I’ve been a fan of the tiny house movement for a while, but I had always seen it as some sort of fantasy, something unrealistic that I would never actually build. But when the pandemic hit I started to look it up more seriously, because I had more time at home and I started thinking more about the future. I asked my dad if he wanted to start this project with me, and he actually said yes. So we have been building for around five months, with help from just a few family members and friends. Having started this whole journey I can now see the upsides and downsides of starting this project during these times.
Why I want a tiny house
So I’ve been thinking about wanting a tiny house for a while. When I started to go to art school, I started thinking even more about it, about my future and what I want. Sadly mostly because it isn’t really known as a financially stable career path. And I would like to be more financially independent by having a lower living cost. But also a lot of people at my school are more environmentally active, which got me thinking about what I want to do. I’m definitely not the perfect person for the environment, I’m not even vegetarian. But there are some things that I noticed I do differently now. And a tiny house is a great way to continue with that. another reason to live in a tiny house is that living with a little less sounds like a challenge I want to take, I’m not a minimalist at all and I get joy from stupid things, I also keep things to recycle and make something new out of it, but I truely believe I can live with less.
Why during corona?
So one of the first reasons I actually found the motivation to turn this fantasy into a reality in these moments specifically is because I wanted to spend my summer vacation doing something fun and challenging. Of course this project takes way more time than just a vacation, but with working at home you do save a lot of time by not having to travel to school. There’s a bit more planning involved with studying and building at the same time, but we go build about three times a week, half a day during the week and the entire weekend. When there’s nothing else to do on the weekends I don’t mind working all weekends.
With the pandemic there’s little to do in most countries, there are measures and restrictions that do not allow you to be as social as before. The year before the pandemic I really got out of my shell and started to be really active and social, trying new things and seeking discomfort. So when corona hit, it hit hard because there’s a massive contrast in live before and during. Especially with the schools closing, because I go to an art school that is really social, which is not easy to recreate online. Building the tiny house gives something to hold on to something stable that keeps me busy gives me some social interaction, even though it’s with the family I already live with and it comes with new challenges every time. which can be annoying but it does give a sense of change in this time when it can feel like you’re not able to experience something new.
downsides of building during the pandemic.
So Doing this during corona has not always been easy, we’ve not been sick don’t worry. But there are some limitations, not only when building but also before. looking for a place to build was really hard and I wasted three months doing that, I started looking for places before the summer vacation. Before, after and between online classes. But we were clearly not the only ones renting places to spend time in during the pandemic. There are clearly more people wanting to spend their time in a new workplace. luckily we found a place around the beginning of the summer break and the same day we called to buy and pick up the trailer. Now the struggles while actually building. We could not ask for a lot of help, we only asked help on days we really needed just for muscles, nothing involving cutting too much wood because that creates so much dust, coughing is inevitable. So this is almost only a family project and sometimes an occasional friend. Another struggle is the lack of dust masks in stock at almost every store, and when cutting wood almost every day in summer a mask is something you really miss. Eventually the mask struggle stopped but another struggle came in its place, about a week ago all non essential stores closed and ordering online and two days later picking it up takes way more time then just going by a store and grabbing what you need. Luckily all these things are not big problems. Building a house with almost only the people you live with is pretty covid proof, so the government can’t ‘close’ the project.