We are the only people I know who have a picture of a toilet on their wall. Then again, we are the only people I know who are building a tiny house — which means we should probably go out and meet more people. But that toilet represents an important victory.
As we’re coming to learn, building this tiny house is a series of decisions upon decisions. Sure, you have to pick out the floor color and the stove and the refrigerator. You also have to pick out how the refrigerator runs: propane or electricity? If you want electricity, do you go with AC or DC? Or both? How are you going to supply electricity, with a solar array or an RV hookup? Or both? What size RV hookup? What size solar array? What make/model of panels? How are you going to arrange them? What batteries do you need? What kind of inverter? What kind of circuit breaker panel? Ok. Let’s move onto the stovetop. Propane, electric, or induction? How many burners? Drop in or stand-alone? Can your chosen circuit breaker panel handle it? Can your solar array? Do you need to get different pans for induction? Do you have enough counter space? Over and over and over again.
Seth and I have been together for more than a decade. As in every relationship, we’re constantly renegotiating how we handle things, from prescription pickup to transportation to taxes. It changes depending on where we are and what we’re doing. And what we’re doing now is realizing our decision-making process isn’t great. Enter: the wall.
The wall is our free-form, nebulous method of marking down choices as well as keeping each other motivated. It’s next to our kitchen table so we can see it every day. It’s not beautiful — not as beautiful as the vintage Chicago travel poster we used to have in its place (sorry Elise) — but it’s important so we can see how far we’ve come. We have a toilet. We have a heater. We have a trailer, and we have a list.
There will soon be a notebook that we share back and forth, in which we’ll write down what we’ve learned about whatever it is we’re researching. And all along the way, we’re dividing the build into smaller, manageable chunks so that we don’t get overwhelmed. We’re setting a schedule. We’re setting Craigslist alerts. We have a system.
I’m finding that short, declarative sentences really help keep me stable.