Decluttering with Astrid (16)

This week: A love for tiny houses

For several years, I have nurtured a deep love for “tiny houses.” In America, nobody thinks you odd if you give up hearth and home for a life in a tiny house. Maybe it’s a variation on the trailer home for the new hippies – let’s face it, it is mainly architects and hipsters living in them – and it also helps that they are made from wood, look very cozy inside and boast pretty Scandinavian touches. And what peace of mind you must have living in such a place: minimum costs, minimum maintenance, no cleaner needed, no loft stuffed full of junk, no bulging closets, and no afternoons spent at IKEA shopping for new furniture. Because, dear people, it would not fit in there! Not for nothing has the tiny houses concept taken the world by storm as a solution for a simpler life with fewer possessions. You can find hundreds of books online, mostly American, about how to live life in just a few m2. Naturally, it’s not just about those m2, it’s about a whole new way of life. If you “downsize” your life, you need less money. And if you need less money, you can afford to work less, or at least you have more funds available to do the things you enjoy. A tiny house gives you freedom, because you’re not weighed down by high fixed costs, or any possessions you need to keep, maintain, repair, store, move…

Personally, I think I’m perfect for life in a tiny house. I see myself sitting there in the white, wooden room, with my laptop on my lap, drinking latte from my one coffee cup. In my wardrobe hang just five good basic items of clothing. On the bookshelf, there’s an e-reader and a notebook, and on the windowsill stands a single vase of fresh flowers. My afternoons are spent in the corner café, where I hold my work meetings, or at the yoga studio. I have plenty of time on my hands, because I have no housework to do, no stuff to buy, no curtains to patch up, and no closets to clear out. I have time to travel the world. A full-time job is not necessary, because life in a small house costs me almost nothing.

There are plenty of videos on the Internet about mini-apartments, where a bed disappears into the wall during the day, where shelves transform a room with a simple twist and turn, and where a closet appears to conceal a kitchen. I love watching these films. Here’s one for you:

The next video actually started my passion for these kinds of films. I was breathless when I watched it, especially when more than ten people came to dine at the house, and a super-long extendable table was conjured out of a closet in the wall.

But the sober reality is that I live with three men (well, one man and two boys to be precise), and that leaves very little room for life in a tiny house. Somehow, I don’t think I’d manage to persuade them to put all their stuff up for sale online and join me in conquering the world with just three books, two sweaters, a designer’s mug and an iPad Mini. Tiny houses and Lego collections are not a match made in heaven. Which is probably why there are so few families featured in all the books about small spaces. So what’s the solution? The summer holidays. I’m going to live in a tiny house for three weeks every year. Because, you see, tiny houses can be rented; Airbnb is full of them. Yup, three weeks of living in a small space, and the rest of the year spent waiting in anticipation. With my mini portable pile of perfect basics.

Astrid is, together with Irene, the founder of Flow Magazine. She lives together with her partner and has two kids. Every Tuesday she writes about the sense and nonsense of decluttering.


“A love for tiny houses”