A while (57 days, 3 hours and 12 minutes) ago my family and I moved into a small house. We are doing a total gut + addition on our normal sized house so we needed to find a rental. I was reluctant to move and asked the contractor if there was any way we could just make it work with staying put.
“Well, we’re ripping out all three bathrooms… but,” he said with a glint in his eye like he was about to solve a major world problem, “We once set up a hose and bucket situation for another woman who didn’t want to move out – maybe we could do the same for you?”
I don’t know what type of person takes advantage of a “hose and bucket situation”, but that person is not me. Was the bucket for the poop or to stand in as you rinsed out your conditioner with the hose? Or both at the same time? I had so many questions but there was not time. I had to find a rental house.
First was the issue of finding a place to rent for a short amount of time, which narrowed down the playing field significantly. Lucky for me, school ended right as my search began so I spent the first days of summer break schlepping three kids around town to look at various apartment complexes while simultaneously bribing them with everything and everything. My kids are very familiar with curse words but this was a week where their vocabulary expanded to include a whole new language.
“Now listen kids,” I said, turning on the van and backing out of the cracked, overgrown parking lot, “I’m going to teach you something new today. That place was the literal definition of the word ‘shit hole’.”
Despair was beginning to settle in like turds in a bucket, so I was very happy when a friend called and told me she knew someone who had a house for rent that was sort of near the kids’ school and also in our price range. Yes it was small but not a shit hole. Besides – I was looking forward to simplifying life for a while. I excitedly sold about 50% of our stuff on Facebook marketplace (which… wow people of the earth) and stuffed 25% of the stuff we want to keep in the one room of our house not being touched. The remaining 25% is what we took with us – a couch, beds, TV, a bag of hair bows and our pet fish.
We’re now two months in.
“How are you getting along in your rental?” My friends ask, their lips peeled away from their teeth like they’re asking how that cricket got into my salad.
“I actually love it,” I say, confusion clouding their expressions. Much to my surprise, I love living in this tiny little house. I mean – I wouldn’t shake a stick at another bathroom, but here are my five favorite things about living here:
- Bonding. We have one bathroom, and that bathroom is about the size of a juice box. The other morning one of my kids was taking her sweet time on the pot and I needed to get into the shower stat. I walked in naked, cat posed over her on the toilet and turned on the shower. My boob poked her in the forehead, she screamed as I launched into, “I wish somebody would have told me babe… someday these would be the good ‘ole days…” looked lovingly into her terrified eyes and hopped on in to wash my hair.
- And more bonding. Our other house is far from huge, but there is definitely more than one place to hang out. Here we are all together all the time. One of the few things I brought with us is a deck of cards and my 6-year-old is turning into quite the little poker player.
- Punctuality. We went from living 45 seconds from school to approximately 10 minutes away. I’m usually the mom screeching into the drop off lane on two wheels to make it there just before the bell rings anyway, so I set my alarm for 4:30am on the first day of school to make sure we weren’t late. However, it’s amazing how quickly kids get ready for school when you are up. their ass. There is no escape from me.
- Cleaning. Not my strong suit, and #92387493874 on my list of favorite things to do. Still not my favorite, but much less painful than before. The fact that we are living with the bare minimum means we have very little clutter and pick up takes me less than 5 minutes. I can knock out the whole house with one Swiffer cloth. The 4 cubic inches of counter space can be wiped down lickety split. Look at me, all Ma Ingalls domestic!
- Utility heaven. My husband is Nanook of the North and likes his environment as such. Me being the opposite leads to some fun and interesting marital challenges we are working to overcome. To any crime scene investigators who may be reading this in the future looking for clues into mysterious circumstances that may or may not surround any homicide that may or may not have taken place – FUN AND INTERESTING CHALLENGES *hides shovel* Anyhoo, small house means we only have four rooms to heat and cool, and for the first time since our wedding day our electric bill has been in the double digits. Hallelujah.
“I love that you love this house, but you do realize we are paying a lot of money to do the exact opposite to our house, right?” My husband informed me the other night at dinner.
And I’m not saying I’m not excited to get back into our regular house in a few months. More than one bathroom is going to be like living in Buckingham Palace. However, I do anticipate a bit of an adjustment period with giving up so much of the free time I’ve become accustomed to here in the tiny house *types curse words into label maker*