Updated: Aug 14, 2020
When we tell people we live in a tiny home, the first question that pops up is, "How do you live in such a small space together?" "My wife and I would not be able to handle that." etc. We get the concern. And that's why I hope this blog can shed some light on how we make it work, AND still love each other while living in such a small space.
Sometimes, Edwin and I can't handle spending two minuets apart from each other. We will literally drive together to the grocery store, when really only one of us needed to go. However, sometimes we need space to come back home to ourselves. Here are some tips we've learned on how to keep a relationship happy and healthy, while living in a tiny home together.
1. When you use something...PUT IT BACK.
There is a reason that this is the first point mentioned. As obvious as this may sound, in a tiny home, it is essential. Every square inch of space is counted for in a tiny home. If you leave your clothes on the floor (guilty), your partner feels that impact way more in a tiny space. Even little things like leaving a book on the table or not putting the pot back on the hook, can leave the house feeling cluttered. Messes in a bigger house can also be a point of contention. However, in a regular house you can usually ignore a handful of clothes left on the floor. In a tiny home, not so much.
You would trip or have to step over/on them. Do relationship and your partner a favor, put whatever you use back where it goes. Immediately.
2. Utilize the outdoors to create space.
When we need time for ourselves, one of use will usually head outside. I will generally be the one to take a book on the porch, or take a walk down to the creek with our dog. Use nature, if you can, as an extension of your house. Create little spots where you like to hang out and think of it as an addition to your tiny house. An example for me is the spot down by the creek where I love to sit. This allows the other person who stays home, to feel like the house is theirs for a bit. This allows the feeling of privacy, personal space and a time to recharge. There's nothing like vegging out to your own Netflix series. For the other partner, spending time outdoors is also a way to recharge and reconnect to oneself. Its a win-win.
3. Create clear areas of separation in the home, as well as areas to reconnect.
One of our favorite things to do, especially after a long day, is to sit in the hanging chairs. These are a set of chairs that hang from our ridge beam. They drape next to each other looking out the french doors. We will sit here and talk for hours about our work day, usually enjoying a drink.
Another example of an area of separation, is the bathroom. We have a sliding door that comes out of the wall, which closes the bathroom off. I personally love taking my time getting ready in the morning. I listen to podcasts in the shower and go full deluxe with it. Its nice to have the ability to be alone.
Another area of separation we have is the second loft. It's a bit removed and almost acts as it's own room. The way the arch bracing is, you need to climb through the beams to access the loft. This makes you feel tucked away and removed when you're up there. We will chill up there by ourselves or together, reading or watching movies. These two different "rooms", allow us to feel like we're alone and have the space to come back home to ourselves. This is essential while living in a Tiny Home with another human (no matter how lovely that human is).
The point of all these examples is basically to show how we met the need for connection and space, in our 234 sq ft Tiny Home. If you are designing the home yourselves, weigh in on ways you can allow for these two needs to co-exist. Think about ways you like to connect with each other in a larger space. Try to recreate that best you can your DIY design. Next, think about where you guys drift to when you need your space. Think about ways you can section off your tiny home, to have areas that feel separate or private. All of these aspects can be challenging when living small. However, once you figure out your perfect layout, and can incorporate all these aspects...you will LOVE it. And your relationship wont suffer in the slightest.