Dee Williams only owns 305 possessions. That might not seem like much… but then consider what you have simply in your kitchen cabinets. You probably well exceed that number quickly. She doesn’t own very much because she leads a very simple life in a very small house. Her home is only 84 square feet. Ten years ago she was inspired to downsize (and she took downsizing seriously). Dee had a heart attack and was told she had cardiomyopathy, a fatal condition. Instead of paying a 30 year mortgage and stressing herself out with the upkeep of her three bedroom house, she sold it. She was going to enjoy life.
After taking a trip to an impoverished aread of Guatemala, she was inspired to live “smaller” than what she was.
Her health issues inspired her to make the big (small) move.
So, she bought a trailer, drew up some house plans and put everything into action.
Most of her friends thought she was a kook.
Now, she helps run Portland Alternative Dwellings, a company that provides resources for building tiny houses.
Once her house was finished, she parked it next to a friend’s house…
Then, the shared backyard became a group living room, or The Compound, as they called it.
Ms. Williams used to hitch her home to a truck and drive it to workshops, but now she is more of a homebody.
Dee knows that the tiny house works for now, but it may not work forever. When her brother visits there is barely room for his backpack.
She also knows that she still has her heart condition.
In a book she wrote about her house, The Big Tiny, she talks about her life in the house.
She describes what it’s like to be inside that house: smelling raw cedar and knotty pine; listening to the weather.
“In a big house, it’s easier to ignore what’s going on outside,” she said. “Or you’re constantly trying to compete with nature through your thermostat. I’m more into collaborating with nature now.”
Her life is simpler now, with less worries.
Learning to simplify your life and take things slowly can really add value and happiness to your days. Living in a tiny house certainly isn’t for everyone, but hearing about Dee’s journey is inspiring. If you’d like to learn more about her awesome project, buy her book! (H/T New York Times) Share her story with others by clicking on the link below.