I think we all like to put our best foot forward in life, particularly when we are put in situations where we think others might judge us. This is perhaps never more obvious than when we worry about what our life “looks like” to others.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m not careful I worry about what I wear when I have an important event to attend. I worry about how clean my car is when I offer to drive a group from work to lunch. And I worry about the cleanliness of my home when guests come over. None of these things are bad necessarily, but I think we often act like the picture perfect version is also the day-to-day version of our life.
I keep a relatively orderly home, but like most people I allow stacks of stuff to pile up from time to time and I don’t vacuum quite as much as is probably prudent. Even in my tiny home, I often find myself running around and cleaning like crazy before I have company in order to create the illusion that my house is always ready to entertain.
Lately, I have asked myself why I care. I think part of it is my desire to have a home that looks like the ones I have always seen in Better Homes and Gardens and Real Simple. These homes always look so pristine and inviting. I somehow believe that this is what real life looks like, if not on a logical level, certainly on an emotional level. This illusion of real life means I can still stress about the appearance of my home.
So you can imagine my unease when my tiny house was featured in a magazine this month. The Citizen Airman magazine published a great article about tiny living, which included a two page spread of pictures of my house (you can see the online version here). Fortunately, I was able to provide “magazine-worthy” shots, but it still made me nervous to know that more than 70,000 people might see my home!
This publication shared my story with an entirely new audience, and it led to a lot of interesting conversations, but one comment that stood out to me was, “I could never live in a Tiny House because I couldn’t keep my house that clean!” It made me realize that while I do strive to keep my house orderly, even my tiny house isn’t always picture perfect. What bothered me was that in some ways I had created and perpetuated unrealistic expectations of what tiny house living looks like to a whole new audience.
With that in mind I wanted to show you what “real life” looks like in a tiny house. My goal is to start sharing more “real” moment with all of you in the upcoming weeks and months. I want to share “real life” because I want all of you to know what it is really like to downsize. I think it’s important to share the exciting stuff and some of the challenging stuff. So without further ado…here are some new views of my tiny house.
This is what a tiny house looks like when you come home from the store and realize you didn’t actually need or want everything you bought and you are too tired and worn out to clean up the stuff you took out of your car.
This is what a tiny house looks like when you are cooking a meal in the evening. Cooking in a tiny house takes every inch (and sometimes more) of counter space and cooktop space. It can also test your problem solving skills while trying to constantly arrange and rearrange cooking ingredients, pots, pans and plates.
And this is what a tiny house looks like when you have gathered up a box of stuff for Salvation Army, but haven’t quite made it there yet (it’s been there for more than a week). This is also what it looks like when your dog has decided the back cushion of your comfy chair is also comfortable for him…if you could zoom in close enough you would see piles of dog fur : )
Although I love the magazine quality pictures of my tiny house, these other picture are closer to what my house looks like on a day-to-day basis. I’d love to hear your reactions to these pictures!