The Responsibility To Encourage

Do you remember when you discovered the concept of tiny house living? That pivotal moment when you stepped foot in your first tiny house! Think about the process: sketching out your dream home, analyzing every bit of functional space, and carrying a tape measure with you everywhere. Do you remember when you hit frustrating times with the building or placement of your tiny house? There were days that you just needed someone to talk to about your hopes, dreams and frustrations.

Do you remember when you discovered the concept of tiny house living? That pivotal moment when you stepped foot in your first tiny house! 

If you've been through this uncertain and trying process to come out on the other side and embark on your dream, then I would challenge that within this peaceful existence there is a responsibility to nurture and mentor those coming behind. A word of encouragement can be a breath of fresh air to those who are just coming into the process of going tiny. Those of us who have been successfully living tiny provide hope for those who are starting to dream. Don't discount your power to impact someone's life; as we all know the tiny house life comes with unique challenges for each of us. What if we sat and listened to someone new to the process? What a hopeful perspective we can provide for them! Experience is priceless.

I am fortunate that I had a mentor in the community who helped me get very clear on my dreams and envision what life would look like in the tiny house. As I came up against decisions regarding functionality of the tiny house space, a financial decision or parking choice I learned to simply come back to my dream life vision and do a gut check. Intuition is invaluable, but sometimes you need an outside voice to urge you to listen to it. My mentor did that for me and I knew it was imperative that I do the same for others.

As people inquire about your build or builder I'd suggest being as open as you are comfortable with. My first connection with a client looking at using the same builder as I have became one of my most treasured friendships from halfway across the country. I was able to share my experience with the builder and encourage her as they faced challenges of their own in the process of going tiny. Not only is this a rewarding friendship, but I see the knowledge she has gained being shared freely as well. It is beautiful to see people that you have counseled begin mentoring people on their own.

We are all bound together by many common denominators. We have a built-in connection from the moment we meet; tiny house living is not just a want for a cute house, it is deeper, more spiritual than that. There are many times you will just know the common denominator the moment you are in someone's presence. This happened to me in a coffee shop recently as I worked beside a gentleman who gave off an aura of a simpler life, of intentionality with his every move. Soon I noticed that he was working on a digital sketch of a tiny house of all things! I had to know more, and we ended up in conversation for several hours passionately discussing his build, the vision for his sustainable life and the dream for our local community as it embraces simpler living. By the end of the encounter we had scheduled a tour of my place. I was able to share my space with he and his partner as we brainstormed and dreamed together. That spontaneous (umeavesdropping) moment has left quite the impression on me.

You never know where an opportunity to develop a new relationship may strike! Can you see how your experiences can serve someone else? I'd encourage you to keep an open ear and an open heart to find someone to mentor. It is our responsibility as practitioners of a more intentional life to be deliberate about sharing information and encouraging others.

We have a built-in connection from the moment we meet; tiny house living is not just a want for a cute house, it is deeper, more spiritual than that.

Written by: Ashley Sutterfield

for the Tiny House Magazine Issue 69 (Just Published)

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Will - September 19, 2018 Reply

HI all,

I love to hear all the progress are making bringing tiny houses to the world. As a semi-retired builder and energy auditor, I am, perhaps hyper-conscious of energy use and waste patterns.
Despite best intentions, I’m sure, the photo of the two guys putting in wall finish shows the absolute worst example of good insulation practices. That wall, despite the investment of time and energy, will have a very low effective R value, probably 2 or 3–really. That wall is like using a colander to carry water.
I implore folks to research effecting thin wall insulation and weatherization practices. MY self, I install polyiso rigid foam with a half inch gap all around which I fill with foam in a can- on a pro gun. maximum R value and inherent infiltration proof.

Cheers, Will

maryann kerbyout - September 20, 2018 Reply

My husband and I are selling our house and moving into our camper going from 1850 sq ft to just about 260 sq ft with 3 cats !! We are in our early 70’s and need to down size. Our daughter and son-in law are gracious for letting us keep the camper on their land and providing us with electricity and water… This will be a new experience for us both so wish us luck… We want to go tiny in the future so if any one has some good ideas please send them my way… Thanks M Kerby

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