Tiny houses: You do it your way, I'll do it mine!
As with all things house, I see that right now, tiny houses are A Thing. A big thing. There seems to be a fevered race to the bottom--bottom square footage, that is. I was watching one of the many shows about this lifestyle a few months ago, and a couple was actually excited that they could not stand up on the second floor of their tiny house. One couple even had a home where the second "floor" was tiered! "Hey, look! I can not stand up in my bedroom, and then I can not stand up even more a couple of inches to the left, in my office! I can't even open my laptop all the way! How efficient and awesome I am!"
Another person who was looking at tiny houses actually considered one where the whole bathroom becomes the shower. Well, at least that would save you needing to wipe. I mean, after all: That pesky toilet paper takes up valuable inches, and it's bad, anyway, because it kills trees!
I recently moved to West Virginia. There have been tiny houses here for generations. They are called mobile homes. People get by living in them without needing to give them a fancy, trendy name. They are, in fact, tiny houses. This is not new. Honestly, it's not even innovative. I mean bully for the guy whose pantry doubles as his office, and good for the woman whose kitchen sink doubles as her bathtub. That's gross, but it's not that unusual in these parts. Hell, I know people who manage to store all of their antiques, car parts, and twenty cats in a one-bedroom trailer. They are so efficient, they even have room behind the bathtub for a family of raccoons!
I fully respect the desire to downsize and live simply and be greener. These are goals that I share. My number one hobby is Getting Rid of Shit. I don't know where the stuff comes from. All I know is I have a lot of it, even when I'm sure I don't. It turns up, I get rid of it, I feel awesome, I turn around, and there's yet more shit to get rid of. I really admire people who are able to let go of things so that they can live life on their own terms. I've done some of that, too, recently. In fact, the biggest thing I have gotten rid of was my job. Paring down really does free up time, as it turns out. You can do anything you want when you're marginally employed! Good luck paying for it, though!
I do stop to think from time to time about how nice it would be not to have to worry about mowing a lawn or paying a large electric bill or having a chimney cleaned, or how my shoes can be incorporated into my furniture so they don't need their own storage space, but the truth of the matter is I need my sprawl. I have lived in a tiny space before, and not just in college. The biggest thing I learned from these experiences is that I'm living space claustrophobic. I like knowing where my clothes are, but I also like not being able to smell them, for instance.
What I do like is being able to go to a different part of the house and forget that I live with other people. I like to be in my studio or my bedroom and not hear people flushing the toilet or opening or closing doors or, I don't know...existing. I like not being able to see my neighbors' houses and not being able to walk to the grocery store. I like that it takes fifteen minutes to go get the mail. My current apartment has the same square footage as my old townhouse. It's like a tiny house-inside-a-house. (Hey, maybe that can become a thing!)
All of this is to say that everyone has a way they like to live. There are a lot of interesting housing concepts out there. There are a lot of ingenious designs. There are a lot of people trying to live in a way that helps or at least doesn't hurt the planet. All of these things are admirable and interesting, but not all of them need to be a thing. Some of them can just be your thing or his thing, and that's a great thing!