Upon recently perusing Netflix for something to watch, I came across a documentary about small houses. Thanks to television shows such as Tiny House Hunters, I’m a little bit in love with the idea of living small.
They’re always painted as these picture-perfect, tiny homes where living is easy and buying is straight-forward. So much so that I think I can do that. Boy would it be nice to live like I’m camping all the time!
But this documentary opened my eyes a bit while still supporting my dreams for one day living in a tiny house.
The documentary tells the stories of four people as they build their tiny houses. Why are they doing it? In an over-simplified tiny nutshell, to live a life free of further debt.
The film takes place in Portland, Oregon, which made sense to me. It’s really expensive to live there, but the culture and lifestyle of the area align so much with what people seem to want these days, and a tiny house presents a less expensive way of living there, right?
See, I’ve always wanted to build my own house. I love the idea of creating something, building it, and then living in it. It’ll stand there proud and (hopefully) sturdy and then I can say “I did that.” A tiny house is a much more manageable and much less expensive way to do that.
Tiny house, tiny problems, right?
But what I never thought about, and what this filmmaker—Australian Jeremy Beasley—focuses on, is the hardship and struggles that people faced as they build their tiny home.
What I really mean is, there’s more here than meets the eye. While the idea of small living sounds great on the surface, there are a lot of struggles that people face when building and living in their tiny home.
Early on in the documentary, we learn that one of the people the film will follow was living on a spot of land and suddenly told she had ten days to find somewhere else to park her home.
While people love the idea of not being tied down to one location, the idea that yours can be ripped out from underneath you is a scary one that becomes a reality for some people living in tiny homes. Depending on where you live (or want to live someday with your transportable tiny home), zoning laws can affect what you can and cannot do.
This is just one eye-opening aspect of the film. I won’t go into the details because I think you should watch it for yourself. I found the documentary to be really informative and, in fact, recommend it to anyone looking to buy or build a home of any size.
The movie encourages you to think about things in a new way—a way that you wouldn’t think to look at things because of the initial excitement that you get caught up in when making a big step in your life. Because even if your house is tiny, it’s still a big step.
Kayleigh is a content writer with a BA in technical writing/literature and an MA in creative writing. When she’s not at work writing, she’s at home writing, reading, or binge-watching television shows… for research, of course. A big do-it-yourselfer and crafter, Kayleigh loves testing out projects and gifting them to friends and family—all in preparation for when she owns her own home one day and decorates with her own personal creations. Her work has appeared on The Writing Cooperative and as an Honorable Mention in East Meets West American Writers Review.