Living in a Shoe Box


Let’s talk tiny houses for a second.

Living in a tiny house is not for the faint of heart.

When people ask me what it is like to live in a tiny house I usually reply, “It is like living in a shoe box. With the shoes.

For the record, I have zero regrets about building Midge.

When people ask about what it is like to “go tiny” I always laugh. I didn’t downsize at all.

I gained my very own bathroom and my very own kitchen.

In my life I have only ever occupied a single bedroom. I just do not own the amount of things the average 30-year-old American owns. I don’t even come close.

It is completely unfair of me to brag about my experience in a tiny house. For me, it was a major upgrade. I could lock my door. I didn’t need to wear pants. I was free!

When I was designing the plans for my house I started dating a very kind, very tall man. I tried to describe the plans over the phone and he asked me how tall my bathroom was going to be under my loft space.

“Oh probably six feet or maybe six feet two inches.”
“Six feet?! That’s really short!”
“Well, I’m really short,” I retorted.
“I’m six foot three.”
“Yes, but it isn’t your bathroom. You do not need to insert yourself into my future.”


Yes, I am that much of an ass.

{Side note: I was 28 and had just barely started my very first romantic relationship. I am really really really bad at this.}

The thing is this: I was right.

I started this project before I ever started dating a tall man who lived many states away. I was building a house for me. To be strong. To show I could do it. To make shelter for myself. To live lighter on the earth. To save water (because a composting toilet does not require water).

I was doing this for me.

There was no need for me to build a bathroom tall enough for a man who would never live in my house.

For a short stint we talked about the future. Our future. It makes me dizzy thinking about it. What was I thinking?

I asked him what he thought about living in a tiny house and he tried, oh did he try, to imagine getting rid of the beautiful things he had collected. 38 years of treasures sprawled across three or four rooms in a big house.

When I saw his place for the first time, I understood. He doesn’t just have stuff. He literally has treasure. Art and artifacts line the walls and bookshelves and mantles. When you see his place, it’s like walking into a museum. It’s magical and mysterious and filled right up to the ceiling.

From the ages of 18 to 26 I moved every single year of my life. I was really good at fitting my entire world into my car in one trip. It is the life I choose. It suits me.

But it is not for everyone.

I understand the choice to build an ultra tiny house is the choice to live alone. It’s the choice to not entertain dinner guests. It’s the choice to not have pets (a cat would love it here, but my allergies would definitely not). I am essentially the old woman in the shoe without all the kiddos.

And I kind of like living in a shoebox.

Welp, it’s time to clean my house. Seven of my things are out of place and that means the house it completely trashed.

{Side note numero dos: The very tall man and I did not break up because of my house. I am a hot mess, but I am not so uncompromising that I wouldn’t just sell Midge and move elsewhere.}

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