January 24, 2015

Tiny house too tiny for the wardrobe I love

Today I hung up my clean clothes that have been piling up, and I know it'd be nice to live in a space where my clothes don't pile up like this.  A tiny house, perhaps?

I have been obsessing about living in a tiny house for several years.  A friend pointed out that since most of the realms in which one could set roots or derive stability (financial, romantic, home, health) were all in question this past year (terrible financial situation, no romance til recently, not knowing where I'll end up after my fellowship, surgery last January and recovering from that), that a tiny house represented "just a tiny bit of stability".  Totally.  A tiny house would allow me to move wherever I end up, I could be self-contained, and it would decrease my financial woes (less/no rent).

I've looked into it seriously several times.  I know some of the people in DC that live in tiny houses.  I have considered buying an already-built home, or building my own.  I have considered the benefits of using SIPs versus building walls myself.  I know how much it would cost, more or less.  I know how I would design my tiny home.  I have friends who have offered me their back yard as a parking spot.  I've read The Big Tiny and met Dee Williams. I watched Tiny: A Story about Living Small and met Merete Mueller at the DC Environmental Film Festival last year.

And yet...

I asked Merete Mueller, "I would love to live in a tiny house. I have lived on boats and know I could live in a small space, and I would love the financial freedom it would provide, but I'm an artist.  Do you know many artists that live in tiny houses?  What do they do with their materials?"  She very logically replied, "It's not a contest to see who can live in the smallest space.  If you are an artist and you have materials that you need to do your work, you could rent a separate work space, but maybe a tiny house is not best for you.  Maybe just a small house or apartment works better for you."

And that's what I keep coming back to every time I find myself considering tiny-house-living again.  Not only do I have and enjoy all my art materials, but I also have a large wardrobe.  Those are the two things I'd have to majorly purge if I did live in a tiny house: art and clothes.  Yesterday I watched this youtube video on a woman who explains how and why she has decreased her wardrobe to just 33 pieces.

It's inspiring.  But...  at one point she says, "I decreased my wardrobe so that it wouldn't cause me stress in the morning.  If I only have a few options, then I make more time for the things I really enjoy in my life.  Most people don't derive a lot of joy from getting dressed."  I totally respect that.  But, for me, I DO get a lot of joy from dressing myself in the morning.  I really enjoy expressing myself creatively through my clothes.  I am not stressed in the morning getting dressed.  On bad days getting dressed is one of my favorite parts of the day.

I have a lot of clothes.  I certainly do not NEED this many clothes, and sometimes I let them pile up before putting them away.  But to follow William Morris' advice, I find them both useful and beautiful.  I regularly purge and I feel good about my usage.  So that's that, I guess.  For now.