Friday, March 12, 2010

Man In a Mini House

I met this guy, let's call him "Mikey", living in the tiniest of all tiny spaces eva' ... and even though he was not necessarily keen on his tiny house situation I found the basics of his survival to be poetic and just plain cool.
His temporary home in the 'shed' house can't be more then 6 feet by 12 feet... (give or take 2 feet on each side cause i didn't measure) with no running water or real electric source, just an extension cord for a basic thing or two. Mikey washes his hands in the creek below his tiny abode, the creek he has made into a rock landscaped personal oasis for himself.
When he tried running a heater inside the house, the uncovered eaves had invited all types of insects and birds into the roof - so wasps and ladybugs began squeezing out the ceiling cracks, and he'd wake up to a wasp resting on his pillow. He chose not to spray them though cause of the birds making their nests in there too. Instead he makes a fire at night to warm up to outside.
Mikey is a naturalist, private kind of guy - just him and his really sweet dog. I really enjoyed warming by the fire and petting the dog, the dog liked sitting on my feet and putting it's tail dangerously close to the fire. I liked dreaming of tiny house living.

Normally I'd talk about how much people LOVE their tiny eco savvy homes, but Mikey does not like it... there is still so much potential in that simple structure, which was built for "jus' $900" ... i could see a wood stove being put underneath, walling in the bottom to have two tiny stories in the space, the bottom being for heat and cooking, the top for resting. With all the free supplies you can get on craigslist these days, building this kind of tiny structure, or just finishing up an existing one like this could be done virtually for free.

Do any of ya'll have a favorite mini house?! What is the smallest space you'd be willing to live?



George Neher said...

My house is 690 sq feet, I bought the house in 2007 it sits on 1/4 of an acre with a seasonal stream (means when it rains real hard lotsa water from the mountains fills it up) the man from Brooklyn was trying to sell it for 139k, I offered 69k, he took it I took the house and the pile of crap he left me with it. I thought it was too small, then a series of events occurred which allowed me to just trash all of my shit/give it away what have you, now I wish the space was smaller. I have two sheds on the property at about 200 sq feet total, I think I am going to put them together and try living in them for the summer while I do more clean out of the home. I think me and my dog would be comfortable in a one room cabin in da mountains.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey George!
I totally understand. At one time i moved into a 600 sq foot house, and everyone freaked out like "oh my gawd that is so tiny!"... but now i am about to move into a 432 sq foot cabin and the 600 Sq Ft house seems rather large!
It is all about how much 'stuff' ya have, cause if you dont have alot of stuff, or a family who all have alot of stuff - ya can get it really minimalist in a home.

Sometimes I think too, people end up with too much stuff cause they have more space then they actually need. They get more and more, build more storage to get more stuff.

I would love to hear about your summer adventure in your storage house!! Sounds like it'll be fun roughin' it.

Gratuitous said...

Okay, I get it, I really do. I love little cozy spaces too, as all introverts do... they're so safe and warm. Like a hug. And I also get the economic necessities (I lived in a closet in New York for awhile... luckily it was a walk-in). But jeez, we live in a big open world! So if you, Leslie (who embraces the vastness of nature so dearly) strikes a contrast with short walls at night because it's needed and desired and comfy, then what about people like me? I like space. Even space within space. I like having different rooms for different things. I like stuff. Stuff I don't need. Fun stuff (only 5% of which I end up keeping longterm). True, I don't have the responsibility of physical limitations nor financial pressures (to a point) to shape my lifestyle, but I do indeed have social pressures that do. I must give my kids access to all of our world, not just the small spaces (hobbit houses) amidst the large ones (acres of land), but they'll have the perspective of all of it, from Manhattan to the Gobi, if all goes well. I've made much effort and taken great pride in outfitting my new home for living within and without, and I must admit that most of my decisions were made with the idea that other people would experience the results. Therein lies the question: What about people? Wouldn't it be fun to have a dinner party while the blizzard raged outside?

Wild Canary said...

Leslie, my best world is a small, cozy oasis with a larger place for my stuff. I keep trying to live simple, but my stuff multiplies like rabbits. So I need to somehow honor that, while living in the small place. I loved living in my Nissan had a cap, and a cot, and a filter. I used '50's bread boxes and picnic boxes, metal to store my stuff. And I could move to fresh air.
I just didn't have a garden then.
I used to have a 1500 sq ft home with a garden and it was fitted for hospitality. Now my space is fitted for safety from toxics...I do most of my socializing outside. But I still can't help myself...I collect and nest.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Gratu -
I think it's just a matter of personal preference, more then a judgment. The part that may have sounded like a judgment though was my watching people collect alot of stuff they don't need - because of my health problems and because of my intense love for nature I have looked at the mass manufacturing of some stuff (not all stuff) as a major problem. Filling up landfills, cloggin up rivers and streams, litter all over the sides of the roads (even in the pristine area i live).
I used to be a hoarder (massively cramped house full of 'cool' things, and I still love the thrift store and all it's used stuff. It didn't dawn on me, any of this thinking till I experienced losing everything i owned, down to my toothbrush when there was a chemical combustion problem that destroyed my home (i lost all my stuff and the house had to be torn down.)
So i guess it's the polluting & junking up of nature with all the new stuff that isnt needed that bothers me.
I understand that with children people obviously need and want more space - i also have finally realized that there are different types of love languages, and some people show their children love through getting/buying them things... when I was growing up my parents prided themselves on the stuff they got like a trophy of accomplishment (HERE is where personal preference comes in) ---> where their stuff made them feel safe, secure, and happy ... i wanted to go live in the woods in rural louisiana instead because from my child eyes, it looked like the stuff was weighing them down like a big anchor. I thought stuff = it's never going to be enough.

I don't think stuff= unhappiness, OR the lack of stuff = happiness .... I am though really thrilled when I see someone surviving without all the bells and whistles that we have been made to think we need in the USA.

PS- i lived in the tiny New York apartment too, but that is a place where space is needed so badly because there is no land around you, no room to breath, no freedom. A thousand people might be around you, and according to Desmond Morris, we have to pretend all the other people are trees!

Wild Canary -
I do my socializing outside too :) ... depending on the guests. Most friends i have don't seem to use strong chemicals in their clothes anymore, but some do. I have gotten alot better though - my body is healing and having less reactions... but those strong detergents, smell like ass.

I do wish though, that i could do anything i want. ;)


Bort said...

dont you mofo's know we just need some mother effin space?go outside or sumthin NERDS!

Gratuitous said...

Bort, are you implying that the more space we have indoors, the less we step outside? I love it when you comment though. The visual of the burly mountain-man pecking away at a computer keyboard is just delicious. Nerd.

Leslie, I'm so happy for you that you're slowly "recovering." We both agree; the more options, the better. That way, the decisions we make and the paths we take are true choices, exercises in free will. It's a big world, and there are many parts of it that have been patiently waiting for a visit from you.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Right here is my visit to the world, through technology... i am a nerd too.
BTW- i used to be able to drive, and before that i used to be able to travel and did quite a bit of exploring during my teens up till about age 23, when I moved here to North Carolina (then explored western north carolina) -
(here is where i will sound like those douches in Greenlife Grocery trying to pick up on potential lovers by saying places they've been) :: Various parts of New York (the city and the mountains), Arizona, California, Catalina Island, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida beaches.., all across Louisiana, Mississipi, Alabama, and Texas too....
I think that alot of people now base their 'coolness' on the amount of world and US travel they do, but there is so much in their own backyard that they too miss - just as i miss out on the world at large. So, that makes us even right?


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