We are recently back from three weeks of traveling to visit dear friends and family in Maine and Colorado. We do this kind of trip often, but what’s unique about this particular excursion is that it was the first time we were away from Tiny for any significant amount of time (beyond a weekend) since we moved in last November.

We prepared well by opening some of the awning windows a little bit for air circulation (and put down some towels and plastic just in case it rained the entire time and this turned out to be a bad idea!), turned off Tiny’ nose (the HRV), emptied and/or refreshed our dehumidifiers, cleaned out the fridge (not a uniquely tiny house task when travelling!) and put the potatoes in it so they wouldn’t sprout to high heaven, turned the propane heater way down (but left it on low just in case the crazy weather went below freezing), and communicated with our builder Matt about some small tasks that would be better accomplished while we were away. (That is, if he could take some time away from the construction of Tiny 2!)

Our beautiful exterior door had suffered some water damage over the winter and needed to be refinished; we had one hinge on a storage cabinet in the upstairs bedroom loft that had inexplicably rusted; and we decided we needed a more substantial backsplash behind the kitchen sink, so Matt was going to assess what might work best. And we planted seeds (with a hope and a prayer!) in our garden plots, recently excavated from the small rock infested clay that we are working to turn into soil, with the addition of our neighbors lama poop. Hatches were battened down, so to speak, and friends from down the road were ready to check on Tiny if needed.

One of the things we were curious about was whether the humidity would go down while we were away since we wouldn’t be contributing to it in terms of cooking, showering, or just plain old breathing! But no, the temperature and humidity were about the same upon our return. And the temperature was still pretty chilly too so we ended up turning the heat back up!

Here’s what surprised us: Upon our return we realized very quickly that we needed to re-adapt to living tiny. After only three weeks of being with friends and family in their regularly-sized spaces, we unknowingly had fallen back into spreading out with our belongings. We didn’t notice this when it was happening. After all, when you put your suitcase and backpack in the guest bedroom, the computer case next to the sofa, books on the coffee table, tooth brushes in the bathroom, a water glass on the night table next to the bed, superfoods in the refrigerator, and so on, it just all blends into the new spaces without much disturbance from these added items. But when we walked back into Tiny with all our travel belongings we were faced with the need to put them away, where they belonged, right away. There was no leaving our clothes on a spare chair or the non-existent bedroom floor. Nor could we leave our laptops and bag next to the sofa as we’d have been tripping over them on our way to the bathroom! There was no extra counter or table space for our books, which needed to return to where they reside on our shelves. Our shoes needed to be stowed in their place, the dirty laundry needed to find its way back into the laundry basket that usually lives in the trunk of our car, but had spent the time we were away in the guest loft so that the trunk could carry our luggage, Shanti’s travel food, and other doggie items. It was quite a shuffle for the first hour or so, and we still have some adjusting to do on a moment to moment basis.

But we are SO glad to be back in our lovely space. We find ourselves taking delight in the smallest things: our beautiful bathroom sink with the addition of a new soap dish we brought back that echoes the Mexican crafting; our butcher block counters with their new wax finish, our cozy loft bed, and our garden – the sugar snap peas did come up and now have a fence to climb on, there are wee kale plants, some radishes, and the mesclun mix has emerged.

Written/Photo by:
Nicky Duenkel & Judy Pratt – LiveTiny Canada Contributors
Check out their blog here!