Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Start of an Adventure

If anything has caught my attention recently and resonated with my consciousness in such perfect tune, it's the tiny house movement. 

A few months ago, I had never heard the term "tiny house" and I had certainly never imagined living in less than 200 square feet except to go camping. But very quickly I was drawn in - and not just by the amazing pictures of cute, storybook structures with a purpose for everything and everything in its place. I was drawn to the philosophy of the movement. 

I've always believed in the idea of being purposeful with life: with money, with belongings, with my job, with the people I spend time with. I feel that, for the most part, I've done a pretty good job of being a good steward of my time, money and resources. But the tiny house movement is helping me take this to a completely new level. 

It all started about a year and a half ago, in March 2013. Actually, it started long before that, when someone asked my husband (then boyfriend) and me what we really wanted for our future. Despite having been together for several years, it was a surprise that we both always dreamed of running a bed and breakfast. I always thought it would be a great retirement job, and he went to culinary school and wanted to escape the disconnect between cook and patrons. Perfect! We eventually got engaged and immediately started looking for a house. 

We made a list. I believe in the importance of actualizing your dreams by putting them to paper. It had to have 4+ bedrooms, 3+ baths, a mud room, a laundry room, two living areas, a gear room (we're climbers), an office space (I work from home), a deck, a nice yard, and a great location. No problem, I figured! The right house will come along at the right time and we'll just keep saving until it does. I made a financial chart of closing costs, mortgages and maintenance costs so we would know exactly how much house we could afford with the money we had in the bank. 

Fast forward a few years. We got married in 2010 and started travelling with my husband's job (Big Bambu). In between trips, we got pregnant and had a beautiful little girl in 2012. We were still saving and dreaming and house hunting, but life was happening much faster than we had ever imagined. 

Now it's March 2013.I'm a new mom, my husband is working every weekend (he's also an ice climbing guide) and I miss the mountains. When it's cold out, no matter how many layers of warmth and blankets you pile on her, a six month old can only stay out for so long! In between breastfeeding and working and changing diapers, my house hunting turns up two cute cabins on ADK By Owner, both in a good location and both within our budget. But not at all what we were planning. 

And the talk begins: maybe we should rethink our plans, maybe we're thinking too big, maybe we should start small, see if this idea will work before we jump into a second mortgage and the subsequent divorce. Gotta love my husband, he says we should go take a look. And we did, and we fell in love. 

It's a 900 square foot house: 650 square feet of living space, a 125 square foot sleeping loft and 125 square foot of unfinished basement. Post and beam, with a great view of the mountains (we're IN them!), right in the epicenter of a climber's dream. A small house, not a tiny house, and certainly a far cry from a typical bed and breakfast. 

With absolutely no closets. Not. A. One. 

This blog is my journey to downsize our regularly sized American lives into this perfect little house in the Adirondack mountains.