added some extra hooks and need a curtain for my door but other than that I am enjoying the space very much.
SA: What is your favourite thing about living small?
MJ: All of my expenses (rent, wifi, elec, water, gas, ins) is less than $100 per month.
SA: What is your least favourite thing about living small?
MJ: It is not yet legal to live in my tiny house full time. (Michelle lives in Sherwood, OR, USA)
SA: Do you have any off-site storage?
MJ: I use my main house as storage, until the kids move out, then will have a small storage unit for seasonal and bulky items like tools and sports equipment.
SA: Do you keep your house in one place all the time?
MJ: I have already moved it twice, and plan to do so no more than once a year going forward.
SA: Are you hooked up to water and electric?
SA: How much land do you have?
MJ: I rent a small plot on a tree farm.
SA: What is the weather like where you are?
SA: Do you think cold climates like Canada might have a harder time with this movement?
MJ: Additional attention would need to be paid to the Tiny House build to ensure proper insulation and moisture control but other than that, no.
SA: Do you entertain in your home?
SA: To how many?
MJ: I have had up to 6 people over
SA: In what way?
MJ: We had drinks and it was so much fun!
SA: Do you miss having large dinner parties if this was ever something you did?
MJ: My Tiny House house warming party was the largest party I have ever had and almost 100 people showed up over two hours, and the house was packed the whole time - and I loved it!
SA: Wow - awesome! Did you have to get rid of a lot of your ‘things’?
MJ: I keep only what is important.
SA: How did you preserve the memories?
MJ: With photo albums, and I only kept items that mean a lot to me
SA: What do you do with your paperwork storage?... as in tax stuff, bills…
MJ: I have a small filing bin and once a quarter I move the paperwork from the mail bin to the file bin for permanent storage.
SA: Do you have any hobbies?
MJ: Yes, building stuff. LOL
SA: That makes for a lot of 'things'! ;) How do you manage that?
MJ: ... I am taking on a lake front house remodel as my next "thing".
SA: Your clothes? How do you store this?
MJ: I have a pretty large closet, by Tiny House standards, at 32" wide x 32" deep with double rods
SA: Yes, that is a good size for sure, considering your square footage. Again I think of Canadians and all the seasons of coats and boots… is this an issue for you?
MJ: I have coat storage and boot storage near the entry and bulky items will be put in storage during the summer months.
SA: I also think about small living in the way of condos as that is a huge boom here in Toronto, and the young generation can’t really afford homes so it’s the way of the future - in our city anyway. So great to hear it's not a hindrance but rather a joy and peaceful way of living for you. You have inspired me Michelle!
MJ: Thank you - I heard you were an enthusiast... and just so you know, I am 48 years old and I can't afford a house either! LOL
... it seems like it's a very positive thing that Michelle can't afford a house either. I wish Michelle much luck in getting her home to be approved as a full time place to live. I'll be watching her blog - I hope you will be too.