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Tiny Houses: The Next Big Thing?
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As winter wanes, my thoughts often turn to the great outdoors - and clearing out the great indoors. Maybe its a uniquely American thing, but like almost everyone I know, "stuff" quickly accumulates in my home. Whether its too many clothes, too many plastic kitchen storage containers, too many lawn tools or multiples of everything I own, "stuff" seems to develop a life of its own...like the Blob of b-movie fame. After years of accumulating the stuff of life, I often fantasize about shedding it all and living more simply. Do I really NEED all this stuff? Stuff for every season, stuff for major holidays, stuff for various sports, hobbies, and interests, even a few unfinished projects languish among the "stuff".

Then, l saw "it" online. The "it" was an ad for a tiny house. I'll admit, I thought it was just creative marketing to sell storage sheds. But no, these were actual tiny homes - some on wheels, some on foundations - some floating - replete with tiny kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. Granted, a tiny house is not for everyone. But if you're all about downsizing your life, or getting back to basics, a tiny house will truly test your mettle.

Although I'm not quite ready to dedicate myself to a totally spartan/monastic lifestyle, the thought of thinning out the stuff of life is rather appealing. Perhaps a tiny house in the backyard would be an easy first step in practicing for a simpler lifestyle. Less stuff means less to maintain and worry about. But would less stuff also equate to a less interesting life? My hope is that it would lead to a more engaged, outward focused life. After visiting countries like Egypt and India a while back, I was always amazed at how content people were, even though they very little "stuff" and often only the most basic shelter. They may know something that many of us spend our lives searching for - inner peace, tranquility and simplicity. It certainly doesn't come from acquiring more and more stuff, does it?

Back to the tiny house. I love the idea of the tiny house. I really want to see if I can live in a tiny house. For now, it might be best to put one in the back yard as a daily reminder to "keep it simple, stupid!". And when the "stuff" of my modern life gets to be too much to bear, all I have to do is leave it all behind and move into the tiny house for the weekend. Ironically, my biggest fears are that my tiny house will just become a place to put more stuff - or that the tiny house itself becomes another item of stuff I really don't need.

Here's where you can check out more Tiny Houses:

tumbleweedhouses.com

tinyhouselistings.com

fourlightshouses.com