When we first began the discussion of downsizing our family’s living situation, we sort of saturated ourselves with information. Going over floor plans and evaluating everything we could find. After our brains started to hurt with computing overload…we decided to watch a movie about it.

There was this great documentary out there called TINY that chronicled this guy’s journey in building his house, but one of the points that really stuck out to me was from Jay Shafer who founded Four Lights Tiny House Company. He was talking about how society got stuck in this rut of consumerism that was propelling houses to just get bigger and bigger. Then tiny houses became a discussion, and he began to live in one and design more. Soon, his designs became to be what tiny homes ARE.

He sort of lamented that fact. I am sure not completely because let’s be honest, that’s how he makes his money, but I get what he is saying from a true believer perspective. He started building a tiny home because he believed in the concept and moved into one, inadvertly he created the standard model for the micro living revolution. However, what if living in a wood cabin on wheels doesn’t work for you? Well, you are out of luck my friend because all the other companies our there are basically just ripping off Jay Shafer. Tiny house = wood plank rustic cabin + no more than two people and a random dog or cat.

There has to be a way to invite families like ours into the mix, and if it can work for us, that means it can work for other families. And if that is true, then it means that micro housing can even address some of the issues surrounding families who are currently surviving without housing at all.


Nathan Monk is a husband, father, author, and former Orthodox priest who writes about growing up in childhood homelessness, and brings awareness to the social and justice issues related to first world poverty.

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