My reader suggested I should provide an update on my tiny living adventure.
Back in the spring, shortly after I moved into my 320 square-foot trailer (bigger than and about one-tenth the price of a micro-condo in Vancouver) I wrote about my concerns.
First up, of course, was whether I would be able to adapt to a tiny space. How much space does one person (and a 130-pound dog) actually need?
It turns out not very much.
After eight months, I can say it usually feels spacious enough, although I find myself quite frequently tripping over the aforementioned Lady MacBeth. She’s kind of a clingy pup; she likes to be near me always. And they say cats are curious, but any feline I’ve ever known doesn’t hold a candle to my giant canine for being in one’s business.
On the plus side, she doesn’t seem to mind at all being tripped upon.
Tiny living is a bit more minute-to-minute, day-to-day work, too. My countertop appliances (toaster, coffee maker, food processor, stand-mixer), for example, are no longer countertop appliances, they are cupboard appliances.
And I can’t leave my canvasses and painting stuff set up, or my guitars lying about, so I am always shifting stuff around from the areas I’m using to the areas I’m not using.
Generally speaking, you just have to be constantly picking up after yourself. Yes, mom, I know I should be doing that anyway.
Also on the work front, once the freezing weather hit, I had to switch from the on-demand water hookup to filling my freshwater tank every few days, which is a bit of a chore when it’s cold outside.
All of this extra labour was kind of annoying at first, but once I got into the routine of it, it’s actually easy enough and not nearly as time-consuming as I anticipated.
Plus, it’s offset by the labour-saving attribute of being small. I can do a full cleaning of the entire place in less than an hour.
Of course, the really big concern was whether it would be warm enough.
Step one was getting a trailer with the four-season package. Still, I worried a little about whether it meant Arizona four seasons or northern B.C. four seasons. There’s a slight difference there.
That concern was allayed a little bit by the fact the place stayed relatively cool all summer. I think I turned on the air conditioner twice. If it stayed cool in high heat, I figured it would stay warm enough deep cold.
And, of course, I prepared for winter. I built an insulated skirt, shrink-wrapped the windows and braced for the first big test.
Now, we haven’t had a true deep freeze, yet, but there was a stretch in November when it dropped into the minus-20 range and I was fine.
Overall, I am quite comfortable. It is a small space, but it is my small space.
Now I just have to get over the stigma. I still bristle a little bit saying the words, “I live in a trailer.” It evokes all kinds of negative stereotypes.
But that’s just my own neuroses because a) why do I care what anybody thinks, b) why do I think that anybody cares and c) I am otherwise quite content with my situation.