Spring Update: Living Tiny
As we enter May, not much has changed in the Tiny Mouse House. That's something new for us, as when we were in our large house, we would often have a new wave of items received or purchased during the holidays. Decorative elements would change, replacement of older furniture or appliances, just those usual things one assumes happens when owning a home.
When you live tiny, that really doesn't happen as often. Oh sure, there are seasonal items that might be put away in storage, replaced by something else. But really, even that hasn't happened for us. The biggest change was our tree in the front of our house blowing down during one particularly nasty windy day. Missed the hood of my car by a foot. Maintenance dragged it away the next day and there are no plans I aware of the replace it. It wasn't big enough to provide much shade, but it was a nice addition to an otherwise barren landscape. Just grass now, and that fights with the kudzu for dominance.
Interior and exterior design for our house was carefully planned. We were fortunate in that we found (or had built) everything we wanted. We did not ask for house items for Christmas, because we wouldn't have anywhere to put them. We don't purchase "knick-knacks" or collectibles anymore, because there is no where to display them. Oh sure, we'll find the occasional item that we know has to fit, but it comes with a much longer decision process. Where is this going to go in the house? Would it replace something we really like, or is there a space for it without adding clutter (something we really try hard to avoid, and which I believe we've succeeded at.) And above all else, does it fit each "land" - the theme of each of the 5 distinct interior areas or the general external aesthetic?
And this extends to all purchases. A new book? Does it fit on the shelves (they have themes per shelf, and some are near their limits). A new shirt? Will it fit in the closet, and if so, what will it replace that has to go back into storage and thus not warn in "regular rotation"? Even grocery shopping requires consideration of where will that be stored? I wanted to cook a recipe I found last night, for example, but realized that some of the backup items I used to keep in the pantry at the old house were either over in the storage unit or simply had to be purchased because keeping it for no immediate reason is a waste of valuable space.
I want to stress here that this is in no way us complaining. Sure, there are things that have taken getting used to. And there are things that, really, I wish we had designed for better. But that is no different than the house before, regardless of space. Examples?
One is I wish we would have placed the bedroom mini-split up in my loft. The heat, especially with the electronics I have up there, gets nasty during the summer. I have a box fan running on a schedule every day to circulate the air from the living area (which stays really cool thanks to the mini-split there, with the awning and solar shades in the windows two of the best purchases we made - and they look great!) But yeah - knowing what I know now, I would eliminate the entire window up there and have a mini-split in it's place. Maybe someday that might be a change I have made. And as for the bedroom, we run it mostly in winter to combat the cold. But honestly, a floor heater would work as well.
And there are other, smaller things - a shelf in a different spot, wishing we had taken our builders' advice and gone with a light weight ladder for the other loft instead of the heavy maple one (which is BEAUTIFUL but unwieldly.) Things like that. Many of which we can still correct ourselves in the years to come.
Overall, though, after 8 months living in it, we still love it. The build quality Arlin and Dominic at Forever Homes put into this home for us has so far proven true to the name "Forever". It feels high quality and solid, built to last. We are working with them on resolving some grout issues in our shower, with the only other issue being a "swelling" front door that sticks when opening and closing due to change in temperatures - something I think I just need to attack again with a sanding block so I can get it repainted before the summer heat sets in.
Spring brings "honey do" lists in a tiny house just like any other place. And there are some maintenance tasks I need to get done soon. Like checking the tire pressures, changing out the water filter next month, starting up the backup generator to make sure it's running well and not having issues for sitting too long - we've been lucky this past year with practically no power outages, but that may change with PG&E this summer, so better to be prepared. I need to climb up and at least visually inspect the roof. And we need to plan for a professional cleaning of the house and awning soon - fortunately we have a company that does a great job for a reasonable price.
I guess the real point of this blog post, if there is one - heh - is that living in a tiny home brings the same tasks and considerations and maintenance as a larger house. It's all relative, and tiny doesn't mean small and uncomfortable. It means compact and smartly planned. It means cozy and inviting. It means home is still home, regardless of size.
We are so very proud of where we live. I personally still get goose bumps when I see it when I get home at night, rounding the corner as the Mickey Mouse icons come into view, the gorgeous black-and-white Sunsetter awning framing the front. I feel so much pride when I see people stop and double-take when they see the house for the first time, and the look on a child's face when they point and smile and laugh and the glowing Mickeys and the color show from underneath the house at night. I get giddy when I visit each "land" as I walk through the house, so proud that we have achieved what we imagined. That it WAS possible, that we found the perfect partners to make this happen and that we did not - and still will not - settle for anything less than the culmination of our dreams. When I see our shower, I still search for the hidden Mickeys. When I sit in my recliner, I still look around and gaze at all of the decorations - not too many, not too few - and feel that warmth of Disney magic wash over me. And when I sit in my chair, up in my Adventurer's Loft, I let myself disappear into a magical environment of immersive Dolby Atmos sound, 4K HDR visuals and Hue lighting, flashing to the visuals and illuminating the decorations and environment that make me feel more relaxed and enveloped in the magic that we designed and brought to life and....well, I love it more and more every day....
....And yet there is still more to come. Spring is just one season. This is still just the first year. Oh, the things we have planned. The world is coming back online. The magic is returning at the parks. And we're just getting started. :)
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Disney fans, gaming addicts (well, one of us is) and devoted parents. And Disney fans.....did we mention Disney fans?