August 19, 2015

How the Tiny House Movement turned me Into a Hater.

tiny house on land

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Warning: naughty language ahead.

The Tiny House Movement has shown me myself.

I have taken the opportunity to look in the mirror and I see a hater. I hate tiny houses and their movements. You know what else has “movements?” Bowels. Coincidence? I’m not saying Tiny Houses are shit, but you know it’s something to think about.

Full disclosure: my husband and I live in a 2400 sq. ft. house.

Yes, I hear you. That’s a lot of space for two, but not really. There are only two of us and we are not tiny people. We have two dogs, also not tiny. We entertain a lot. Does this sound like rationalization? Perhaps. But we also host a lot of overnight guests (usually families) because of our geographical desirability to one Disney Land. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

We happen to live not far away and our place seems to be Ground Zero for many visitors to the Happiest Place on Earth. Not for nothing, but talk to the ghost of Walt Disney about Tiny Houses and see what he has to say. Not one Tiny House on his horizon.

I can justify our large house as a sort of Statue of Liberty in Southern California. Bring us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to escape a grown-ass adult in a duck suit. We are here for you, weary travelers. We have guest rooms, an extra bathroom and soft couches with feather stuffed cushions. Isn’t this the epitome of sustainability? We are sustaining our friends and loved ones and helping them save money too with our ersatz bed and breakfast.

Being an avid watcher of HGTV (Home and Garden TV for the uninitiated) I find myself waiting for new episodes of their number one most watched show “House Hunters.” I am always delighted to see a couple or family getting into their new digs and hoping they don’t get divorced in the interim. The stress of buying a new home is a rite of passage for most adults. Just one of the stressors of buying a tiny house lies in the knowledge you can never eat broccoli again…if you plan on having guests.

I giggled to myself when I saw the first ads for the tiny house movement invade websites I perused. With headlines like “Be Eco-Conscious!” and “Leave a Smaller Footprint!” and “Sleep Sitting Up!” Lying down to sleep is just for sissies and the selfish, apparently. And now even HGTV has betrayed me with “Tiny House Hunters,” and “Tiny House-Big Living.” Et tu, HGTV? Et tu? But I watched like you can’t help but do when you see a horrible car wreck, with shaky hands over my eyes.

I have seen real people; seemingly normal people buy and live in a coffin sized house. I’ve had bigger doll houses than some of these so called living pods. And I don’t want to tell you your business, tiny house dwellers, but there is not enough room to have sex in those things without sustaining a head injury. If Ken had bought a tiny house for Barbie, he would never have gotten any action.

There is no room for coitus or even scissoring. Ask Midge.

I do not believe tiny houses are the guide posts that will lead us into the future. Most of the people who decide on living in a tiny house put them on large pieces of property. You can say that the extra land space will be for a garden or hosting dirty hippies in a drum circle, but aren’t you really considering a tiny house so you can look down on your friends and family in regular sized houses?

Maybe I’m being short sighted. Maybe having a house so small you must shower outside is a cure for the world’s consumerism ills. Maybe having your windows removed from your tiny house so you have more wall space for your art is a good thing for overcrowding issues. Perhaps divesting yourself of all of your worldly possessions to live in a storage shed will be a gift to the future sustainability of our planet.

You know who else lives in sheds: insane people and serial killers.

I understand wanting to invest in our future with sustainability. I understand the desire to leave a smaller carbon footprint. But let’s be honest: does shitting in a “dry flush” toilet that requires you to bag up your daily constitutions and throw them out like you are a cat, because your tiny house can’t fit a regular shitter, really help anyone?

And if you are living in a tiny house are you really living? It can’t be much of a life carting your own poop to the compost heap surround by flies.

I envision myself living in a smaller place as I get older because I hate cleaning a big house. I don’t know that I will ever be comfortable in a tiny coffin house but who knows? Maybe they will grow on me. I will want indoor plumbing but I may be able to compromise on the number of shoes I have.

Go ahead and live in your shoe box or your shoe. I’ll be over here burning sage to shake off my tiny hate.





The Problem with Tiny Houses.


Author: Melissa Morgan

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Tammy Strobel/Flickr


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Megan Jan 20, 2016 2:17pm

I don't hate them, but am fascinated at the movement to paint them ,on most of these tv shows, as being all lollipops and roses. They're not even close…. 150 sq ft for a family of 4…..really? In most of them, you have a hard back bench with cushions that doubles as dining, and seating area. In another one,a couples teenaged son had to sleep in the LR on a tiny couch underneath his parents loft…I find that appalling for the son. One thing I've noticed in the pictures of them on various sites, is that they run out of things to photograph, so they have to show a shelf with 4 glasses on it, or the commode,because they've shown the loft and the whole first floor in two pics. There's nothing left. Some of these are also very expensive, and looking at "used" ones, the resale value is not that great..I live in a 1600 sq ft house and feel 0 guilt. So live in your tiny houses and be happy.,Just don't expect everyone else to agree with you..I thought the article was funny.

Kim Dec 18, 2015 1:51pm

Just one word- gluttony. Enjoy your big house that you truly don’t need. I’m not jealous. I care about the earth and it’s future habitints. So while you make a mockery of those looking to leave less of a footprint in this world, who have decided that the value of life is far greater than the “me,me,me” mentality, I’ll be commending those tiny house buyers for making a DIFFERENCE!!

girlpassion Dec 18, 2015 10:53am

Wait, let me get this right… This lady is condoning hate in her article and Elephant Journal is actually promoting it?

Living in a tiny house off of the grid is the best thing that I’ve ever done with my life. My man and I became so in touch with nature, ourselves and each other. We realized the importance of conserving water and other resources. I loved how we didn’t waste a drop of water whenever we had to use the toilet. I absolutely adored showering outside, in the middle of the woods. When it gets cold outside, I like showering in our tiny school bus home. I like how my home can stay 75 degrees in the cold, Northern Michigan weather. Friends and family think that our place is great! If they want to stay over night, it’s no problem because we actually have extra space for them. Or, if they wanted, they could camp out on our 30 forested acres.

I don’t look down on anyone for living a different lifestyle than I. I enjoy seeing people happy with their lives. What really bothers me is reading an article fraught with hate towards people who are just trying to live their lives in the best way possible for them.

This isn’t comedy to me. Melissa is one shitty comedian if she thinks picking at peoples lifestyles and degrading them as dirty hippies is funny.

What if I wrote a hate filled article about people who live in big or normal sized houses? Would you consider that satire? I don’t fucking think so. And I’m damn sure EJ wouldn’t promote such an article.

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Melissa Morgan

Melissa Morgan grew up in Independence, KY but don’t hold that against her. She worked in the entertainment business (as it were) in Cincinnati, Ohio, managing two of the most successful comedy clubs in the Mid-West circuit. She moved to Los Angeles in 1992, during the riots, because she has impeccable timing. She first discovered yoga in 1999 looking for a better way to breathe. Little did she know it would change her life and become an important part of her existence. She has been teaching yoga since 2004. She loves teaching Restorative yoga as well as Gentle and Yin style classes. If she had to pick just one pose, her favorite would be Arda Chandrasana, Half Moon Pose.