When my husband and I decided to move out of our two-storey house to a one floor, 3-meter-wide home, with a living room that barely fit a coffee table and sofa together, the most common reaction from friends and acquaintances was something along the lines of, “are you OK?”
People thought we must be in financial trouble to give up a master bedroom bigger than some people’s apartments ( someone literally described it that way when they saw it ) to one where you could barely take a step before hitting a wall.
I have visited houses that appear 100 meters wide, where you have to communicate with your helpers through a walkie talkie because even the marble floors and walls do not carry the echo of your voice, when shouting at the top of your lungs, far enough.
These houses are so massive you could probably keep a pet horse in its soccer pitch-sized yard, with garages that are more opulently decorated than a person’s home ( I’m pretty sure cars don’t care where they spend the night ). Others are so spacious the occupants feel the need to have a whole other living room inside their bedrooms because their actual living room is too much of a trek to access.
Still, at some point I realized that a human being needs only so much space to live. I’m sure some statistician has averaged out the ideal average square meters of living space per person ( and or couple since I’m married ), but my moment of realization came when my housemates left and it dawned on me that if it were not for them I probably wouldn’t use three quarters of the space in the house.
In my old house, I might have been considered one of those clichéd people who needed to have my household helper do everything for me. I’m not a morning person and the trek downstairs to the kitchen at 7:30 a.m. in my zombie state would probably end in disaster most days! But morning daze aside, the house was so high maintenance it required two helpers to care for it, not to mention buying all the stuff to keep it clean and functioning, and more specialized maintenance work like AC cleaning. It was almost a whole other full time job.
At some point I found it ridiculous that I was working hard to pay for people and things for the upkeep of a place I hardly spent time in because I also have a real full time job. There was also the drama associated with having multiple house helpers, which is enough to make a person want to move to a hut on a deserted island. At some point throughout the month one of them would decide to resign by SMS because I told them off for not cleaning something properly.
In my tiny house, I make my own coffee every morning. It takes about two steps to get to my adorable small kitchen. We now have eight dining plates and eight sets of cutlery and because we only have three chairs we never invite more than two other people into the house. I realize that having two mugs between a couple is more than enough, but we have kept a spare in case guests also want coffee or tea.
Moving out of the big house was part of a reorganization of my life and the way I live it. As I get older I have come to realize that there is much unnecessary baggage in life that I don’t need that can be easily ditched to make life better and easier. The monster house was one of them. I don’t need things to feel fulfilled, what I need are people, and more time with them. Cutting out the unnecessary hassles in life leaves you with more time to do more meaningful things. — Tessa Wijaya