“I enjoy reading your blog,” my uncle told me during a recent family event, “but it doesn’t really apply to me.” He was talking about the Tiny Tuesday feature, in which I explore how to make one’s lifestyle more efficient and less resource-intensive, mainly via small houses. It was a great chance to step back and reflect on my target audience.
My uncle grew up in a house that was, by the standards of the day, very large. He got married and raised two of the coolest cousins I could wish for in a considerably smaller house. Now retired and empty-nested, the couple lives in a large house once more, with plenty of room for guests. My uncle raves about having multiple full bathrooms and a shower big enough to turn around in. He values the level of comfort and feels he’s earned it.
For all we say and write about tiny houses, there’s no strict definition of what a tiny house is. Small-living pioneer Jay Shafer, maybe the only person qualified to write such a definition, offers this: “Any house is a tiny house if the space is used well.” It doesn’t have to be on wheels or take up less than 500 square feet. But it does need to be lived in and appreciated to the last detail. I think my uncle does a good job of that!
A lot of people struggle to use their spaces well. But if you’re comfortable with your lifestyle, living within your means and eliminating waste where you can, then maybe you can find value in this feature by helping others to reach the same goal. Tell friends and family how the average American household uses only 40% of its space. Urge your local government to reduce the minimum square-footage in building codes, legalize accessory dwellings, and permit affordable housing developments. Volunteer at the nearest Habitat for Humanity chapter or make a donation.
And thank you all for reading.