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Living the Tiny House Way


People everywhere have a lot of questions about life in a tiny house. Their first impression is it's too small. They wonder where all their stuff will go. There's no getting around it. Tiny houses are tiny. But that's exactly what makes them great.

I live in a normal-sized house with my wife and 5 wonderful children. It would be impossible to pack all of us into a tiny house, so I took a trip to Moab to see what living in a tiny house was all about. I looked forward to bluebird skies and spectacular scenery. I had no idea how many new people I was about to meet.

I positioned the tiny house so the sun would light the patio in the morning. The first thing I learned is tiny houses get a lot of attention. I could see their heads turning as I pulled into my spot. I felt for a second like I was on stage. They had that look in their eyes, the look every tiny house owner knows, the look that says,

"Can we see what's inside?"

I gave them my best "Of course!" and started making new friends as they toured the tiny house. Everyone had questions, the kinds of questions excited travelers ask, questions like "Did you build it yourself?" and "How much does it cost?" and "What kind of people live in a house like this?" When you own a tiny house, you get used to hearing about how gosh darn cute it is, too. The attention took some getting used to. I love talking to people, but I'm not used to talking to my neighbors.

But there I was, talking to my new neighbors in Moab like we were old friends. I've never met so many new people in such a relaxed setting. Usually I'm at a conference, or a tradeshow, and there's no time to talk to anyone for longer than 5 minutes. My Moab trip made me realized just how impersonal my life had become, that maybe I needed to re-invest myself in the people around me, my brothers and sisters outside of my immediate family.

Breakfast in a tiny house is different, too. Breakfast is simpler. I stocked the mini-fridge with things I like, easy things that required nothing more complicated than a butter knife to prepare. Crunchy bread, fine cheeses, chocolate milk, fruits and yogurt. The Moab sunrise cascaded across the desert's red rock cliffs, and I realized I never took time at home to enjoy the mornings, even though I have a nice view of the valley. When was the last time I walked out onto my porch in the morning? I couldn't remember.

A tiny house is not just a home. It is a different way of living. It could be just what your soul craves. It's an opportunity to get to know yourself and the people around you better. It is a chance to invigorate your mind, body and soul, a chance to invest your time in the people around you.

You might be a great canidate for a tiny home if:

  • You enjoy mornings on a sun lit porch.
  • There's more to life than the rat race.
  • You enjoy the company of your neighbors.
  • Having too much stuff makes you claustrophobic.
  • You've ever wondered about why you have a formal dining room.
  • Big mortgage payments make you queasy.
  • You like to travel.
  • You think you would enjoy the company of your neighbors.
  • You enjoy solitary pursuits.
  • 30 minutes of cleaning is plenty.
  • You don't want to live with your adult children anymore.

You're probably not a good candidate for living in an Open Trail Homes tiny house if:

  • You're emotionally attached to your "stuff."
  • You need more than one small dog.
  • A large mortgage payment makes you feel like a better person.
  • You like spending 4 hours a day cleaning house.
  • You're proud of your unused formal dining area.
  • You like to keep up with the Jones'.
  • You need 30 pairs of shoes to get by.
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