Moving House: An Introduction
“That was the captivation of it to me. If it had ever been meant to be lived in, I might have thought it small, or inconvenient, or lonely; but never having been designed for any such use, it became a perfect abode.” – David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)
What if the house you built with your own two hands was capable of moving to any forest, lake, or city? That is exactly what the tiny living movement is making possible. Fed up with an exorbitant and elite housing market, many would-be-homeowners like myself are adopting alternative means of shelter. For some, the popular tiny houses built atop towable trailers are the answer. While it’s possible to travel with these wheeled abodes, the trailer setup requires a tow vehicle, a large parking space, and a considerable financial investment in the home itself. That monetary commitment is slim compared to a traditional mortgage, but it is still beyond the reach of most of most aspiring tiny house livers.
The driving force towards minimalist housing is often a financial one. Such was certainly the case for me. A long-term student who moves regularly, I felt trapped under my rental payments. Hundreds of dollars a month went to spaces I didn’t like and roommates I barely knew. Every month I automatically lost two thirds of my income just for existing. Beyond the financial stress, I longed for a space which would be truly personal. I needed more than a mattress on the floor and a shared, cluttered kitchen. I yearned not only for the freedom to paint my own walls, but to construct those walls myself.