Tiny house simplifies life

Illness led her to downsize–drastically


The Resale Evangelista

I have a “thing” for tiny houses.

That’s always been true, though I think their pull is stronger at the moment as I’m selling my current home–which is not so big. There is a purity of function to a tiny house. Nothing unneeded–or at least, not much that’s unneeded–is allowed to take up precious space.

I’m sure it’s because that’s how I would like not only my house, but my mind, to function. Edit away the superfluous to focus on the essential. I’d elaborate but I have to get back to the house and finish cleaning out the closets before I move out for good tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s an article from the New York Times about a woman who, upon learning she has a chronic and serious health condition, pared down to the minimum. And I do mean minimum–she downsized from a three-bedroom house to an 84-square foot cabin she built herself. It’s built on a truck bed, so it’s mobile. This reminds me of the gypsy wagons I saw long ago in Ireland.

The little house that Dee Williams built is a bit too minimalistic for me–it has one propane burner for a kitchen and no shower. She’s parked the house in the yard of close friends in Olympia, Washington, and uses one of their houses if she wants to bake or take a bath. The arrangement has created an intimate community of fewer than 10 people.

I haven’t had a chance to find her book, but she’s written a memoir–The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir (Blue Rider Press)–about her diagnosis of cardiomyopathy and how it caused her to reassess her life. “I started seeing ‘congestive heart failure’ in my health records,” Ms. Williams told the Times reporter.  “If you look it up online, your life expectancy is typically one to five years. The notion of paying a 30-year mortgage didn’t make sense.”

I’m looking forward to reading it and contemplating what’s next–as soon as I get rid of the queen size mattress still lingering at the house, and finish dumping whatever is in the boxes still tucked in the back of the closets. Here’s my advice to any of you thinking you may move in the next four, five, 10 or 15 years–start culling now!



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