Growing up, I had this vision of living in a medium-sized home on a cul-de-sac with kids running through the streets, playing ball or the like. In particular, I wanted a house with hallways, because I loved walls of family photos, namely black and white ones. This vision had stayed in my head, and as I drive through the neighborhoods of Chapel Hill or my hometown in NY, the vision stay alive. It’s something that is so commonplace. But why? Why do we need so much space? Why do we have rooms that we only use on the rare occasion of a once-a-year family feast. Our dining room table was hands down my favorite table, but we used it maybe 10 times a year. It was for “special occasions” and the few other times when the kitchen table was overwhelmed by homework, newspapers, textbooks, and other random [school] supplies. The dining room was this extra area, that was seldom loved only when the house filled with guests. Why do we build for those rare moments? More often than not, especially when we’re not strapped for money, it’s because we can and it’s the norm. The more we move away from building for the rare moments that a family of four transforms into a group of 20, the more we realize the excess space and thus, waste we have.
Dear Anne has long tried to convince me that tiny homes were the way to go. The fact that you could actually live in such small quarters, comfortably, was something that I believed was only a dream in her mind…and the minimalists like her. I initially scoffed at the idea, wondering how I would pack the memories that currently fill my apartment into something so small. I still dreamed of the picket fences or maybe the mid-sized apartment near the park in Cambridge, New York, Boulder, or DC. As these tiny homes popped through emails from Anne, around Pinterest, and now, on my newsfeed, I do realize that rewards in them. The fact that your life has moved away from one focused on space to one focused on memories is amazing. I do think that a small, tiny home might be a bit too small for me and my fur vests and black clothes, the ideals that come with them are intriguing and worth remembering.
Now, the conversations move away from only tiny homes and towards shipping container homes. While certainly a trendy look, pulling together refurbished materials in very fashionable ways, I am drawn towards their ingenuity. It’s not new though. People have lived out of these containers, without the poshness that they are now sold with. In that way, I question how we are reselling these containers (I’m guessing that there are more than enough to go around) but love how they’re being reused for farms, college dorms, store fronts in London and disaster relief housing. And right now, as I love this idea, I also think too far in the future, wondering if it’s a worthwhile longterm investment, questioning what good it would be to live in a shipping container besides the ‘cool’ and ‘resourcefulness’ factors. Buying a house or a tiny home are hardly immediate decisions, nor are they ones I want to make right now, but I know that someday it will be time to do so. So I’ll wait until then to decide and use Pinterest to fantasize in the interim.