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Things to do while relaxing in your tiny house

What does one do inside a tiny house other than sleep and eat (and sometimes shower)? It’s probably not the sort of place you’d blast your Korn or rack up points on Halo. So we’ve put together a short sampler of music and words to keep you chillin’, tinystyle.

“Plenty of Room” by Anita Baker
Sing along with the honey-tongued Ms. Baker as she trills, “I got room, plenty of room, never lonely again, just open my door come on in.” Just don’t flail your arms around too much in the process, and watch out for the lamp.

“Room” by Emma Donoghue
Recently longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Emma Donoghue’s forthcoming “Room” sounds like just the tale you might be needing as you start to wonder if moving into a 150-square-foot space was really what you wanted. Donoghue’s narrator is a 5-year-old boy who lives with his mother in an 11-by-11-foot room, never having seen the outside world. Prisoners. Your tiny house will quickly come to seem like a rambling downtown loft.

“A Place to Hang Your Hat” by Bruce Chatwin
Bruce Chatwin, long considered one of the best travel writers of his generation, writes persuasively about the ascetic pleasure of small-space living in this charming essay (found in his “Anatomy of Restlessness” collection). Describing his perfect home as a cross between “a cell and a ship’s cabin,” the itinerant raconteur recalls his good fortune in employing a young John Pawson to create a spare and elegant refuge in the heart of central London. For Chatwin, the diminutive size of his home is never restrictive; rather, it liberates him from the “mania of owning things,” and facilitates a life where experience always trumps consumption.

Viral video
24 rooms in one
It seems every house is a tiny one in crowded, metropolitan Hong Kong. Architect Gary Chang decided to go a little Tetris on his home and converted his 344-square-foot apartment into 24 spacious, convertible rooms, all with the help of sliding walls and panels. A video tour of Chang’s apartment went viral earlier this year, demonstrating to the world the possibilities of downsizing and upgrading at the same time.

“Quiet Little Place” by K’s Choice
After shedding all your excess space, possessions and the headaches that come with them, you can appreciate this soft, sweet song by K’s Choice. The Belgian band croons about the peaceful solitude and mental clarity found in a “quiet little place” far away from the hectic pace of daily life.

Apartment Therapy
For six years, Apartment Therapy has been profiling and extolling the virtues of super small spaces while offering a trove of resources for those of us cramming our lives into them. (We never did find the bedroom portion of our first New York “one-bedroom apartment.”) Each year it celebrates the creative minimalism of small living in its Smallest, Coolest Contest, which might give you some inspiration for pimping your own tiny palace. So many fun ideas, so little space.

“Songs From a Small House” by Kim Virant
This Seattle-based songstress’s latest collection of folk-inflected indie rock packs a big punch despite its small-house title. In “Letting Go,” Virant sings about “stripping [herself] bare” and embracing a life unfettered by past baggage. All you hoarders, take heed: Do as Virant suggests, and pack off your discarded junk to the local Goodwill. You won’t regret it.

Revenge tragedy
Denmark was like a prison for our melancholy prince, but Hamlet had some knowledge that no doubt rings true for tiny house dwellers: our real home, the mind, is a vast universe. “I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space,” he boasted. Of course, he wound up killing half the court and getting himself offed in the process, so there’s that.



  • Clarisse

    I watched the “Small House Movement” with great Interest, as I too, have wished to live in a Place of my Own, for a Change. Though my Apt IS small, by any Standards, it’d not qualify as Tiny! Just Shoebox; not mine; and, (in spite of my efforts at “Greening” it), definitely NOT “Green.” I just have 2 questions: Where would I put my Piano?
    Where would I fit in all my Collected Lifelong Journals, Books, and Artworks, I haven’t yet given, or sold?

  • j. Ann SMITH

    I love the Small house movement.

  • thomas higgins

    a health disability forced me 2 move into a public housing highrise. It reminded me @ the time of my
    double-dorm in college complete w tile floors and cinderblock walls. well now i tend to view it as my 8th
    floor studio condo….i do have one NE wall which is completely glass…no heat needed in winter!
    i spruced it up to make it mine……there is probably room for 2 more people @ least. Actually, it could
    probably fit 3 or 4 tiny houses in it. Hats off 2 these people..There’s no room 4 hats!!

  • Rose

    My home is 960 square feet for three people. I thought it was small until watching this! We have been happy in the smaller space though and find that it helps us to keep things organized. I have friends with over 200 sq. ft. homes who feel overwhelmed with cleaning and decorating.

  • Rose

    *That should say “2000 sq. ft. homes” not 200.

  • ZACH

    ok to the person who said some thing about a piano well ms. piano when you decide to go smaller, even if its not that small, you learn that getting rid of those things is actually overwhelmingly a great feeling and lift of weigh off your chest in this kaotic world, and who says you have to give up the piano there are smaller pianos like do some search re-search ….

  • Grant Wagner

    I always wanted a small home. But to be honest, racking up points in Halo seems like a great tiny house activity!