Most humans on this Earth have had days where they feel like selling all of their worldly possessions, packing up the van and driving off to parts unknown. Though a mere dream for many there is in fact a growing segment of the population that is doing just that; living simpler but with a twist.
Welcome to the world of Tiny House Living.
The Tiny House movement has been picking up steam over the last few years and is even seeing mainstream popularity with shows like Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunters. Former homeowners are opting to downsize their life, sell their homes and challenge themselves to live smaller and simpler while also providing less impact on the environment.
The “tiny house movement,” also known as the “small house movement,” basically describes the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. The typical Tiny House is less than 400 square feet and often as small as 80; a far cry from the national average in 2014 of 2,453 square feet. Tiny Houses can be placed on a permanent foundation like a regular home, or on a trailer for a more mobile living lifestyle.
The cost of a tiny house is remarkably less so the lure of financial freedom is one of the many reasons for their growing popularity. But make no mistake; adjusting to a smaller space and fewer possessions is not a small undertaking. A large part of transitioning to living in several hundred square feet is drastic downsizing.
Tiny House Luminary, owner of A Bed Over My Head, and co-author of Audrey Press’ newest children’s picture book Sissy Goes Tiny, B.A. Norrgard is one of the many advocates for living small and having a Big life.
“Back in 2012 when I decided to let go of my traditional lifestyle and ‘go tiny,’ I was not the first by any means,” B.A. recalled. At the time I was living in Dallas, a place known for ‘big’ and I was an anomaly! I had earned my college degree and for over two decades I had held a job in a downtown high rise and owned a traditional home. But when I could no longer ignore my desire to living simply and embrace tiny house living, I sold most of my possessions, including my house, and chose a minimalist lifestyle. I’ve never looked back.”
B.A. went on to acknowledge that society conditions American that more is better, and bigger is better and many of us were raised in households where we were encouraged to keep things that we ‘might need someday.’
“It sounds cliché, but downsizing possessions really is very liberating. You will feel free when you don’t have to spend time and money sorting and organizing possessions in pretty tubs and boxes with labels. My world is a world of people in tiny houses, or people moving towards living in tiny houses with all of them, ‘extreme downsizing’ is a big part of the journey. Many of those who I counsel and work with do secure a storage unit either as a stepping stone to downsizing or as a permanent solution for items they need for work or seasonal sporting equipment. Having a storage unit isn’t something that is shameful secret and it can be a valuable tool for those looking to live tiny. Downsizing is a process, so be sure and be kind to yourself and strive to purge in layers. Once done, you will be able to celebrate your freedom of not spending valuable time organizing things or hoarding things that mean little to your ultimate happiness.”
For some, the tiny house movement has become a way of life and means for adjusting to a smaller space and fewer possessions. For others, it offers up the new opportunity to save money, own fewer things, and focus on relationships and experiences.
Whatever category you fall into, BA acknowledges that taking the first step towards your new tiny house living dreams is the right step in a new and empowering direction.
In 2012, bucking societal exceptions and following her inner guidance, B.A. (Beth Ann) Norrgard shed her paralegal costume after 26 years in a downtown high rise and hand built her tiny house. She is a passionate advocate for others following their dreams and letting go of societal conditioning, and being free to live a larger life in a smaller space. BA is a doer. She has traveled over 14,000 miles with her house and writes about her minimalist, vegan life on her website, banorrgard.com
About Sissy Goes Tiny by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard
In Sissy Goes Tiny, eight-year-old Sissy and her parents make the bold choice to downsize their life and embark on a journey of living tiny and doing more with less. At first, Sissy struggles to get used to the idea of living in a tiny house on wheels and traveling around the U.S, but as she and her mommy and daddy learn about downsizing, repurposing, and how “stuff is just stuff,” she soon understands that a life of “living tiny” will be filled with the big adventures and learning.
While in creation-mode, co-authors Flansburg and Norrgard both agreed that their book needed to have a deeper purpose beyond helping youngsters understand the importance of going tiny. They knew they wanted this diverse picture book for ages 4-8 to be a captivating and fun read for kids, while also sharing subtle lessons on understanding the process of downsizing, repurposing, and how ‘stuff is just stuff’ in a positive way.
Valuable Messages with the Pages of Sissy Goes Tiny
*The act of “going tiny” or downsizing/minimizing from a child’s perspective.
*Mommy and Daddy are excited about the tiny house lifestyle, but 8-year-old Sissy isn’t so sure. Together, as a family, they work together to support each other.
*The child in the story “loves her life” and continue to do so even when their lifestyle and living situation changes
*Touch on the process of downsizing, repurposing, and how “stuff is just stuff” in a positive way
*The underlying lesson throughout the whole story is that living Tiny has BIG possibilities and can open up life to all sorts of adventures and learning.
*When keeping things “beautiful and useful” how different that might look to a child.
*Sissy comes to realize that her family’s new tiny adventure was full of big possibilities, and wherever they went on their journey, they would always be home.
In Praise of Sissy Goes Tiny
“In a time where folks are encouraged to buy more, have more, and be more, Sissy Goes Tiny captures the idea: we can be happy with less. Many people feel “less than” when they have to change homes, or feel they are otherwise losing ‘the big Oak trees in the yard.’ But we can learn from change… it can be good for a thousand reasons. Cheers to the authors. This is wonderful. Sissy Goes Tiny teaches us that HOME is bigger than a space and bigger than the people who live there; HOME is where you love with all your heart, whatever shape HOME takes, whatever size… where you can be YOU with your big juicy heart, that is home.” Dee Williams, Tiny House Living thought leader and CEO of PadTinyHouses.com
Where to Find Sissy
Sissy Goes Tiny will be ready for Purchase in July of 2019…BUT, you can secure your copy now! GO HERE to learn more about the authors, the book, and the journey to Doing More with Less.
Connect with Audrey Press on Social Media