Exposing Home – Reflections on the Tiny House Tour

Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Grow, Recent Posts, Remember | 8 comments

Exposing Home – Reflections on the Tiny House Tour

Last month, we opened our home to the public as part of the SustainFloyd Tiny House Tour. We were happy to share our home and help an organization we believe in all at the same time. What an amazingly full day it was. The tour sold out, and 260 people toured the five homes. Some folks drove a whole day to get here! This is a testament ย to the growing interest in simplifying life and paring down to what really matters. Hooray for that!

We met so many kind and enthusiastic people who loved our home and were grateful to us for opening it. We even got a thank you letter via snail mail. Thanks, Nancy, for taking the time to honor us with a real letter. There were people all over our hillside. My dear friends sat on our parking pad, asking for names and email addresses and directing folks to walk into the woods to see the Grandmother White Oak we are blessed with. At one point, I sat down on the deck, and looked around at all the people wandering our property. Whoa. This is not quiet and private.

I’m a quiet and private person, so spending a full day exposing all the nooks and crannies of our home took it’s toll on me. I wasn’t uncomfortable sharing–I mean we all have underwear drawers, but the amount of interaction took me down. After six hours of tours, we went to dinner and then viewed the awesome and inspiring film, TINY: A Story About Living Small at the Floyd Country Store. Then we sat on a panel with our fellow tiny house dwellers.

The panel discussion was a highlight for me. How cool to sit on the stage with our dear friends and talk about living our lives. Even though the introvert in me had to hide out in a clam shell for a week to recover, this experience was delightful. I never imagined we’d have a home that people would want to tour, let alone one we built with our own hands.

At the end of the day the traffic slowed down, and some guests asked me a deeper question. It got me all philosophical. I think it was something about why would you want to build a bigger house when you are living so well in this one. I thought about it out loud, “Well, we make this work, but it’s not easy, and there are things we love that we can’t fully explore while living in this house. We want friends to visit and have a place to stay. We want our kids to be able to retreat to their creative spaces to paint, dance, play music, etc. We want to have space for sleepovers and potlucks, we want to host music jams in the dead of winter. It’s funny, our world was pretty big when we owned the restaurant–we hosted and entertained people everyday. After the restaurant, our world became quite contained in this little house. It’s been a great learning experience–helping us examine what matters most. As the big house grows closer to completion, I feel our world changing again. Moving into the big house will immediately give us a tiny house to share. We look forward to hosting bed and breakfast guests, to using the tiny house as a teaching tool, and to having more family and friends visit.”

The tiny house has exposed me in ways that I never would have been exposed otherwise, and I’m so grateful for this time of growth. And now I’mย ready to grow into something new. I have this image of me unzipping myself from the tiny house. I step out and stand on top of the tiny house with my arms open. This next phase is full of unknown possibility. That’s pretty cool.

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  1. I can relate to being exhausted as an introvert by all of the activity, but what a wonderful thing you did!

    When La and I were at the White House, we actually met someone who had been on the tour and spoke highly of you and your family. She lives in Floyd but I didn’t catch her name. I thought that interaction (coming from GA to the White House with La Petite Maison and meeting this person from Floyd who had toured your house) was emblematic of the tiny house community – so supportive and tightly knit but expansive at the same time.

    Tiny houses seem to open up the world!

    • That is so super-cool, Suzannah! What a sweet story. And the whole parking your tiny house at the White House–WOW!!! Folks, you gotta read this: http://www.suzannahkolbeck.com/maker-faire-white-house/

      Our tiny house has certainly opened up my world! Cheers, Suzannah! Come by next time you travel north!

  2. Dear Hari – you are the sweetest introvert I know. You share so much wisdom in everything you do. Wish I could live without “my things” but I have downsized a bit. I really try to think about “Do I really need this or just want it”. Hope you have a enjoyable summer.

    • Aww, thanks, Linda. Thanks for reading and sharing a bit of your story.

  3. Hey Hari!

    I remember the feeling of having hundreds of people (mostly strangers) touring our home. It was such an enlightening yet vulnerable experience for us at the Tiny House Conference, yet very rewarding. I also feel that our bus is “Just Right” for now but probably won’t be just right later. Building a home that fits your families needs is the freedom you’ve earned from committing to a practical lifestyle that is very inspiring for others (especially us!) Thank you for sharing your home and words with the world. We hope to see you and your wonderful family again ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Hi Kelly!
      Nice to see you here. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I loved touring your bus. It’s absolutely beautiful. I really did want to get in your tub and take a bath. Thank you for sharing your home! It’s true, needs change over a lifetime. Who knows where we might end up! But for now, yes, our family needs a bit more space. You will know if/when that time comes for you–for sure. Drive that bus up here!

  4. Love reading your blog because I totally relate – living in a tiny house and building a “big house.” We are expecting our second baby and working out how we will fit another person into our space. As I was sorting/cleaning yesterday, I had a this great realization: we have lived in this little house for 3 1/2 years. One would think that in that time, it would have become more cluttered, more filled up. But the opposite is actually true! It has become more livable, less cluttered, better-arranged and organized as we have learned HOW to live in the space. Also, I realized that even if I lived in a bigger house, I would still be going through baby stuff and sorting it, getting rid of the extras, etc. The little house just makes me stay on top of it! I’m actually looking forward to adding a 2nd baby here and the toddler bed/crib bunk bed that my hubby is going to build. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is nice to be content with where you are now, but also looking forward to the next phase in a bigger house. Blessings to you and your family!

    • I love this, Carrie! Thanks for reading and sharing. I have had a similar experience in my relationship to stuff. We’ve learned to let go so well here. Our kitchen shelves are empty at times and I wonder where the stuff went, and then I remember I got rid of it! We feel free living so simply and I’m going to give it my all to keep it that way in the big house. Congrats on your second baby! Best to you and yours, and good luck with the build. ๐Ÿ™‚