Tiny House Living: the Ultimate Un-Making Project?

This post is different from those you’ve read before. It’s more personal, spiritual, revealing in a way. I hope you can relate.


In many ways building a tiny house is the ultimate maker project. It involves geeky research, design and planning, often uses technology to help in the design process, and then becomes an epic DIY building adventure that results in seeing a dream come to life before your very eyes! There’s a lot of thinking, planning, doing, making & building. So why would I call tiny house living an un-making project?

It’s about the intention behind all that doing.

Why would one endeavor to design and build their own home? Why would one choose to forgo some of the conveniences of life, for a simpler, more conscious path?

I can only speak for myself, but my deeper intentions are for un-making.

What is Un-Making?

Un-making the Western cultural myth of what success looks like.

Un-making attachment to anything “outside” of oneself as a source of happiness.

Un-making our limited beliefs about our own abilities to create/build/manifest.

Un-making the unconscious patterns and routines we are stuck in.

Un-making our feeling of separateness, loneliness, isolation.

Un-making the bureaucratic structure that prevents common sense solutions needed for humanity to thrive.

Un-making the constant drive for business, achievement, success.

And so on…

Even though there is so much “doing” that goes into the actual building of a tiny house, what about before and after the actual construction? It didn’t start with building — there must have been something deeper that sparked the desire to live the tiny life.

I like the word Un-Making because it indicates a movement in the opposite direction — it’s a simplification, dismantling, and in this case also an inward process, not just an outward display of achievement.

Now that my house is done, and now that I’ve been living in it for a year and a half, I find myself far more oriented towards the space that exits for undoing. That was the intention for the flurry of outward activity, mental overdrive, and physical super-human feat that I somehow accomplished in 2013.

When I was in the middle of it, I’m not sure I knew that. It took some time to live with it and reflect to make conscious the deeper intention that was there all along, guiding all the mad research, planning, design, and building.

So where does that leave me now? Isn’t this blogging right here just more doing, more making? Well, yes and no. What I hope is that through these words you too can find your deepest intention for going tiny…and then really LIVE that! Stick to that even when things get crazy and stressed out and seem impossible.

If my continued involvement in the tiny house community can help people realize what tiny living is REALLY like, deep down, at the heart-point of inspiration, great love and intention, then that’s worth all the doing and much more.

Can you connect with your un-making intention? Or is your intention for tiny living completely different? That’s fine too. I might be the crazy one. For others, maybe the doing itself is their joy and their medicine. I know that I get a ton of enjoyment and satisfaction from hands-on creative projects. It feeds me a in way hard to come by otherwise. But I also know there is far more to it than that.

By living in my tiny house I intend to live simply and consciously; to un-make everything that doesn’t — or no longer — serves me. That sounds right. That sounds simple. Let’s see if that’s what tiny living can really be for me.

This understanding orients my idea of the tiny life to one of doing without — not doing more or having it all. It’s NOT about how many creature comforts we can possibly pack into a structure on wheels that still fits into the the tiny house label. For me anyway, the smallness of the house means something far more than the simple goal of adhering to D.O.T. height and width limits.

In future blog posts I’ll talk more about how this intention informs my ideas about what it means to live simply and consciously, human-sized, within one’s means, etc. I’ll also reflect on how this fits into the tiny house movement as a whole, and what I believe to be the “soul” of the movement both past and present.

I’d love to hear some of the deeper intentions/goals behind your desire to go tiny. Please comment and let me know!


Author: Alek Lisefski